5 amazing orangutan facts that will convince you to give up palm oil
Some seven million years ago, humans did not exist. Only animals like the “Man of the Forest” did — we are talking about orangutans.
Today, however, deforestation to create palm oil is threatening to wipe out this species.
Keep reading to find out five things you didn’t know about these incredible creatures and what you can do to aid their diminishing existence.
Orangutans can only be found in two areas of Southeast Asia
Orangutans reside in what is left of the rainforest on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.
Borneo used to be one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth, but it has lost over half its rainforest as people come in to cut timber for palm oil, rubber, and more.
Orangutans resemble humans
Orangutans are one of humans’ closest relatives. They resemble humans in almost every way. These red-haired apes share about 96.4% of our genes, which likely explains the resemblance!
They also have long life spans – but, sadly, currently more so when they live in captivity (60 years). Their lifespan in the rainforest is only 30 – 40 years.
Orangutans are vegans too! Well, mostly
Orangutans mostly consume fruit and leaves. You’ll also find them munching on:
- Bird eggs
Find out why you should eat more nuts, just like an orangutan!
Orangutans’ mother-child bond is as strong as humans
Orangutans have the most intense mother-child bond of any mammal (besides humans.) A baby orangutan is carried by its mother for the first five years of its life – and it sleeps with its mother until its eighth birthday!
Sadly, orangutans are disappearing
Orangutans are hard to find. That’s because these amazing creatures live a mostly solitary life (they spend over 90 percent of their time alone), which is surprising considering these animals are critically endangered.
There is no long-term guarantee that orangutans will exist. It is estimated that by 2020, they will only survive within a few separate populations. The main reason for this?
It is one of the main driving factors behind deforestation, and it is found in nearly everything (it’s the most prevalently used vegetable oil in the world.) So, what can you do?
You can demand that this product is made using global standards that not only help the environment but also give the incredible orangutans a chance at survival.
And you can choose to purchase products that don’t contain palm oil.
For more information about the devastating impact of palm oil and how to avoid it, check out this post: Palm oil is destroying the planet – what you need to know to help.
Make a difference by supporting the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). You can also adopt an orangutan with the help of the World Wildlife Fund, or make a donation to The Orangutan Project.
For more information about incredible wildlife and how we as humans can protect them, check out the following articles:
- Is palm oil vegan?
- Can animals really think and feel? Here are the facts
- Without trees, what will happen to the planet? What you need to know
- 11 easy eco-friendly habits you need to adopt now
- 5 surprising animals that are at risk of disappearing