No sooner has the Tapanuli orangutan been discovered than it’s facing extinction. The indifference of humans – the one thriving great ape – is the culprit

If I could be a fly on the wall at any point in the history of science, it would be to watch the young(ish) Charles Darwin – long before his ideas on our shared ancestry with apes were published – enter the orangutan enclosure at London Zoo in 1838. Within the enclosure there resided Jenny, a young and playful orangutan acquired by the British empire. Darwin went to sit with Jenny and observe her; in his hand was a mirror.

Related: New species of orangutan discovered in Sumatra – and is already endangered

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