This chapter offers detailed background information on: orangutan behaviour, biology, and ecology, including past and present population declines; how orangutans have been perceived in Western and other cultures over time; environmental and political histories in Indonesia and East Malaysia; and who, at an individual and organisational level, is involved in contemporary orangutan conservation. The information included in this chapter is crucial for interpreting later chapters. For example, it offers insight into why orangutans attract so much attention from conservationists and others, and why orangutan rehabilitation looks so different in Indonesia compared with Malaysia. The author concludes by reflecting on what is unique about the orangutan conservation case and what is shared with other wildlife taxa, many of which also face rapid population declines in the “Anthropocene”.