In search of the Orang Pendek

A new expedition to track down the elusive orang pendek begins today. Richard Freeman describes the tantalising sightings and frustrations of previous expeditions.

My first expedition to Sumatra took place in 2003. As the zoological director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology I have been all over the world in search of creatures such as the giant anaconda, the almasty and the Mongolian death worm. But it is Sumatra and the orang pendek that keep pulling me back.

In 2003 I accompanied Dr Chris Clark and Jon Hare to Gunung Tujuh, the Lake of Seven Peaks, in Kerinci Seblat National Park. The jungle around the lake is a hotspot for orang pendek sightings. Our guide Sahar Dimus found tracks of a bipedal creature, but they were too rain-damaged to cast.

In the 1980s Sahar’s father and a friend had been cutting logs to build a house close to where the village of Polompek now stands. The area has long since been deforested. Both men saw a bipedal ape lifting up cut logs and throwing them about. It was covered in blackish-brown hair and was about 1.5 metres (five feet) tall. The hair on the creature’s spine was darker. Its legs were short and its powerful arms were long. The face was broad and black in colour with some pink markings. Both men fled.

Read all of Richard’s fascinating article here – Orang pendek quest begins in Sumatra

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3 Responses to In search of the Orang Pendek

  1. Phil Krause says:

    We saw one of those in Malaysia. He’s staying in our hotel.

  2. alfy says:

    No, Jim, Homo erectus.

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