Reflections on a Year of Following and Photographing Orangutans

Walimah, a female orangutan, peering through some branches as she stops to rest while climbing through the canopy.
Walimah, a female orangutan that lives in the research area of Gunung Palung National Park. This was one of the first orangutans I followed, and one of the ones I most saw throughout the year. (Photo by Robert Rodriguez Suro)

After spending a year studying orangutans with NG Explorer Dr. Cheryl Knott, Robert Rodriguez Suro is returning to Indonesia to commence his own National Geographic Young Explorers Grant project. He’ll be tracking male orangutans outside the borders of research sites in order to discover the true size of their home ranges. Through photos, videos, and written reflections, he’ll be documenting the trials and adventures of living and surviving in the wild, and the wildly interesting cultural behaviors of orangutans.

Leaving Home for the Rain Forest

Soon after graduating from Boston University and saying goodbye to my friends and family, I went to live in the rain forests of Borneo. As evidenced by the fact that Indonesia lies 180 degrees on the other side of the globe from my hometown of Isla Verde, Puerto Rico, I was literally the farthest from home I could go on Earth before I started coming back from the other direction. It was goodbye civilization—everyone thought I —> Read More Here


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