In the early 1600s, a Dutch doctor named Jacobus Bontius wrote about wild monkeys called Ourang Outang , which in Malay means "man of the forest". This term was used, until the 19th century, to refer to all anthropomorphic apes.

The first explorers who ventured into the Asian and African jungles told of encounters with ferocious creatures, very similar to humans. This incredible similarity did not go unnoticed by the naturalists of the time, who placed the great apes just below humans in the Scala Naturae, the "great chain of being", a sort of divine ladder that separates higher beings from lower ones.

Pongo pygmaeus and man share 97% of the DNA, but not only. The use of tools and communication between the members of the group are perhaps among his most fascinating characteristics and certainly those that most of all make him more similar to us.

The orangutan communicates with its fellow men. with other individuals with cries similar to human cries, to delineate territorial boundaries or to warn one's group of dangers; it has also been studied that this primate is able to schedule the following day's commitments. They use sticks and twigs, processed according to use with hands and teeth, to catch termites or open the fruits of a tree.

In recent years, following the growing demand for palm oil, a great deal of part of the forests of Borneo that housed this wonderful creature have been replaced by extensive plantations of palm oil, widely used in the food, cosmetics or bio-fuel sectors. The reduction of the forest area pushes the orangutan towards agricultural areas in search of food, where it is often killed by local farmers or where, outside its habitat, it becomes easy prey for poachers who sell its meat illegally.

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