A 10 to 45-minute trek through tropical rainforests and rubber plantation leads you to the national park’s feeding ground – where you will have the opportunity to admire those magnificent apes in the wild, swinging through the trees for a free meal. After a good hearty breakfast, the great apes had fun together as they swung from branch to branch.
Since the December 2004 tsunami, the threats towards the survival of the Sumatran orangutan have increased. Prior to the Tsunami, the orangutan population faced challenges such as illegal pet trade, illegal logging, forest fires in order to convert virgin forest to timber and palm oil plantations, and the road development project in Northern Sumatra.
Orangutans are the most arboreal of the great apes, spending nearly all of their time in the trees, making a new nest in the trees every night. Adult males are about 4.5ft (1.4 m) tall and up to 180 lbs (82 kg) in weight. They are only found in rainforests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. These two small isolated populations were classified as subspecies until recently, when they were elevated to full specific level (Pongo pygmaeus for the Bornean Orangutan, and P. abelii for the Sumatran Orangutan). Furthermore, primatologists now recognise three subspecies of the Bornean Orangutan: P. p. pygmaeus in northwest Borneo, P. p. morio in northeast and east Borneo, and P. p. wurmbii in southwest Borneo.
Orangutans are highly endangered in the wild. Orangutan habitat destruction due to logging, mining and forest fires has been increasing rapidly in the last decade. Much of this activity is illegal, occurring in national parks that are officially off limits to loggers, miners and plantation development.