Dean M. Chriss
Windows of the Soul, Orangutan, Borneo
(Click image to enlarge)
Eyes are bold as lions, -- roving, running, leaping, here and there, far and near. They speak all languages. They wait for no
introduction; they are no Englishmen; ask no leave of age, or rank; they respect neither poverty nor riches, neither learning
nor power, nor virtue, nor sex, but intrude, and come again, and go through and through you, in a moment of time. What inundation
of life and thought is discharged from one soul into another, through them! The glance is natural magic.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
In English we call them orangutan. In Malay they are "orang utan", which means "man of the
forest". With a 96.4% genetic match to humans, the similarities between us and these intelligent apes are more than the stuff of
myth and legend. They are our closest relative and the second largest ape in the world. It is estimated that a total of
10,000 - 24,000 orangutans exist in the wild. They are found in Malaysia and Indonesia, on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. In the last
twenty years more than 80% of the orangutan's lowland forest habitat has vanished. If habitat destruction and other threats are not checked,
the orangutan will likely be extinct within the next several decades.
Some adult male orangutans develop large cheeks several years after reaching maturity. Only the dominant adult males develop these features,
which set them apart from the rest. Compare this mature male orangutan to an alpha male to see the difference.