The Denver Zoo also houses orangutans that are not listed at the sub species level. The species name for these orangutans is Pongo pygmaeus.
Habitat & Range
Preferred habitat of the Sumatran orangutan is in tropical rainforests, mangroves, swamp forests, and riparian forests. This species can be found from 650-4,900 feet (1,000 -1,500 m).
The Sumatran orangutan is located only in Northern Sumatra (Indonesia).
Pongo pygmaeus abelii
Orangutans spend most of their lives in trees and have special adaptations for their arboreal lifestyle. They have extremely long arms, mobile shoulders and strong upper muscles that allow them to swing through the trees with ease. They have long narrow hands and feet that are suitable for grasping branches. Although they have opposable digits on their hands and feet, the thumb and big toe are short, which helps their hands and feet easily hook over branches as they move through the trees. Orangutans find most of their food in the trees, travel through the forest high up in the trees, build sleeping nests in the trees every night and even mate in the trees.
IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered with only about 9,200 left in the wild. The primary reason orangutans are endangered is habitat loss due to logging, forest fires and timber clearing for agriculture (including palm oil plantations) and human settlements. Orangutans are also hunted and killed for bush meat and captured for the pet trade. Although international efforts are underway to try to protect the remaining orangutans, if current trends continue, orangutans may be extinct in the wild within a decade.
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