Freelance writing. Out of the urban clutter of the East and now situated on the Pittwater.
Published April 24th 2013
What is buddy swinging?
A baby orangutan by Daniel Kleeman, flickrcc.srr.
Orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra are endangered and the orangutans of Sumatra in Indonesia are critically endangered. "It's estimated that there are fewer than 7, 000 Sumatran orangutans and 50,000 Bornean orangutans living in the wild today", Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia states (source:Bos Orangutan facts.)
BOS also states that these magnificent orangutans are an 'umbrella species', meaning that they are "pivotal in creating the necessary environment for the thousands of fauna and flora that make up the biodiversity of the South East Asian rain forest."
Its arboreal tree-swinging journeys help to spread tree seeds - in fact some trees can only germinate when they have passed through its gut." Which leads to the importance of orangutans being able to breed, be born and develop through to maturity.
A baby orangutan stretching in the trees. by Daniel Kleeman.(flickrcc.srr.)
Orangutans can begin to "buddy swing" through the canopies once around 2 years of age. Buddy swinging is holding hands with larger orangutans whilst they travel through the forests, (source:wikipedia.) an important developmental skill.
There are numerous organizations now working to help save the orangutans, increase their breeding rates and save their habitats.
One way of doing this is to support an organization such as the Australian Orangutan Project which works in both Indonesia and Borneo. You may be interested in adopting a beautiful baby orangutan and helping to ensure their future. Other ways of helping include donating money, your time or even just writing a letter. It all helps. BOS Australia is another that has an adoption program, yet works mainly in Malaysia. Both have great educational information on their websites and value connecting with you - you may even wish to volunteer.
Responsible Travel offers a 9 day orangutan conservation trek visiting the home of the Sumatran orangutans. It is an educational trek that helps support various local projects and enlightens international travelers.