INTERNATIONAL ORANGUTAN DAY
For the love of orangutans, International Orangutan Day on August 19th spreads awareness about the threat of their extinction. Celebrate these fantastic apes and encourage the public to take action in protecting them.
Since orangutans have 97% of the same DNA as humans, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they are quite intelligent. This fact might explain why the word “orangutan” translates into English as “person of the forest.” Here are some more fun facts about orangutans:
- In captivity can live up to 60 years
- Orangutans mainly eat fruits and leaves
- Spend most of their time in the trees where they swing from branch to branch
- Can weigh up to 100 kg, which equals 220 pounds
- Have an arm span of 6.5 feet
- There are three species of orangutans, including the Bornean, the Sumatran, and the Tapanuli. Sadly, all three of these species are endangered.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), there are only 104,700 Bornean orangutans, 7,500 Sumatran orangutans, and only 800 Tapanuli orangutans. Sadly, the biggest threats to an orangutan’s existence are human. For example, deforestation encroaches on their habitat. Additionally, illegal hunting takes 3,000 orangutan lives each year. Some wildlife experts predict the orangutan’s extinction in the wild within the next 50 years.
Several organizations are involved in helping to protect orangutans. Some of these organizations include the Centre for Orangutan Protection, the Sumatran Orangutan Society, The Orangutan Project, Orangutan Outreach, and Humane Society International.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalOrangutanDay
If you love orangutans, you’ll want to do your part to help them survive extinction. Even if you have never seen a live orangutan, you may recognize a famous one. For example, the one in the Clint Eastwood movie, Every Which Way but Loose, or Louie in the Disney Production of Jungle Book.
If you want to help save the orangutans, consider these suggestions:
- Volunteer at your local zoo
- Donate to an orangutan rescue organization
- Go to RedApes.org and adopt an orangutan
- Learn how deforestation is threatening the existence of these red apes
- Take photo of one of these amazing apes and post it to World Orangutan Events Facebook Page
HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL ORANGUTAN DAY
World Orangutan Events founded International Orangutan Day (which at one time was called World Orangutan Day) as a way to promote conservation and welfare. The organization also oversees Orangutan Caring Week, held in November of each year.