Orangutans face a new threat: the coronavirus

Orangutans are critically endangered. Not only has much of their habitat has been cleared to make way for palm oil and paper plantations, some animals are captured as babies, which means they no longer know how to live in the wild.

That's where the ape school on the Indonesian island of Sumatra comes in. There, conservationists teach orangutans how to climb trees, build nests and find food with the aim of reintroducing them into the rainforest.

But now the conservationists and orangutans must contend with a new danger.

Orangutan means "man of the forest" in the Malay language. The animals are closely related to humans, having 97% of DNA in common, and are also susceptible to the novel coronavirus. As a result, conservationists at the ape school are trying to balance their charges' education with protecting them from COVID-19.

A film by Anna Marie Goretzki and Inga Sieg




06:18 Minutes


Global Ideas

The television reports and documentaries of Deutsche Welle's 'Global Ideas' media project provide people all over the world with information on model projects which implement biodiversity and climate protection. The media project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety through the International Climate Initiative.