Orangutan Facts For Kids – All About Orangutans

Orangutans are the largest mammal that lives on trees. It has three critically endangered species. They make nests in the trees to sleep in. Orangutan is an amazing animal, we have gathered a complete set of Orangutan Facts For Kids that will help you in learning all about Orangutans. You are going to learn about its name, scientific classification, appearance, sound, size, weight, diet, habitat, reproduction, babies, endangerment, population, conservation, predators, famous orangutans, and many other interesting facts about Orangutans.

Orangutan Facts For Kids

What Is Orangutan

  • Orangutan is one of the Asian great apes. Being an ape, it shares 97% of its DNA with humans, unlike other monkeys.
  • It is native to the forests of Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia.
  • It is characterized by long red hair covering most of its body, long arms, and hooked hands and feet.

Are Orangutans Primates

  • No, orangutans are not primates.

Are Orangutans Apes

  • Orangutans classify as apes.

Orangutan Facts For Kids

What Does Orangutan Mean – Orangutan Meaning

  • The word orangutan means “person of the forest”.
  • It is derived from the Indonesian and Malay words orang (meaning “person”) and hutan (meaning “forest”).

What Is The Scientific Name For Orangutan

  • The scientific name for the orangutan genus is Pongo.
  • The Bornean orangutan has been scientifically named Pongo pygmaeus while the Sumatran orangutan is called Pongo abelii.

What Do Orangutans Look Like

  • Orangutans are apes with long, orange/red-brown hair covering most of their bodies, along with long arms and hooked hands and feet which help in swinging from vines in the forest.

Why Are Orangutans Orange

  • Orangutans appear orange due to the reflection of sunlight from their fur. In the shade, their hair absorbs the light so only their tan skin can be seen, and they appear to be black.

Why Do Orangutans Have Flat Faces

  • Male orangutans have large cheek flaps made of fatty tissue, which represent their dominance over other males.
  • Some scientists even believe that these cheek flaps play a role in helping their loud calls echo over long distances.

Orangutan Facts

How Many Teeth Do Orangutans Have

  • Orangutans have 32 teeth, just like humans do.

Orangutan Feet

  • The feet of orangutans are surprisingly well-adapted for carrying out complex tasks, as they have opposable toes. They provide extra support while climbing and hanging from trees.
  • Orangutans can even eat with their feet.

Why Do Orangutans Have Long Hair

  • Long hair is a characteristic that flanged male orangutans possess. It is one of the physical features which differentiate fully mature males from females.

What Does An Orangutan Sound Like

  • Male orangutans make long, loud calls that might sound like roars. They can echo for over a mile and their purpose is to inform nearby orangutans of their presence.
  • When orangutans threaten each other, be they male or female, they make low and throaty sounds.
  • Baby orangutans are likely to make light, hooting noises.
  • Another sound orangutans make is a ‘kiss squeak’, to show irritation.

All About Orangutans

How Much Does An Orangutan Weigh – Orangutan Weight

  • The Sumatran orangutan weighs 45 kilograms.
  • The Bornean orangutan is 50-100 kilograms heavy.

How Big Do Orangutans Get

  • A Sumatran orangutan can grow up to 1.4 meters tall, 83 cm long, and 45 kilograms heavy.
  • A Bornean orangutan can grow up to 1.4 meters in height, 1.4 meters in length, and 100 kilograms in mass.

Biggest Orangutan – Largest Orangutan

  • The largest type of orangutan ever to exist was Gigantopithecus blacki, which was native to India, China, and Vietnam. It became extinct around 12 million years ago.
  • It is approximated to have been over 10 feet tall and more than 544 kilograms heavy.

How Long Do Orangutans Live – Orangutans Lifespan

  • The Bornean orangutan lives for around 35-45 years.
  • The Sumatran orangutan lives for about 44-53 years.

How Long Do Orangutans Live In The Wild

  • The average lifespan of orangutans in the wild is 35-40 years.

How Long Do Orangutans Live In Captivity

  • While captive, orangutans can age up to their fifties.

Types Of Orangutans – Orangutans Species

  • There are three species of orangutans:
    • Pongo pygmaeus
    • Pongo abelii
    • Pongo tapanuliensis

Bornean Orangutan

  • Within the Bornean orangutan(Pongo pygmaeus), there are three subspecies:
  • Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus
  • Pongo pygmaeus morio
  • Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii

Sumatran Orangutan

  • The Sumatran orangutan is called Pongo abelii.

