In his famous “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” short story, Edgar Allan Poe described (spoiler alert ) an orangutan brutally murdering 2 women. However, this depiction could not be further from the truth, as these “gentle giants” are generally shy and peaceful, and prefer to avoid human contact. The rare instances of aggressive behaviors toward people are typically caused by human settlement encroachment into orangutan territories, or illegal hunting/capture attempts. Protecting orangutans’ habitat is thus crucial to avoid conflicts, and ensure a peaceful coexistence with humans.

Photo by Ulil. Data & Pictures provided by the research teams of Universitas Nasional (UNAS), the Department of Anthropology at the University of Zürich (AIM), and the Development and Evolution of Cognition Research Group at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behaviour (DECRG)