We can all relate to Temon the orangutan’s struggle – sometimes finding the motivation to get on the buzz for school or work can be hard! It’s clear from this video that humans and orangutans have a lot in common. But even though we share many qualities, like loving to play and have fun, that doesn’t change the way humans treat these animals.

Sadly, the orangutan’s natural habitat is being decimated because of palm oil production. It’s estimated that 300 football fields of rainforest are cleared every hour in order to make way for palm plantations and in the past few decades alone, around 90 percent of orangutan’s natural habitat has been destroyed. Without a home or food supply, orangutans often wander onto palm plantations where they are viewed as “pests.” Unfortunately, many palm producers will shoot orangutans on the spot. The orangutans who are are lucky enough avoid that fate still face the possibility of being captured for the exotic pet trade.  

The good news is there are many organizations working to rescue injured and orphaned orangutans from palm plantations, one of them being International Animal Rescue. Temon and his rowdy friends were all saved by this organization and are now on their way to baby school. In school, they’ll learn essential skills such as socialization, foraging, and climbing, so they can one day be released back into the wild. While they might not look too eager for class – we’re sure once they see the jungle gym, they’ll never want to leave!

Since orangutans are being endangered because of our demand for palm oil, we can all play a role in helping this species. Here are a few things you can do to get started:

  1. Share this story. Spread the word about palm oil and how it impacts orangutans. Share what you know – knowledge is power!
  2. Skip products with palm oil listed as an ingredient. Around 50 percent of consumer good contain palm oil – but there are any products do not. If you’re looking to cut your reliance on palm oil, check out these alternatives.
  3. Get informed. Learn more about the International Animal Rescue by visiting their site, and consider donating to support the lives of orphaned orangutans. You can even get involved directly!