Orangutans are some of the most amazing animals. They are self-aware, use tools, language, and are believed to be some of the smartest non-human animals to roam the Earth. For these reasons, it is incredibly devastating that orangutans have been under threat for decades as giant masses of their native forests have been sold off for logging or converted to palm oil plantations.

As if numerous orangutans dying from habitat loss wasn’t bad enough, there are also people who aim to make a profit from these intelligent, social beings by stealing them from the wild and selling them in the illegal wildlife trade. Often for this to happen, orangutans are taken from the mothers as babies, held in small enclosures, and pawned as fad pets or kept in private zoos. Life behind metal bars, or kept as someone’s property is no life for an orangutan, a jarring truth perfectly displayed in images from a recent rescue by Wildlife Friends Fund Thailand.


The orangutan was confiscated from an illegal zoo. In one glance alone, we can see just how lost and confused he is to be held within concrete walls, instead of the lush forests where he came from. Orangutans share 97 percent of the same DNA as humans. When we see the pain and suffering readily evident in this animal’s eyes, how can we possibly think what we’ve done to this species is just.

We can all play a role in securing a better future for orangutans by avoiding palm oil at all costs and raising awareness for the illegal wildlife trade.

Luckily, for the two orangutans pictured above, Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Australia stepped in to help. Not only were these two confiscated from the conditions where they were held, but they are now on their way to rehabilitation so that they can be returned to the wild where they belong. However, there are thousands of others who are in danger of befalling a much more dismal fate if we don’t step up.

To learn more about how you can help, click here. Share this post and encourages others to as well, for the sake of the orangutan!


All image source: Wildlife Friends Fund Thailand