The Role Of Orangutans In Zoos

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Orangutans are somewhat solitary species but to some degree as also somewhat social. Flanged adult male orangutans are the most solitary of all orangutans with their participation in social activity limited to short sexual encounters with adults or sub adult females; however, there were none of these at the zoo. Male orangutans normally do not even play a role in the upbringing of their offspring. Females do associate with their offspring and they have a relationship that lasts for many years sometimes being carried by their mother until the age of five and even being breastfed until the age of eight; however, the young’s time spent with other orangutans is brief. Offspring typically remain close to their mother until ten years of age, and …show more content…
The Bornean orangutan is listed as just endangered while the Sumatran orangutan is listed as critically endangered, which the species I observed in the zoo. They are seriously threatened by logging, conversion of forest to agricultural land, oil palm plantations, and fragmentation by roads. These animals are also being illegally hunted and captured for pet trade. Sadly, orangutans are killed as pests when they raid fruit crops at the edge of forests. I hope the condition for this species does not get any worse because I would hate to see them go extinct. After watching them only for an hour, I have grown a love for them! I originally went to do my project on the gorillas, but they were so boring and my attention kept gravitating toward the orangutans. They impressed me so much with how gentle they were with one another and also how intelligent they are using cognitive abilities to do people like things. In my research, I read that they sometimes use resources they find in the wild as tools. This was consistent with what I observed when one of the subjects took a branch full of leaves off one of the trees. It was very long and had a large abundance of leaves, and I did not really understand why it thought it was useful. The orangutan actually converted itself with it to protect its body from the hot sun to lounge and take a short nap in the branches. Two of my favorite things that I observed was when one of the animals reached out to hold the hand of the other, and one of the subjects actually managed to put a shirt on its own body. All in all, I generally enjoyed my observation project, so much that I actually went back to watch the primates just for fun even after my observation time was over. I learned much more than I ever knew about primates from my research and even more from the behavioral

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