My fourth and last day trekking in Bukit Lawang, with my clothes muddied and my shoes trashed, I still held out hope to see the critically endangered male Sumatran orangutan.

As I rounded the corner, this gentle giant sat perched on a fallen tree, curiously watching my guide and I. My heart pounded with excitement as he walked toward us and climbed a tree; his massive 200 pound frame bending the branches in half, knocking leaves off the trees.

He stared at us again and surveyed the area before he climbed up and away, and out of sight.

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