Do dogs have anything in common with orangutans?
Why the heck are we writing about orangutans?
What do you need to know?
The answer to these questions and oh-so-much more information is available if you read on!
Orangutans are NOT Pets
Here at Pet Life World, we strive to help you live your best life with your pets. However, an orangutan should NEVER be kept as a pet.
We are in no way promoting the keeping of orangutans as pets. Orangutans have unique needs that cannot be met in a home. There is absolutely no way a family could properly care for an orangutan. Orangutans require a special diet and a huge amount of space. As orangutans get older, they become very big and very strong; and it would be extremely difficult and dangerous to have an orangutan in a home.
Orangutans belong in the wild. Period.
Caring For All Animals
The team at Pet Life World are animal lovers. As much as we love our pets, we also love and admire wild animals. Just as we want our pets to thrive in our homes, we want wild animals to thrive in their rightful, natural homes. As an organization we have decided to do more to support wild animals that need our help. We decided to start with orangutans. They are beautiful and charismatic, they are intelligent and sentient. Orangutans are also very important to the health of the rainforests where they live; and healthy rainforests are vital to the health of our planet!
The word “orangutan” means “person of the forest”. It comes from the Malay and Indonesian words “orang” (person) and “hutan” (forest). These wonderful animals are so similar to humans, yet they belong in the forest, away from humans. There are three species of orangutans: Bornean (Pongo pygmaeus), Sumatran (Pongo abelii), and Tapanuli (Pongo tapanuliensis). All three species are critically endangered. We want to change that!
Orangutans are found in only two places on Earth – on the islands of Sumatra and
Borneo in SE Asia. Sumatra is an island that belongs to the country of Indonesia.
Borneo is an island that is transnational. Orangutans are found in the large part of the island that belongs to the country of Indonesia; and in the section of island that belongs to the country of Malaysia. We got out our map for this geography lesson! Orangutans are the only great apes that live in Asia. All the other great apes (gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos) live in Africa. There is nowhere else for the orangutans to go if the islands of Sumatra and Borneo cannot support them.
The main threat that wild orangutans face is deforestation. The rainforests where the orangutans live are being cut down and cleared in order to collect the trees and to make space for agriculture, including small and large farms. The biggest cause of deforestation is palm oil plantations. Another heartbreaking threat to orangutans is being captured. It is illegal in Indonesia and Malaysia to hunt, capture, harm, kill, or own an orangutan. However, infant orangutans are still sought after for sale in the illegal exotic pet trade. Local people go into the forest to find and capture baby orangutans. A baby orangutan will always be with its mother. The only way to get a baby orangutan away from its mother is to kill the mother. That is awful!
Once we learned of the plight of wild orangutans, we started looking for ways to help. We contacted Orangutan Outreach, a U.S. based charity. This small but mighty organization works with orangutan conservation organizations in Sumatra and Borneo to support the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of orphaned and displaced orangutans; and to protect wild orangutans and their rainforests homes. You can learn all about this important work on the Orangutan Outreach website at redapes.org
Meet Monita and JoJo!
Orangutan Outreach told us that one of the best ways to support their orangutan conservation work is through virtually adopting an orangutan! We learned that Orangutan Outreach has two important aspects to their work. First they make sure that young, orphaned orangutans are properly cared for and rehabilitated so they may return to the wild. Next they work hard to assure that adult orangutans who cannot return to the forest, due to illness or disability, will be cared for in a sanctuary setting for the rest of their lives. Did you know orangutans can live 50+ years?
We decided to adopt an orangutan from each of these categories. Pet Life World is now thrilled to announce that we have adopted orphaned female Monita, and an unreleasable adult male named JoJo! Monita is an active, two year old female. She loves to wrestle and chase her friends. She is learning important orangutan skills such as tree climbing and nest building. JoJo was rescued from being chained up and kept as a pet for many years. He has thrived since his rescue 10 years ago, with loving affection at his rescue center. JoJo cannot return to the wild due to lingering health issues from his years in captivity, and will remain at the center under devoted care. We are excited to support the care of Monita and JoJo for the next year and watch their progress!
As you look at your pets with love, remember the wild orangutans that are in need of love too. If you are interested in virtually adopting an orangutan from Orangutan Outreach, you can visit their adoption page at redapes.org/adopt to see all the beautiful souls waiting for you.
If you have a humane society or animal rescue and would like to learn more about working with Pet Life World, please visit our adoption and donation page of our website to get in touch with us.