If photos can tell stories, this one is a powerful one. Hati, a two-and-a-half-year-old orangutan was recently rescued by Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS). The baby was found captive in a wooden cage, living as a pet in a local village where she was kept for a YEAR. Due to her long confinement, Hati, meaning “Heart” in Indonesian, wasn’t displaying any wild behaviors. Thankfully though, her medical examination found her to be in good physical condition and she is mentally stable. Unbelievably, Hati is the FOURTH orangutan BOS has rescued just this year.
We are thrilled to know Hati’s nightmare is finally over and she can start to heal at BOS’s facility. But Hati’s rescue is also a clear indication of how our love for palm oil, which is found in around 50 percent of packaged snacks and personal care products, is impacting orangutans.
Shockingly, over 90 percent of the orangutan’s original habitat has been destroyed and converted to palm oil plantations. With nowhere to go for food, many orangutans go to nearby villages. Oftentimes, mother orangutans are killed by poachers and their babies are sold to wildlife parks or kept as pets, just like how Hati was.
Hati’s heartbreaking stare in the tiny wooden cage she called home shows the real cost of our obsession with palm oil.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Please ALWAYS opt for planet-friendly alternatives to palm oil and encourage your friends and family to do the same. BOS is one of the many organizations that tirelessly work to save orangutans and their habitats. For more information on how you can be a part of their lifesaving mission, check out their website.
For more information about palm oil, check out these other One Green Planet articles:
- How to Wean Yourself Off Palm Oil
- Why You Should Avoid Palm Oil, and How to Do It
- Top 10 Facts You NEED to Know About Palm Oil
Image Source: Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS)