Although sightings have been throughout Sumatra, recent reports occur within the borders of the Kerinci Seblat National Park in Central Sumatra. The park is just south of the equator in the Bukit Barisan mountain range featuring remote rainforests.
There are no photographs of the Orang Pendek, but from eye witness accounts a description can be formed. It is a ground-dwelling bipedal creature covered in short grey-to-brown fur. It stands 3 to 5 feet tall and uses its divergent big toe (separated from the other toes) as a thumb. Its legs are short, has long powerful arms and can been seen in trees.
It is considered a herbivore, but will eat insects and river crabs. The Orang Pendek has been seen raiding crops on farmland located next to the forest. Local villagers claim the creature eats mainly ginger root, young shoots, and the durian fruit is considered to be a favorite of the creature.
Possible explanations in to what the creature actually is, include mistaken identity of a real animal of the forest (a sun bear or orangutan); an undocumented primate; or a descendent of a hominid species.
Image Caption: Drawing of a black ape (Celebes crested macaque). Credit: Gustav Mützel/Wikimedia (public domain)