Indigenous peoples of Indonesia and Malaysia call this ape “Orang Hutan” literally translating into English as “People of the Forest.”
Orangutans share 97% of the same DNA as humans.
Orangutans are very graceful and agile while climbing through the trees but somewhat slow and awkward when walking on the ground.
The orangutan has the longest childhood dependence on the mother of any animal in the world, because there is so much for a young orangutan to learn in order to survive.
An orangutan’s lifespan is about 35-40 years in the wild, and sometimes into the 50s in captivity. They reach puberty at about 8 years of age, but a female isn’t ready for her own baby until she’s in her teens.
The hair color of the orangutan, a bright reddish brown, is unique in the ape world.
The orangutan’s diet is made up of bark, leaves, flowers, a variety of insects, and most importantly, over 300 kinds of fruit. The mothers must teach the babies what food to eat, where to find that food, in which trees and during which seasons.
Orangutans don’t have to leave their tree branches to drink, they drink water that has collected in the holes between tree branches.
The orangutan is the only strictly arboreal ape and is actually the largest tree living mammal in the world. They make their home in the trees and build nests each night out of leaves and branches in the very tops of the trees — sometimes as much as 100 feet above the ground.
There are four kinds of great apes: gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans. Only the orangutan comes from Asia; the others all come from Africa.
Orangutans do not swim.
Orangutan females only give birth about once every 8 years — the longest time between births of any mammal on earth. (This results in only 4 to 5 babies in her lifetime.) [Fact source: Orangutan Conservancy]