To celebrate our critically endangered friends of the forest, International Orangutan Day is observed annually in August. This day is especially observed to note the dwindling numbers of orangutans and how they are slowly approaching extinction, especially due to deforestation. These large apes were thought to be the ancestors of gorillas and they have a pretty long life span, which ranges from 50-60 years in captivity and 30 to 40 years in the wild. It’s also interesting to note that we humans share 97% of our DNA with them! Read on to find out more about the date and significance of this special day for the preservation of this endangered species. A Cool Orangutan Sports Sunglasses After Visitor Drops It Into The Primate’s Enclosure at Indonesian Zoo, TikTok Video Goes Viral

When is International Orangutan Day 2022?

International Orangutan Day is celebrated and observed on August 19 every year to show support to the orangutans. The day aims to spread awareness about the species and hopes that support from social media can help save them from extinction. They are only known to be found in the jungles of Borneo and Sumatra and prefer to spend a majority of their time dangling from trees. Orangutans’ arm length is around seven feet from tip to tip and research has shown that they are two species of orangutans who were separated some 400,000 years ago.

Significance of International Orangutan Day 2022

Online petitions for saving these endangered species also recognise that human beings are the most significant contributors to the gradual extinction of the species. Illicit hunting and deforestation encroaching on their habitats are some of the reasons. Orangutans are known to be herbivores or omnivores and they spend a significant portion of their time on trees finding food. Deforestation, therefore, has significantly impacted their lives, more so with wildlife specialists suggesting that orangutans are likely to become extinct in the next 50 years or so! This day is observed to spread awareness about the endangered species and to contribute in their preservation by joining organisations that have done an extensive research to protect them.

People mark this day by firstly researching everything from habitat to behaviour of the orangutans to understand the species more. If any reside in a local zoo, they can be paid a friendly visit too. After these baby steps, people can raise awareness about the adorable species on social media and sign petitions and donate to organisations that are working hard for their preservation. This International Orangutan Day, you can spread awareness too!

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 18, 2022 04:04 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website