Meet the Orangutans

Discovery's 8-part series 'Meet the Orangutans' is being repeated in the UK on Animal Planet every Thursday at 8pm from 11th August.

The series follows Sue and the staff at Sepilok as they help to care for the orphaned orangutans and gives an exclusive insight into the extraordinary daily drama of the world’s oldest orangutan sanctuary. Filmed in the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo’s tip, Sepilok is the last remaining oasis of tropical rainforest, and home to no less than 50 of these ‘people of the forest’ at any one time.

Meet the Orangutans follows the lives of residents including Peanut, Beryl, Chikita and Gelison, as they learn the crucial survival skills necessary for their eventual release. Then there’s the ‘teenagers’ who aren’t quite as innocent and eager to learn - whether it’s weigh-ins, forest school or feeding time, there’s always the opportunity to pick locks, mug tourists, steal tools…or just hang around plotting the next heist!

The human carers, led by Sue Sheward Founder and Chairperson from the Orangutan Appeal UK, are every bit as colourful too, and the jury’s still out on who rules the roost – the staff or the apes.

On top of the day-to-day madness, OAUK's primatologist,  – who coordinates the charity's ground breaking research project, operating out of little more than a shack and living on tinned food for months at a time – will assess just how adaptable, how extraordinarily intelligent, and how much like humans these gifted creatures really are. James overseas a range of intelligence tests, that would stump some humans, displaying their brilliant ruses for getting one over on the visiting tourists, and their whole system of communication.

Uncovering intriguing facts about their psychology and biology, ‘Meet the Orangutans’ reveals how much like us these animals really are. 

Here are some clips from the series:

Time to weigh the orangutans

Play fighting

Meet the baby orangutan with a taste for crips

Time for a diet!