It’s long been rumored that remote areas of Sumatra may be home to an ape like creature locals call the “Orang Pendek” Indonesian for “short person.”
The creature is described as bipedal, between two and five feet in height and covered in short fur. Colors vary among the accounts but grey, brown and reddish brown are common. Reports indicate that the creatures are ground dwelling but they have also been seen in trees.
The Orang Pendek has been reported for over a hundred years by local tribes, villagers and western colonists alike. The primary location of sightings is the Bukit Barisan mountain range, an area of primal rainforest just two degrees south of the equator.
According to a recent report from blogger Robert Lindsay, scientist may already have definitive proof of the creature’s existence. Lindsay’s post states in part:
“The data has already been prepared for some time, and the scientists are certain that they have proof that the creature exists. They have known about it since 1996 but have possibly been sitting on the data for unknown reasons, or maybe they have been gathering more information. Apparently at least one dead specimen exists. The scientist told me that he had seen three photos of a dead specimen of the creature.
He said it was the shape of a Bonobo but the size of a gibbon and described it as “terrestrial,” meaning it lives on land. This sounds approximately like the description of the Orang Pendek. Unfortunately, they have no plans to publish their data documenting this species until 2016, and it would still need to go through peer review. The scientist was not sure exactly what the scientists thought it was, and seemed to be uncertain whether it was in the Pongoid or Homo line. After all, Homo are greater apes also. Anyway, he seemed to be referring to the Orang Pendek as there are no cryptic greater apes in the region other than this.”
The Orang Pendek is likely an undiscovered species of orangutan and the continued intrusion of humans into the remote mountains of Sumatra make its discovery probable. If the report from Lindsay is accurate, it’s exciting to know that scientist have definitive proof of the animal’s existence. It’s disappointing however that they are choosing to withhold the evidence.
The Orang Pekdek was the subject of an excellent book from cryptozoologist Richard Freeman. (Published in 2011 by CFZ press) The best overall study of the cryptid, it’s highly recommended for anyone interested in the field. Freeman journeyed to Sumatra a number of times to collect information first hand.
Lindsay’s full posting can be read here: