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How much do orangutans eat?

Orangutans feed on more than 2,000 DIFFERENT plant species! But not all food out there in the jungle is safe, so how do they do it?

While orangutans eat a wide variety of forest foods, their preferred food is fruit. 

Depending on season and location, orangutans can feed on hundreds of different species of wild fruits. Thus, it is critical that they can identify what fruits are safe to eat and learn how to open them. Eating whole, soft fruits like wild fig and guava is pretty straight forward. But our Forest School students also need to know how to access fruits with hard exteriors like durian and coconut, which require cracking, peeling, and breaking to reach the pulp and seeds within.

Orangutans  also eat young shoots & leaves, peel tree bark to get to the soft edible cambium underneath, honey, insects and eggs.

Our centres provide an average of 22 types of fruits and vegetables to our orangutans, such as banana, starfruit, papaya (leaves and fruit), watermelon, sugarcane, corn, oranges, forest fruit/suli fruit, etc. For the over 400 orangutans in our care, we need up to 600,000 kilograms/1.3 million pounds of fruit and vegetables, and 15,000 liters/4000 gallons of milk per year!

£7/$10 Can provide fruit for seven orangutans.

£75/$100  Can provide orangutan food for 30 days.

It takes an average of 10 years to rehabilitate an orphaned orangutan, so you can imagine they eat a lot of food over the years.

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It was a usual day at the Nyaru Menteng forest school, where young orangutans were learning from...

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