Introducing the Tapanuli Orangutan – the first Great Ape to be identified in almost a Century.
Located in the Sumatran rainforests, they were only realised to be separate from other Orangutans in 1997, and are now considered a third species in addition to the Bornean and Sumatran Orangutan. They last shared ancestry with other Orangutans 700,000 years ago – an instant in evolutionary terms.
Prof Serge Wich told the BBC:
“There are only seven great ape species… So adding one to that very small list is spectacular. It’s something I think many biologists dream of.”
Our newly found cousins natural habitat is coming face to face with Indonesia’s Deforestation rates that are the highest in the world. With only 800 in number, in the same moment we placed them in the biology textbooks as “Great Apes”, we have stuck them straight onto the Critically Endangered species list. Welcome to the Great Ape family, Tapanuli.
Watch the Tapanuli Orangutan – the New Great Ape Species that can only be found in Indonesia: