>> Wednesday, November 12, 2008
This week, while very important for Veterans'/Armistice Day (yay to Vets!), is also very important for another reason... From the 10-16th, it is Orangutan Awareness Week. There are events at many zoos around the country aimed at educating people about orangutans.
The orangutan (Pogo sp.) is actually currently broken up into 2 species and are a very near extinction great ape. They are native to Malaysia and Indonesia. In fact, the word orangutan is a derivative of the expression orang hutan in Malay/ Indonesian, which means "forest man." This is an intersting title as they share 97% of our DNA. They spend more time in trees than any other of the great apes. In their treetops, they form "nests" made of twigs and leaves to sleep suspended. This is very similar to a hammock. Their ingenuity does not stop at their bedding, however. Wild orangutans have been observed multiple times using plants from only one genus to uses as an anti-inflammatory! Smart!
If you ever come across one in the wild (hehehe, highly unlikely but I am determined) , don't be scared, they pretty much only eat fruit. Unless you are dressed up like a fig or Carmen Miranda, I think you are ok. They are quite intelligent though and have even been observed making tools and what appears to be instructing youngsters in how to use them.
To find out more about these amazing creatures, you can click on the banner above or click Orangutan Outreach. The site even allows you to adopt really cute (not for keeps!) baby orangutans. The one on the left here is Dodo, the cute thing on the right is Kesi. There is a ton of information on the site about these amazing animals and a cute little gift shop that sells all things orangutan. Go learn something and help spread the word!
All photos used with permission from RedApes.org. Potspoon! is not affiliated in anyway, I just thought they were doing something awesome so I asked them for some pictures!