Under the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List, the Sumatran orangutan is classified as critically endangered and the Bornean as endangered.
Thousands of orangutans don’t reach adulthood due to human disruption. Orangutans are killed for food while others are killed because of disruption to people’s property. Mother orangutans are killed so their infants can be sold as pets. Many of the infants die without the help of their mother.
Orangutan habitat destruction due to logging, mining and forest fires, as well as fragmentation by roads, has been increasing rapidly in the last decade. A major factor in that period of time has been the conversion of vast areas of tropical forest to oil palm plantations in response to international demand (the palm oil is used for cooking, cosmetics, mechanics, and more recently as source of biodiesel). Some UN scientists believe that these plantations could lead to irreparable damage to orangutan habitat by the year 2012.
Photograph taken at Twycross Zoo, UK. Baby was born on 24/01/11 and mum is just starting to show the little ’un off :)
Canon EOS 40D
Canon EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM