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Bornean Orangutan

  • Bornean Orangutan (DGFC) © Tun Min PohThere are approximately 11,000 orangutans left in the wild in Sabah, made up of around 16 different populations identified during surveys carried out by the Sabah Wildlife Department and the NGO HUTAN in 2002. The Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary harbours about 1,000 animals. More than 60% of orangutans living in Sabah occur outside protected areas.
  • They are usually solitary but the young can remain with their mother up until 5 or 6 years of age
  • Pongo pygmaeus morio are dark red-brown in colour unlike the Sumatran orangutan which is a lighter cinnamon, with lighter coloured hair on their faces and beards.
  • They are diurnal and usually arboreal but can be seen coming down to the ground, with a diet of mainly fruits, young leaves and insects.
  • On an average day an orangutan will leave the nest early morning in search of food; the remainder of their day will be divided between various activities including eating, moving and resting (as well as occasional social interactions)
  • The sub species found in the Kinabatangan spends more time resting and less time eating than orangutans in other regions.
  • They commonly construct a nest (not seen in any other primates) in which to spend the night, by pulling in surrounding branches and leaves for support. For added comfort they may create a pillow from leaves or an umbrella to shelter from the rain. 
  • A few of the orangutans are becoming regular visitors at Danau Girang Field centre, including a mother and baby (Phoebe and Pisang), to take advantage of the fruiting trees that surround the station.