The Kids

Young Orangutans

This piece captures the natural play that is part of how young orangutans (and young humans) learn how to be a successful part of a family unit. Like us, these animals have complex social emotions and interactions, curiosity about the world around them, and a sense of humor. What do you think these two young orangutans are doing? What will happen next?

By Lori Hough

Lori Hough grew up in an artistic family in rural west Michigan. She initially went to college to get a degree in art, however a required class in Zoology led her to change her major to the study of animals. This led to Hough’s love of animals and artistic endeavors.

Hough worked as a wildlife technician and biologist, and while on a foreign fishing boat in the Berring Sea, Hough’s interest in wildlife and art finally merged. While aboard, in between sampling the caught fish, she began creating papier mache animals. And finally, in 1988, her hobby became a full-time occupation.

Lori Hough’s work features wild, domestic, extinct and fictional animals. She creates pieces from tiny tabletop giraffes to giant larger than life frogs.

Hough specializes in creating very expressive pieces using strong gestural poses which form interesting compositions. In addition to bronze, Hough creates works in mediums of papier mache, ferro-concrete, and welded steel.

View all sculptures by this artist.

Donated By

We are honored that this sculpture is part of such a wonderful new attraction for the Waco community. We hope it is a source of enjoyment, and a reminder of how precious our children are and how bright our future is; a symbol of hope for generations to come.

Betsy and Clifton Robinson, Brenda and Jerry Dyer, Shane Turner

Did You Know?

  • In Malay and Indonesian, orang means “person” and hutan means “forest.” Thus, orangutan literally means “person of the forest.”
  • Orangutans are ‘great apes,’ as opposed to monkeys, and are very closely related to humans. In fact, we have 97% of DNA in common with orangutans.
  • Like humans, orangutans have opposable thumbs. Their big toes are also opposable.
  • Orangutans have tremendous strength, which enables them to swing from branch to branch and hang upside-down from branches for long periods of time to retrieve fruit and eat young leaves.
  • Orangutans are critically endangered due to logging, fires, and poaching.

At The Zoo

Waco’s Cameron Park Zoo has a famous breeding program for orangutans, which is part of a worldwide effort to make sure that they do not become extinct. You can visit Razak, born in January 2017, along with his Mom Mei, Dad Kerajaan (“KJ”), and Auntie Kutai.


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