Possibly the most well-known of the endangered species, the Bornean orangutan is native to the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Living in the forests of the Bornean lowlands as well as in mountainous areas up to 1,500 metres above sea level, the Bornean orangutan is identified by its grey course skin and shaggy red hair as well as large cheek pads known as flanges visible only on the males.
The largest tree-dwelling animal, the Bornean orangutan navigates tree tops with its long arms that can reach up to 1.5 metres in length. It uses its hands and feet to forage for fruit, seeds, honey and insects and has been sighted using spears to catch fish. Despite these physical and behavioural differences to humans, orangutans share 97% of their DNA with us!
Classified as critically endangered, the Bornean orangutan is under threat of extinction from deforestation, palm oil plantations and illegal poaching. Current estimates suggest there may be as few as 54,500 of these amazing apes left in the wild.
THE ORANGUTAN PROJECT
Established in 1998 by world renowned orangutan expert, Leif Cocks, TOP was formed with a key mission; to ensure that endangered wild orangutan species would be protected against extinction.
Cocks’ not-for-profit organisation followed his 25+ years working with orangutans, including establishing the most successful breeding colony of orangutans in the world. Now, TOP works hard to protect orangutans by funding conservation and rescue projects as well as fighting deforestation and habitat loss at the highest level.
Donations to TOP go towards securing and protecting land for future conservation projects, rescuing and rehabilitating wild orangutans and educating and empowering local communities so orangutans can live in secure populations for generations to come.