What Do Orangutans Eat – Orangutan Diet

  • Orangutans eat honey, insects, leaves, bark, flowers, fruit, and vines.
  • They are particularly fond of the fruit of the durian tree.

Do Orangutans Eat Bananas

  • Yes, they eat bananas as well as many other types of fruit.

Orangutan Diet

Where Do Orangutans Live – Orangutan Habitat

  • Orangutans thrive best in the rainforest habitat, where all their food requirements are fulfilled and the climate perfectly suits the optimum temperature their bodies need.

Do Orangutans Live In The Amazon Rainforest

  • Although the rainforest is the orangutan’s natural habitat, it is only found in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra.

Where Are Orangutans From – Where Are Orangutans Found

  • The Bornean orangutan is found in Borneo, an island in Southeast Asia.
  • The Sumatran orangutan is found in Sumatra, Indonesia.
  • The Tapanuli orangutan also lives in Sumatra, but at a distance from the Sumatran orangutan.

Rainforest Orangutan

  • The rainforest is the natural habitat of the orangutan.

Orangutan Habitat

Orangutan Zoo

  • Orangutans are found in many zoos in different parts of the world.
  • Orangutans are endangered, so they are only allowed to be kept in zoos associated with special organizations aimed at their welfare.
  • Some of these organizations are:
    1. Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation
    2. Tanjung Puting National Park
    3. Sebangau National Park
    4. Frankfurt Zoological Society
    5. Orangutan Foundation International
    6. Australian Orangutan Project

Where Do Orangutans Sleep

  • Orangutans build nests in trees for sleeping.
  • These nests are made of leaves, twigs, and branches and shaped like a bowl.

Male Orangutan

  • There are two types of male orangutans; flanged and unflanged.
  • Flanged male orangutans have cheek flaps, which are called flanges. They also have big throat sacks and are twice as big as female orangutans. They are fully mature.
  • Unflanged male orangutans do not have flanges. Their throat sacks are of normal size and they are no bigger than female orangutans. They are not fully mature.
  • Unflanged orangutans can take up to 20 years to develop the features that flanged orangutans have, which are representative of male dominance.
  • They usually remain solitary and do not have a major hand in the upbringing of their children.

Male Oranngutan

Female Orangutan

  • Female orangutans resemble unflanged male orangutans.
  • This is because the typical features of flanged males (flanges, large throat sacks, and bigger bodies) are the characteristics that set males and females apart.
  • They are more social than males and keep their children under their care for seven years after the baby is born.

Orangutan Reproduction

  • Male orangutans reach adulthood around 18-20 years of age, while female orangutans reach adulthood at 6-11 years of age.
  • A male and female orangutan, who otherwise tend to live their lives alone, then mate and stay together.
  • After the baby is born, the male orangutan leaves and the mother takes care of the baby.

How Long Are Orangutans Pregnant

  • Orangutans are pregnant for about nine months.

How Many Babies Do Orangutans Have

  • One female can give birth to a baby every 8 years, which leads to a maximum of five babies in her lifetime.

Orangutan Mother And Baby Relationship

How Long Do Baby Orangutans Stay With Their Mother

  • Baby orangutans stay under the care of their mother for the first seven years of their life.
  • The relationship between a mother orangutan and her baby is extremely close, which can be seen in the fact that even adult orangutans occasionally visit their mothers.
  • A baby orangutan stays with its mother for seven years, learning basic survival skills such as where to find food and how to build a nest.
  • This is why it can be very stressful for a mother and baby to get separated from each other.

Orangutan Mother And Baby Relationship

Baby Orangutan Facts – Cute Baby Orangutan

  • Baby orangutans stay with their mother for the first seven years of their lives.
  • They are raised by their mother alone, as the father leaves after the baby is born.
  • Their mother teaches them skills that are essential for their survival, such as how to build a nest and how to search for food.

What Is A Baby Orangutan Called

  • A baby orangutan is called an infant or a baby.

Orangutan Baby Facts

Are Orangutans Endangered – Why Are Orangutans Endangered

  • According to IUCN, they are critically endangered.
  • The biggest reason why orangutans are endangered is that their habitat is often destroyed to plant oil palms.
  • Sometimes, they get into conflict with humans, who kill them.
  • It is also common for them to be captured and sold as exotic pets.

Orangutan Deforestation

  • The rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra are being cleared to make space for oil palm plantations.
  • The workers of these plantations usually kill the orangutans found in the forest as they would act as an interruption.
  • The orangutans living in trees have nowhere to live when those trees are cut down.
  • Sometimes, entire swathes of forests are burnt and orangutans also get trapped in the fire and die.

