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Four fun facts about Orangutans

To celebrate International Orangutan Day (August 19) here's some snippets you probably didn't know.

Four fun facts about Orangutans

Photo courtesy of Darek Figa

International Orangutan Day is all about raising the public profile of this amazing species and helping to save orangutans in the wild.

So it's time to take a moment to get to know one of our primate brethren a little better.

1. The name

'Orangutan' or 'orangu tan' means 'person of the forest' in Malay. The Malay people, however, didn't use that word until very recently. The English speakers of the world have been using it since 1699.

2.  The burp

Orangutans belch loudly as a way of warning other orangutans of approaching danger.

3. The DNA

Not surprisingly, considering number two, humans share 97% of their DNA with the orangutan.

4. The crib

The only place in the world that orangutans hang out is in the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo. That's why TAFE NSW Animal Care students head out on study tours to Borneo to learn about and interact with these amazing animals.

Director at the Orangutan Foundation International Australia (OFIA) organisation and TAFE NSW teacher, Darek Figa takes his students far afield – across borders and up tropical rivers!

“I'm very passionate about wildlife conservation and animal behaviour,” says Darek. “And I love sharing my knowledge and enthusiasm with students.

“Having this sort of experience allows me to provide the most in-depth knowledge - something you can't get from a textbook.”

Are you ready to start your adventure into animal studies and conservation at TAFE NSW?

Learn more