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Orangutan (Borneo and Sumatra)

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Pongo pygmaeus, Pongo abelii
Orangutan (Borneo and Sumatra)

Orangutans, the red-haired great ape of Borneo and Sumatra, are disappearing. They live alone high in the canopy of the rainforest. For years, hunters would take baby orangutans to sell in the pet trade. Many babies died in transport. Though this is now illegal, poaching does continue and deforestation from timber harvest further affects their numbers. Sadly, a great forest fire in Borneo in 1997-98 was believed to have killed many orangutans as well.

What is Being Done?

As of 2000, both Sumatra and Borneo orangutans have been listed as Endangered on the CITES IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) Red List.

Their numbers are so low that there has been some effort to confiscate captive orangutans and re-introduce them to their native homes. Only time will tell if this amazing primate will survive.

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