Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Person of the Forest



The Orangutan is my favorite of the great apes. They are smart and sweet, inventive problem solvers (they make tools!), enjoy solitary, contemplative lives, and are resourceful; they make nests for themselves each night. This young thing was a delight to watch, especially while hanging out in the hammock with his adult male (father?).



While on tour some years ago, I visited the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle where met my first Orangutan, Melati. Melati is a twin, actually a cross between the Bornean and Sumatran subspecies, bred in captivity before humans had a clue that there were two species of Orangutans. At any rate... Melati was sitting against the partition closest to my viewing area and was quite curious about what I had in my purse. Look! I showed her, Lipstick! and she pointed to it so I began to twist the lipstick up and down, up and down to show her how it worked. Suddenly, a young male came tearing across the enclosure, roaring in displeasure and swinging himself against the partition. I roared back in laughter when I realized how my little lipstick demonstration had been misinterpreted. The visit left a deep impression on me and I have felt an affinity with the Orangutan ever since. They are endangered and what's left of their natural habitat is dwindling quickly.

Read about the Orangutans at Zoo Atlanta, then visit Orangutan Conservancy, Borneo Orangutan Survival International, and the Great Orangutan Project.   Be sure to visit Orangutan Outreach, the official US-based frundraiser for the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation and Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Center.

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2 comments:

redapes said...

HI-- I'd like to invite you and your readers to visit the Orangutan Outreach website.

Orangutan Outreach is the official US-based frundraiser for the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation and Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Center.

Thanks for your time!

Richard Zimmerman
Director, Orangutan Outreach
http://redapes.org
Reach out and save the orangutans!
Facebook Cause: http://causes.com/redapes

Suzanne McDermott said...

Thank you, Richard! I'll add your link to the body of text, too.