Picture of Week 49 – Hold on!

This picture of a three month old male Orangutan baby was taken at the Krefeld Zoo in Germany.

More about Orangutans:

Orangutans are the only exclusively Asian genus of great ape. They are the largest living arboreal animals. Their hair is typically reddish-brown, instead of the brown or black hair typical of other great apes. Orangutans are found only in rainforests on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. There are only two surviving species, both of which are endangered: the Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) and the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii). The word “orangutan” comes from the Malay words “orang” (man) and “(h)utan” (forest); hence, “man of the forest”.

Gestation lasts for nine months with females giving birth to their first offspring between 14 and 15 years old. Female orangutans have the longest interbirth intervals of the great apes, having eight years between births. Male orangutans play almost no role in raising the young. Females are the primary caregivers for the young and are also instruments of socialization for them. A female often has more than one offspring with her, usually an adolescent and an infant, and the older of them can also help in socializing their younger sibling. Infant orangutans are completely dependent on their mothers for the first two years of their lives. The mother will carry the infant during traveling, as well as feed it and sleep with it in the same night nest. Orangutans are juveniles from about two to five years of age and start to exploratory trips from their mothers. Juveniles are usually weaned at about four years of age.

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