Take to the trees and swing with baby orangutans as they learn how to be wild in Borneo's rainforest. National Geographic VR takes you inside the International Animal Rescue sanctuary in the forests of Borneo in Indonesia to see what it takes to teach a baby orangutan… to be an orangutan. Here, a dedicated team of veterinarians teaches these orphaned orangutans everything they'll need to know to one day head out on their own back into the wild.
Spy in the Wild is a revolutionary nature documentary shot with hidden cameras disguised as robotic animals, capturing never-before-seen scenes of life in the wild. In an advance clip released by the BBC, a female orangutan finds a saw and somehow works out what to do with it. Using the opposable thumb, just like a human being, the female starts sawing tree branches like it's the most normal thing in the world. As a robot orangutan joins her, the animal seems to be more and more enthusiastic in a competitive streak. Eventually, she gets tired of all that sawing and loses the momentum.
PARIS – The orangutan population on the island of Borneo has shrunk by a quarter in the last decade, researchers said Friday, urging a rethink of strategies to protect the critically-endangered great ape. The first-ever analysis of long-term orangutan population trends revealed a worrying decline, they said. An international team of researchers used a combination of helicopter and ground surveys, interviews with local communities, and modeling techniques to draw a picture of change over the past ten years. Previous counts have largely relied on estimations based on ground and aerial surveys of orangutan nests. Some suggested that Bornean orangutan numbers were in fact increasing.
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Scientists are calling for cancellation of a Chinese-backed hydroelectric dam in Indonesia that threatens the habitat of a newly discovered orangutan species numbering only 800 animals. In the journal Current Biology, the experts say the 510-megawatt dam in Sumatra will flood or otherwise alter part of the habitat and likely make it impossible to take a crucial step toward ensuring the species survives -- reconnecting fragmented forests the primates are spread across. China's state-owned Sinohydro is building the dam, which is reportedly financed by Chinese loans. Critics of the project say it's part of China's "Belt & Road" plans to link infrastructure across Asia. Scientists announced the discovery of the third orangutan species, Pongo tapanuliensis, in November.