Why Are Orangutans Poached

  • Female orangutans are killed so that their babies can be sold as pets.
  • Orangutans are hunted illegally because of their meat.

Why Are Orangutans Going Extinct

  • Orangutans are going extinct because the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra are being cleared for oil palm plantations. Even if they do survive this, they are unable to live for long in another habitat that does not suit their needs.
  • Poaching is also a threat to their survival.

How Many Orangutans Are Left In The World – Orangutans Population

  • It is estimated that 50,000-65,000 orangutans are left in the wild.

Why Are Orangutans Important – Why Should We Save Orangutans

  • Orangutans must survive because they play a significant role in the ecosystem. In their forest habitat, they help in the dispersal of seeds of different types of plants.

Orangutan Conservation

  • Ever since orangutans became endangered, programs were launched and organizations were established to protect them.
  • Some of these conservation centers are:
    1. Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation
    2. Australian Orangutan Project
    3. Sebangau National Park
    4. Tanjung Puting National Park
    5. Frankfurt Zoological Society
    6. Orangutan Foundation International

Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

  • This organization was set up in 1964 to help the orangutans that experienced violence get back to their normal lives.
  • It is located in the Sabah district of Malaysia.
  • Today, about 25 young orphan orangutans are being cared for at the center.

How To Help Orangutans – How To Save Orangutans

  • The biggest reason why orangutans are going extinct is oil palm plantations in Borneo and Sumatra. To discourage this, products containing palm oil should not be purchased and the use of palm oil in industries should be minimized.
  • Orangutans are also killed by poachers, so laws in Borneo and Sumatra should be made strict to stop people from harming them.
  • Effective action should be taken against people who sell baby orangutans on the black market.
  • Organizations working for the survival and welfare of orangutans should be further aided by giving them funds.
  • Awareness campaigns should be carried out to educate people about the current state of orangutans and how they can be saved.

What Do Orangutans Need To Survive

  • The natural habitat of orangutans is in the rainforest, so they must live in a similar environment as this is where they thrive best.
  • To survive, their food requirements must be fulfilled. Orangutans eat insects, bark, leaves, and many types of fruit.
  • They need to live in a place with many trees, as they spend most of their time in nests built in trees.
  • They also use large leaves to protect themselves from harsh weather conditions.

Orangutan Nutella

  • The food product Nutella uses palm oil, and the increased demand for this product puts pressure on more oil palm plantations in Borneo and Sumatra.
  • Oil palm plantations are already the biggest threat to the survival of orangutans, and scientists predict that orangutans will become extinct in 20 years if Nutella does not stop using palm oil.


Are Orangutans Friendly

  • As a result of being intelligent animals, they are very calm. Male orangutans are slightly hostile, but they do not attack without being provoked.

Are Orangutans Aggressive – Are Orangutans Violent

  • There is a possibility of male orangutans fighting, but it happens rarely.

Are Orangutans Dangerous

  • Orangutans are not dangerous, as they usually stay in trees and rarely roam the forest floor.
  • Although male orangutans may fight each other, they would not be harsh towards humans unless humans provoke them.

Orangutan And Gorilla

  • Orangutans and gorillas are both apes.
  • Gorillas are much larger than orangutans.
  • Orangutans share more of their DNA with humans than gorillas do, making them more intelligent.
  • The arms of orangutans are longer, enabling them to swing from vines and hang from trees for longer periods.
  • Gorillas can walk on their knuckles and live on the forest floor, while orangutans walk using their palms and fists and spend most of their time in trees.
  • Their social structure is also different, as gorillas are always in groups and orangutans spend most of their lives solitary.
  • Their behavior and eating habits, however, are similar.

Orangutan And Chimpanzee

  • Orangutans are apes while chimpanzees are primates.
  • Orangutans are slightly bigger than chimpanzees.
  • Chimpanzees are the closest relatives of humans and share more of their DNA with us than orangutans do.
  • Chimpanzees are always in troops, while orangutans spend most of their lives alone.
  • They both spend time in trees as well as on land.

What Eats Orangutans – Orangutans Predator

  • In Borneo and Sumatra, the main predators of orangutans are tigers and leopards.
  • Tigers are rare because most of them are killed by local people. The only animal which currently imposes a threat to orangutans is the leopard.

Famous Orangutans

Clyde The Orangutan

  • The 1978 film Every Which Way But Loose featured an orangutan named Manis who played the character of Clyde, a sidekick of Clint Eastwood.
  • He was supposed to act in the movie, and he was trained to do so in a very harsh manner.
  • The training was so severe that he did not survive it and eventually died due to the abuse he faced from the trainer.

