Orangutan Fact Sheet

Class: Mammalia 
Order: Primates
Family: Pongid
Genus: Pongo
Species: abelii (Sumatran orangutan) or pygmaeus (bornean orangutan)
Life span: Up to 59 years under human care
Gestation: About 8.5 months
Number of young at birth: Usually 1, sometimes 2
Age of maturity: Females at about 12 years, males at about 15 years
Size: Females average 45 in tall; males average 54 in tall
Weight: Females average 81.5 lbs and males average 191 lbs
Size at birth: 3.5 to 4.5 lbs


Come visit Max and Jenny inside the Vanishing Kingdom.


  • Orangutans name means “people of the forest”
  • Live in tropical and swam forests on the southeast Asian islands of Borneo and Sumatra
  • Have shaggy red hair
  • Orangutans are the largest arboreal mammal and only great ape found in Asia
  • Orangutans are the most solitary of all the great apes, with the main social bond between a mother and her offspring
  • Spend most of their lives in trees and travel by swinging from branch to branch with their long arms
  • Usually build a new nest every night but may occasionally reuse one.
  • Use leafy branches to shelter themselves from rain and sun, sometimes even draping large leaves over themselves like a poncho.
  • Primarily eat fruit, but also leaves, flowers, bark, termites, ants and other insects. 
  • Orangutan youngsters stay with their mothers until about age 8
  • Orangutan arms stretch over 7 ft from fingertip to fingertip