(Pongo abelii)

The orangutan belongs to the great apes and as forest dwellers, are best suited frolicking around the treetops. Both species, the Borneo orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) and the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) – the latter can be found in Zoo Berlin – are critically endangered since their habitat is shrinking dangerously fast.


Southeast Asia (Indonesia and Malaysia)

Tropical high and low forests, riparian and swamp forests/tropical rainforest

Bark, young leaves, fruits, flowers, from time to time even insects

On Borneo approx. 49,500/On Sumatra approx. 7,300

100 to 140 cm standing height

40 to 100 kg

Gestation time:
8–9 months

Achievable age
Approx. 40 years

What you should know about orangutans
Orangutans enjoy the perfect conditions for a life in the trees with an arm span of more than two metres. They find their mainly vegetarian diet here, which includes everything from tree bark to leaves and fruits of the trees.

Boomerang kids with a close maternal bond
The great apes are solitary animals, unlike many of their relatives. The orangutan youth maintain a close relationship with their mothers for a long time. The offspring only leave their mothers after five to seven years, whereby the females even then seek out an area that is very close by.

Dependant on their cleverness
Just because orangutans like to take a little nap up in the canopy now and again, this doesn't mean that they're lacking brain cells. The intelligence of these great apes has been underestimated for quite some time. They are certainly no less talented than chimpanzees and gorillas.

Is it true, that ...?
The cry of a male orangutan is absolutely unmistakable and echoes extremely well. Their powerful audible organ makes forest dwellers from up to eight kilometres away take notice. The orangutan emits a long series of noisy howling tones, before they turn into gargling and groaning sounds – distinctive and piercing.