#96 Tapanuli Orangutan

Critically Endangered

This was only described as a species toward the end of 2017. They are considered the rarest of the great apes. The territory for the Tapanuli is a terribly small and shrinking area of only 390 sq mi in Sumatra. Despite also living in Sumatra, they are more closely related to the Borneo Orangutan than the other Sumatran species. They are at serious risk for extinction. There are approximately 800 remaining. Their forests are cut down for people illegally moving into the area, and for palm oil. They are also hunted because they are often considered agricultural pests though that is largely due to the lack of food. The biggest worry at the moment though is a hydroelectric dam that is expected to begin operating in 2022


This painting is of a female. The Tapanuli has slightly longer and frizzier hair than the other two species. If she didn't have a beard (the males have a rather luxurious one) and you dyed her hair pink, that is about how I feel I look in the mornings. I've often described my hair in the mornings as Einstein on a bad hair day. People with straight hair who can just run their fingers through their hair make me very jealous. I can't comb my hair unless I get it wet and preferably have conditioner in it. Well I can, if I'm not wanting to worry about my hair staying attached to my head and I don't mind feeling sick to my stomach. Orangutans and Gorillas are my favourites of the primates. There is such a gentleness and incredible intelligence you can see in their faces. Some day I hope to see one in the wild.

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All images © 2023 by Sara Jensen, do not copy.