Orang-utans spend a lot of time alone but have loose relationships with other orang-utans in their community. They spend most of their lives in trees, where their long, strong arms help them swing through the forest canopy and hang from branches as they eat their favorite food – fruit.
Orang-utan numbers have declined by around 50% in the last 60 years, mainly because of loss of habitat.
Five facts about orang-utans
- Orang-utan means ‘man of the forest’ in the Malay language.
- 60% of an orang-utan’s diet is fruit. The rest is young leaves, shoots, insects, soil, tree bark and sometimes even eggs and small vertebrates.
- An orang-utan’s arms are longer than its legs, reaching its ankles when it stands.
- Infant orang-utanss stay with their mothers for 7-11 years. An infant rides on its mother's body and sleeps in her nest until they are able to survive on their own.
- Orang-utans can live up to 50 years old in the wild.
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