Orangutans-(Pongo abelii) are highly intelligent and evolved animals closely related to humans, sharing 97% common DNA.
The first Sumatran orangutan I ever saw was in the Perth Zoo, Western Australia. In 2013 this orangutan named Puan celebrated her 61st birthday. She was believed to be the oldest Sumatran Orangutan in the world at that time. Puan who was perched lazily at the top of her climbing apparatus had a cardboard box over her head acting as a hat to shield her head from the midday sun!
The Sumatran orangutan is Critically Endangered and extinction is likely in the next 10 years. Their habitat is disappearing due to deforestation, palm oil plantations, drought, forest fires, hunting and poaching for meat.
Mothers are killed and their babies are snatched and sold on the black market as cute pets. It is this fact that compelled me to do this painting. Capturing the tenderness of mother and child sharing a bond that is like no other.