Fun Bornean Orangutan Facts For Kids

Joan Agie
Oct 20, 2022 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Bornean orangutans facts about the amazing animal

The Bornean orangutan Pongo pygmaeus is a part of the orangutan species and is a rather giant orangutan. The other species belonging to this genus include the Sumatran orangutan and the Tapanuli orangutan.

These apes are generally found in the forests of southeast Asian islands, primarily living in their nests on trees at a height of about 50-60 feet.

Bornean orangutans get their name from the island of Borneo, which is their primary habitat. In wilderness, they can live up to 40 years while in captivity their average age is pegged at around 50 years or even more in some cases.

Orangutans are known to be very intelligent and capable of using their knowledge in the wild forests like the other great apes. They have immense strength in their limbs that allows them to hang upside down for extended durations to retrieve fruits and eat leaves.

It might be shocking to know that the Bornean orangutan has DNA that matches about 97% with humans! Despite the usual nature of these animals that are not known to prey on or hurt humans, their population is rapidly declining.

This species was recently categorized as a critically endangered species owing to the destruction of forests due to palm oil plantations and hunting. As more and more trees are being cut in the forests, pushing the population of these majestic creatures towards extinction.

After you have read this interesting information on Bornean orangutan, do check out our interesting articles on  capuchin monkeys and spider monkey.

Bornean Orangutan Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Bornean orangutan?

A Bornean orangutan is a type of orangutan which is found in the tropical forests of southeast Asian islands. These species are related to other types of orangutans, namely, the Sumatran orangutan, which resides in the Sumatran islands, and the Tapanui orangutans.

Although very similar to the other great apes, Bornean orangutans are known to be more solitary than the others. They get their name from the island of Borneo, which is their primary habitat.

The other apes are known to form many social hierarchies. This species is also known as the Red Apes.

What class of animal does a Bornean orangutan belong to?

Bornean orangutans belong to the mammal class. Therefore they have hair on their bodies and give birth to young ones.

Bornean orangutans have either brown, red, gray, orange, or black hair and skin. They are diurnal animals just like other apes and have a lifespan of about 30-40 years in the wild. The height of a adult males is about 1.2-1.4 m long, and that of females is about 1.0-1.20 m.

How many Bornean orangutans are there in the world?

Bornean orangutans are critically endangered species. There are only about 13,500 apes of this kind left on earth for now.

They are highly threatened because of the loss of habitat. The forests where they reside in Borneo islands are constantly cut down for palm oil production. So, for the conservation of wildlife, it is important to focus on protecting forests and the apes in them.

Where does a Bornean orangutan live?

Bornean young orangutans live in the rainforests of Bornean islands in the southeast Asian region. Their counterpart apes, such as the Sumatran orangutans, on the other hand, live in the Sumatran islands in southeast Asia. This allows them easy access to food in the from of fruit and leaves as well as insects.

What is a Bornean orangutan's habitat?

The habitat of the Bornean orangutan includes the peat water swamps and rainforests. These are important for the survival of this type of ape because these forests serve as the best locations to find the fruit that they eat.

But now that their habitats are declining each day due to increased human activities regarding palm oil production, their habitat is falling and is now confined to very small places.

Who do Bornean orangutans live with?

Unlike other ape species, Bornean orangutans are rather solitary and have no such social bonds or hierarchy. The only social bond is between the mother orangutan and his young one.

Therefore, there is no relationship between males and females. Even if the male orangutans express their territory, they are not very possessive about it and mostly live by themselves. The younger ones, however, stay with their mother until they are old enough.

How long does a Bornean orangutan live?

A Bornean orangutan has a life span of about 30-40 years in the wild and can almost double the lifespan in captivity to well beyond 50 years. This is because, in captivity, he can be under proper medical assistance and care.

For up to 10 years of their life, the young ones stay with their mother for assistance to understand how to eat food and remain safe. This ensures that they understand the whims of the world and can sustain themselves.

How do they reproduce?

Males as well as females reach the age of sexual maturity at about 15 years old. The male orangutan has the right to breed with any female orangutan in the habitat.

The gestation period for females lasts about 9 months, after which they give birth to one orangutan who continues to stay with their mother till he/she turns about 10 years old.

What is their conservation status?

Presently, the orangutans are Critically Endangered since there is very little concern about their decreasing habitat and the loss of the ecosystem that they live in. For a rise in palm oil production, many trees were cut down in the islands that serve as home to both the Bornean and the Sumatran orangutans.

