Orangutans, being a species that spends most of their time in the trees, are able to consume a huge variety of foods. Their excellent climbing abilities enable them to obtain fruits and other food sources that are inaccessible to ground-dwelling animals. Of course, this doesn’t stop them from foraging on the ground as well.
As highly intelligent creatures, orangutans employ creative ways to obtain their food from even the most challenging of places. They can use tools, such as smooth sticks, to extract termites or ants from tree holes. They will cleverly use the hair on the back of their hands to trap ants and pluck them off of spiky rattans without pricking themselves.
They are capable of developing new strategies as well to solve problems and obtain food. They can learn from experience and remember the locations of specific trees that yield the best fruits. Even more impressive, they will remember when specific trees bear fruit – and they do this without a watch or calendar to remind them!
It is important to remember that orangutans are highly dependent on the rich resources of the rainforest. Threats like deforestation and the degradation of their natural habitat can make it challenging for orangutans to find food, significantly impacting their already small populations. Rainforest conservation is one of the most important efforts that must be undertaken if we are to ensure the survival of orangutans long into the future.
Text by: Communication Team, BOS Foundation Headquarter, Bogor, West Java
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