Fewer Forests, More Orphans

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Human activity has resulted in many orphaned orangutans. Here’s why that matters and what you can do this INTERNATIONAL ORANGUTAN DAY

One of the strongest, most enduring bonds in the animal kingdom is between a mother orangutan and her young.

Unlike other species, who rely on extended familial ties and group parenting, baby orangutans have only their mothers to depend on. For nearly the first decade of their life, orangutan mothers work around-the-clock teaching their young all they need to know to survive — such as which fruits to eat, how to swing from branches, and the art of nest building — even altering her teaching tactics depending on the age of the child.

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