Their survival is also threatened by forest fires.

Humans have not been very responsible while conserving the environment for a lot of wildlife. Therefore, there is a need to focus on the conservation of forests so that these great apes species can be saved.

Bornean Orangutan Fun facts

What do Bornean orangutans look like?

Bornean orangutans look like most apes but have a relatively smaller size. Also, the Bornean orangutans have signature long arms, which enables them to hold onto branches and canopies as they travel.

Their arms are generally 30% larger than their legs. Adult male orangutans are also known to have cheek pads under their skin that have fat deposits. If you’ve seen the movie the Jungle Book, you might’ve noticed the character, King Louie, in the movie.

Ever wondered what species it belonged to you? King Louie belonged to the Bornean orangutan species, and you can get more insight into its appearance using that character.

Bornean Orangutan

How cute are they?

Bornean orangutans are not as cute and look more like apes in general. With hair all over their body, they don’t make the cutest faces. But if you liked King Louie in the movie, you might find a Bornean orangutan to be cute.

How do they communicate?

On reaching sexual maturity, the Bornean orangutans get throat poaches, which makes their voice deeper and allows them to produce an echoing voice through the forest. Using these voices, they interact with each other.

How big is a Bornean orangutan?

A male Bornean orangutan is about 1.2 times shorter than the gorilla, and a female is about 1.6 times shorter than the gorilla. They are the second-largest apes after the gorillas.

How fast can a Bornean orangutan run?

The speed of a Bornean orangutan is 2.7 mph. Due to their natural habitat, their hands and feet are adapted to move faster and cling more to branches and canopies.

In addition to this, they can also hold open fruits with both their hands and feet. Their arms are about twice the length of their legs and can also be about 2 meters long.

How much does a Bornean orangutan weigh?

Bornean orangutan weighs about 60-220 lb, based on his age and sexual orientation. Since a male orangutan is significantly larger than the female counterpart, it will weigh more.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no special name for male and female orangutans, and they are simply called male and female, respectively.

What would you call a baby Bornean orangutan?

A young orangutan is simply known as baby Bornean orangutan or young Bornean orangutan. There is no special nomenclature for the Bornean orangutan baby.

What do they eat?

The diet of Bornean orangutans is largely omnivorous. However, they are known to largely rely upon only vegetarian options like ripe or raw fruits like lychees, mangoes, figs, including others.

They try to understand the ripening cycle of each tree and accordingly visit it for food. Also, they rely on other plant-related food like branches, leaves and can sometimes also eat eggs and small vertebrates like lizards and other such reptiles that are found in the wildlife.

Many animals, however, prey on the Bornean orangutans. These animals include the likes of leopards, tigers, and even humans when they kill orangutans.

Are they loud?

Bornean orangutans are loud and develop a throat pouch which makes the voice of the male counterparts deep and it resonates within the forest. This voice is their characteristic feature.

Would they make a good pet?

Generally, Bornean orangutans are not domestic and are not recommended to keep as pets. This is because they are meant to be a part of wildlife and hunt their food.

They have not been largely domesticated, and it is not suggested to make them a pet. Although there have been no instances of Bornean orangutans and humans fighting, it is best to leave them in their natural habitat.

Did you know...

Adult male Bornean orangutans use their deep voice to intimidate other male Bornean orangutans and also to attract the female Bornean orangutans for mating. They also use this to describe their territory.

In addition to this, one of the other amazing orangutan facts is that these species also use large leaves as an umbrella to save themselves from the rain. This keeps the Bornean orangutans dry even when it rains.

Why is the Bornean orangutan endangered?

The Bornean orangutans are endangered since the forests are getting cleared to create more palm oil plantations. These palm oil refineries can cause a lot of the bio-diverse habitat to reduce which has caused the number of these ape species to also fall.

These numbers will continue to fall further if the conservation of wildlife is not kept into consideration.

Forest fires have also aided in the removal of forests and have negatively impacted the population of the Bornean orangutans. This is why their numbers are so low and are depleting with time.

How much DNA do humans share with the Bornean orangutan?

Humans share up to 97% of their DNA with orangutans which is very fascinating to hear considering the difference in the way they appear. However, it is a known fact that Bornean orangutans show acts of intelligence when in wildlife.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including proboscis monkey, or howler monkey.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our orangutan coloring pages.

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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