bornean orangutan


More info: The webcam is located in the outdoor area which is designed to highlight the arboreal nature of these intelligent great apes. It has a grove of artificial and flexible trees, poles and vines where the orangutans are able to climb, explore and rest.

There are seven Bornean orangutans at Kansas City Zoo. Jill is the matriarch of the group. Her daughters, Josie and Kalijon, and her grandson, Dusty (Josie’s son), can usually be found together. T.K., Berani, and Rufus also share the habitat with them.

Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) are an endangered great ape found only on the island of Borneo. Along with Sumatran orangutans, these incredible creatures belong to the only genus of the great apes found in Asia. Bornean orangutans are the largest tree dwelling mammals. Being frugivores and with a diet of over 400 types of fruit they are important dispersers of seeds which pass through their digestive system.

A fully mature male Bornean orangutan has flanges adorning his face. These flappy cheek pads serve the purpose of attracting females. Males with flanges have an added advantage over unflanged males; they have a repertoire of vocalizations which they emit in long notes, which can travel over a mile, announcing their virility to attract receptive females. Flanged males are also equipped with large throat sacks and are considerably larger in size than unflanged males. These sexually desirable male accoutrements can take up to 20 years to develop and are associated with increasing levels of testosterone.

These great apes are very closely related to human beings and have 97% of DNA in common. Orangutans are intelligent and inquisitive and are capable of learning by observation instead of relying solely on instinct. There are quite a lot of stories about them escaping from zoos having watched their keepers lock and unlock doors. In 1990 a female orangutan called Cheyenne escaped from her enclosure at Kansas City Zoo for around 20 minutes, by unscrewing 4 bolts.

In the wild, Bornean orangutans live 35 to 45 years. Captive Bornean orangutans can live to 60 years.

Additional Information:
Kansas City Zoo
New England Primate Conservancy
Animal Diversity Web-Bornean Orangutan
World Wildlife