Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sumatran Orang-utan

True Wild Life | Sumatran Orang-utan | The Sumatran orang-utan is a species of orang-utan native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The Sumatran orang-utan is one of only two species of great ape that are found in Asia, the other being the slightly larger and closely related, Bornean orang-utan. The Sumatran orang-utan is found inhabiting tropical and sub-tropical rainforest in the lowlands of Sumatra and the habitat of the Sumatran orang-utan extends into the moist swamps. Due to extensive deforestation in the Sumatran orang-utan's natural habitat, the Sumatran orang-utan is now much rarer than the Bornean orang-utan.

The Sumatran orang-utan is known to be a lot more sociable than it's large Bornean cousin, with groups of Sumatran orang-utans often gathering together to feed and play. The Sumatran orang-utan is however more confined to the trees as it is at risk from large ground dwelling predators such as the Sumatran tiger. The Sumatran orang-utan is one of the great apes, a group that includes orang-utans, gorillas, humans and chimpanzees. As with the other great apes, the Sumatran orang-utan has a number of features which makes living in the jungle a bit easier, including having opposable thumbs which come in handy when the Sumatran orang-utan is peeling fruit.

The Sumatran orang-utan is an omnivorous animal, but the majority of it's diet is made up of eating fruit which the Sumatran orang-utan is known to travel vast distances through the forests to find. The Sumatran orang-utan also eats leaves, nuts and berries, along with insects and occasionally small animals such as lizards and rodents. Due to it's large size, the Sumatran orang-utan has few real predators in it's native Sumatran forests, with the Sumatran tiger being it's only real predator. The biggest threat to the Sumatran orang-utan is habitat loss caused by deforestation which has completely wiped out the Sumatran orang-utan populations in certain areas.

Female Sumatran orang-utans are able to mate when they are about 15 years old and, give birth to a single Sumatran orang-utan baby. The Sumatran orang-utan baby is dependent on it's mother and generally remains with her until it reaches the age of 3 and becomes more independent. Today, the Sumatran orang-utan is one of the world's most endangered species with as few as 7,000 Sumatran orang-utan individuals thought to be left in the wild. The main reason for the demise in the Sumatran orang-utan populations is deforestation across the island for logging and to make way for palm oil plantations.

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