The huge demand for palm oil leads to a dramatically decline of this species. Large forest areas in Indonesia and Malaysia are deforested to make way for plantations, leaving the orangutans without a habitat to live in. And if no action is taken, in the next 10 years the species will face a complete extinction.
Recently, a heartbreaking photo showing a starving orangutan female clung to a solitary tree, made waves on social media. Unfortunately, the photo reveals the horrific truth about the way humans are treating those animals.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has listed the Bornean orangutan as critically endangered with the Sumatran orangutan completing the list. These are the last two orangutan species left in the world. In the last 25 years, in Indonesia more than 76 million acres of forest have vanished.
Therefore, the palm oil plantations are the main cause of this mass extinction. The palm oil is used to produce a large array of products as noodles and donuts to toothpaste, shampoo and biodiesel, the Independent reports.
The female in the photo is called Boon-Mee. And she was too weak and frightened to leave the trunk where she had sought sanctuary as the machines tore down her jungle home in Borneo, reports the Sunday People. However, fortunately for her a team from International Animal Rescue get there in time to save her.
“It’s heartbreaking to see the appalling state of these animals as their habitat is razed for the palm oil industry – they were weak from hunger. It’s a small comfort that this time rather than chase them off or kill them, the company did the right thing and contacted us,” Lis Key, an official from International Animal Rescue told the Mirror.
Organizations as the APE Foundation are desperately trying to stop the orangutans extinction. The foundation’s goals are to protect and restore the wild habitat of this species.
“Over the course of next year our goals are to monitor, protect and restore the habitat of the orangutan and proboscis monkey – this can only be done with the right amount of funding,” Bart Retera, founder of the APE Foundation, told UNILAD.
Last year, a video posted by International Animal Rescue on their Facebook page went viral. The “dramatic footage shows the devastating impact deforestation is having on precious orangutan habitat,” the wrote!