Borneo, located in Indonesia, is the world’ s third largest island. It is home to a large tropical rainforest and a vast array of rare and endangered animals including the wild orangutan. In recent years, these animals have come under threat, due to deforestation from the palm oil industry and global warming. This year a particularly long dry season is being blamed for 63 forest fires, which pose an immediate threat to Borneo’s already critically endangered orangutan population.
Last week, following a series fires near the village of Kuala Satong, villagers reported seeing a mother orangutan and her baby walking close to a road. They immediately called the kind folks at International Animal Rescue’s (IAR) Human Orangutan Conflict Rescue Unit or HOCRU for help. They, along with a ranger from the Agency to Conserve Natural Resources, were eventually able to locate the animals and sedate them for relocation.
Karmele Llano Sanchez, Program Director of IAR Indonesia says,”We hope that these two orangutans will get another chance in this new location. Although unfortunately they will never be totally safe from fires or other threats, it is important that the orangutans can remain in this area where they belong.”
Check out this video to watch the amazing rescue efforts:
Just a hundred years ago, there were over 230,000 orangutan’s roaming these tropical forests, but deforestation and poaching have reduced that number to just over 41,000. These numbers too are threatened by logging, the spreading palm oil plantations and the exotic pet trade, which claimed the export of 1,019 animals since 2007. Like so many other animals, human activity is causing Borneo’s orangutans to lose the only home that they have left at an alarming rate. It will take continued conservation efforts, like these to save this delicate species from extinction.
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All image source: International Animal Rescue