The future's bright, the futures ......?

by Charles Stirton April. 25, 2007 5261 views

In 2004 I watched, with some sadness, this old Orangutan swinging on the highwires of his compound in the Washington Zoo in the USA.. He seemed so pensive and I wondered what he was thinking. I mentally promised him that one day I would do something for him. So here is his photo and an appeal for you to visit the Oragutan Conservancy website to learn more about them and what you can do for their survival. A few facts ….

There are two separate species of orangutan – the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) and the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus). They are one of our closest relatives, sharing 97% of the same DNA. Uniquely they are the only orange-haired primate. Yet these beautiful intelligent apes are under severe threat of extinction.

The Orangutan conservancy ( [] says that economic crisis, combined with natural disasters and human abuse of the forest, are pushing our closest cousins to extinction. They have lost approximately 80% of their habitat in the last 20 years. About 1/3 of the wild population of orangutans died during the fires of 1997-'98. Now there are only about 12,000 - 15,000 orangutans remaining in Borneo (compared to about 20,000 in 1996) and approximately 4,000 - 6,000 left in Sumatra (compared to about 10,000 in 1996).

Experts estimate Orangutans could be extinct in the wild in as few as 10 years.

The slogan accompanying this photograph is a pun on a global mobile phone operator. Perhaps they could do something for orangutans?

Orangutan on a highwire at Washington Zoo

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Thanuja 13 years, 1 month ago

This is a great shot and interesting facts too. That is nice that you want to do something to help the wild animals :)

13 years, 1 month ago Edited
Michaela 13 years, 1 month ago

Hey! It's me :D

13 years, 1 month ago Edited
Dzmitry Samakhvalau 13 years, 1 month ago

cool photo!

13 years, 1 month ago Edited