Happy birthday to the world’s oldest orangutan and gorilla

I’m mainly posting about this because I found the picture to the right pretty funny. The orangutan you see is of Charly, the oldest fertile ape of his species. He’s fathered at least 18 little Charlys (Charlies?), and has reached the ripe old age of 50.

Interestingly, a neighbor of his at the Frankfurt Zoo in Germany, Matze, also turns 50 today. He’s a great ape who has fathered (only) 17 kids, many of whom are spread out across the world in other zoos. I’d like to think they’ve lived a long life because there’s some sort of lively contest between the two–“I’m more fertile than you are!”

I’d like to use this chance to give a shout-out to the plight of the orangutans. Their species is predicted to die out within a decade or so because of habitat destruction on the one island they live on: Sumatra, in Southeast Asia. Help save them if you can, by perhaps adopting one?