Are Malaysians native to Southeast Asia
They are the stars of a round trip through Malaysia: orangutans! Red-haired, shaggy fur: the similarity is not so obvious at first glance. And yet the genetic make-up of these monkeys matches that of us humans by 96.5 percent. It is therefore not surprising that "orang" means human and "hutan" means forest in Indonesian. How much forest people depend on the rainforest as a source of food and their life in the treetops is shown by their steadily declining number. Today we only see the great apes during a trip through Malaysia to Sumatra and Borneo, although there are different species on the two islands. However, both species suffer considerably from the fact that the rainforest is being systematically cut down. So strong on Sumatra that the orangutans are threatened with extinction there.
A fully grown male can be up to one and a half meters tall and weigh 100 kilograms, while a female weighs between 30 and 50 kilograms. With their anatomy and an arm span of over two meters, they are ideally equipped for climbing. You feel at home in the high treetops of the giant jungle. They rarely leave the dense jungle and can be found on the ground. They don't need that either, because the rainforest provides them with food such as leaves, fruits and bark. When night falls, the great apes build a sleeping nest from branches and leaves, which is usually only used once. The forest people have a large area that they roam alone. Males and females only meet for mating, otherwise the monkeys live as singles. Only mothers and their children stay together for several years at the beginning so that the little ones learn everything they need for an independent life in the jungle. Great apes now live safest in national parks. Traumatized conspecifics who have been freed from captivity learn in rescue centers how to behave back in the wild. On our trip through Malaysia we visit different national parks. We become active ourselves in the Matang Wildlife Center near Kuching in the Malay state of Sarawak on Borneo. The "Heart2Heart" program has established an orangutan rehabilitation center. In the release station Semenggoh we experience the snotty forest people and lend a hand! The park director gives us important information before we supervise clean the cages and prepare lunch for the monkeys. A unique experience on our round trip in Malaysia!
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