Jackie The Orangutan

  • Jackie is an orangutan who lived in the Poring Forestry Park, Malaysia.
  • At the park, tourists were constantly feeding her junk food, and after 20 years of eating unhealthy food, she became obese.
  • She weighed about 100 kilograms, which is near twice the weight of a normal female orangutan.
  • This was taken notice of, and she was sent to a Malaysian wildlife department that has not put her on a strict diet to help her lose weight and become healthier.

Budi Orangutan

  • Budi was a baby orangutan who was severely neglected by his owner.
  • He spent the first year of his life kept in a small chicken cage without proper food.
  • He was brought to the International Animal Rescue Centre (IAR) in Indonesia as a one-year-old baby. He was very weak, had deformed limbs, and was unable to move.
  • He was treated at the clinic for some diseases he developed due to malnutrition and now, he is four years old and he has completely recovered.

Peanut The Orangutan

  • Peanut was an 11-month-old orangutan when he was first brought to Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre, but it was challenging to take care of him because he caught malaria at a very young age.
  • He recovered from it and got better, but at the age of 8 years, he developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer formed in the lymphatic system.

Sandra Orangutan

  • Sandra is an orangutan who was moved from the Buenos Aires Zoo in Argentina to the Center for Great Apes in the USA.
  • She was held captive at the zoo for a long time, until 2015, when an Argentinian court declared her to be a “nonhuman being” who deserves rights and must not be harmed.
  • There is no conservation center for orangutans in Argentina, so she was sent to the United States.

Maurice Orangutan

  • Maurice is a Bornean orangutan from the film series Planet of The Apes.
  • This fictional character used to work at a circus, where he endured a lot of cruelty.
  • He and other apes at the circus are exposed to a type of virus that causes them to evolve and become very intelligent.
  • They all manage to escape the circus, fight off humans and create their civilization.

Trixie The Orangutan

  • Trixie is an orangutan who became famous through National Geographic.
  • National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore takes pictures of her, which are shown on the National Geographic channel to increase awareness about orangutans.

World Orangutan Day – International Orangutan Day

  • International Orangutan Day is celebrated on August 19.

What Is A Group Of Orangutans Called

  • A group of orangutans is called a “congress”.

Where To See Orangutans – Where To See Wild Orangutans

  • The place in the wild where orangutans live is in the rainforest of Borneo and Sumatra.
  • Wild orangutans can be spotted in national parks, such as:
    1. Batang Ai National Park, Malaysia
    2. Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Malaysia
    3. Deramakot Forest Reserve, Malaysia
    4. Danum Valley Conservation Area, Malaysia
    5. Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia
    6. Gunung Leuser National Park, Indonesia

Orangutan Habitat

Why Do Orangutans Have Flanges – Why Do Orangutans Have Cheek Pads

  • Flanges are found on the faces of male orangutans that are fully mature, as they are one of the physical features which differentiate a male from a female.

Are Orangutans Solitary

  • Orangutans stay under the care of their mother for the first seven years of their life.
  • After crossing that age, when they can live alone, they might find another mate.
  • A male orangutan temporarily stays with the female but leaves after the baby is born.
  • The female orangutan raises the baby alone until seven years of age.

How Much DNA Do We Share With Orangutans

  • Humans and orangutans share 97 percent of the same DNA sequence.

How Intelligent Are Orangutans

  • Orangutans are known as the most intelligent animals.

What Do Orangutans Do

  • Orangutans spend most of their lives in trees, resting in nests made of branches and twigs.
  • They rarely roam the forest floor.

What Do Orangutans Do For Fun

  • Scientists have discovered that orangutans are species that have their own culture and traditions.
  • For example, orangutans in Borneo use leaves to wipe their faces after eating fruit, while Sumatran orangutans use leaves to make nests more comfortable.

Why Do Orangutans Cover Themselves

  • Orangutans cover themselves with leaves to stay protected from sunlight, rain, and other harsh weather.

Funny Orangutan – Orangutan Laughing

  • Surprisingly, orangutans find some things funny and laugh at them just like humans do.

Murad Ali Khan is a researcher, writer & editor, who believes in generating quality content. He leads an awesome team of high school students, teachers & IT graduates who helps him in creating & maintaining educational Websites & Apps.
When not tinkering on the web, Murad enjoys going on hikes, read Latest Science News, plays tennis & hangs out with his friends.

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