Most people know Ricky Gervais for his biting comedy and wit, but what many people don’t know him for is his incredible dedication to animals. Gervais has spoken out about everything from animal testing to the horrors of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival and the atrocity that is trophy hunting. While it is amazing that Gervais feels so passionately about protecting the world’s animals, what is truly remarkable is the amount of influence that he has through his fans. With one single tweet, Gervais was able to help fund the rescue of hundreds of dogs in no time at all.

Celebrities have the unique ability to bring awareness to issues that might be otherwise overlooked and we could not be more thrilled by the fact that Ricky has chosen to use this platform for the good of animals.

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Most recently, Gervais used his fame to publicize the story of the “world’s saddest” orangutan and help show the world the real consequences of the exotic pet trade on Facebook.

Ricky Gervais Speaks Out for 'World's Saddest Orangutan,' Showing Why Exotic Pets Aren't Cute

 

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Bujing, the orangutan in question, lived chained to the side of a house for four long years. Despite the fact that they are highly endangered, orangutans are common victims of the exotic pet trade. As the orangutan’s native habitat is systematically destroyed in the pursuit of palm oil, these animals are being pushed closer and closer to human civilization, making them highly vulnerable to being captured and sold by poachers. Unfortunately, very few people who choose to purchase orangutans as pets actually know how to care for them … which is precisely what happened in Bujing’s case.

Thankfully, this orangutan was rescued by International Animal Rescue (IAR). The dedicated IAR team worked tirelessly to help Bujing recover from malnutrition and evident emotional trauma. A year later, Bujing is thriving in his sanctuary home and has successfully recovered. Of course, it is wonderful that IAR helped this sweet orangutan, but we wish that Bujing was never put in the position of needing rescue in the first place.

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The exotic pet trade is one of the world’s top-ranked illicit trades and it is responsible for the loss of countless animal species. It is estimated that in the past 40 years alone, the world has lost 52 percent of its wildlife. With this in mind, it seems absolutely ridiculous that we would first allow the destruction of an endangered species’ home and then sell off orphaned and injured animals to live unnatural lives as pets.

The reality is most people do not even know that the illegal pet trade exists, but now thanks to Ricky Gervais’ reach and influence, hundreds and thousands of people are now aware of the true cost of captivity.

We applaud Gervais for the amazing work he does and the example he sets for so many in his kind actions toward animals. You can help Ricky get justice for the world’s wildlife by sharing this post and encouraging others to as well!

Image source: Shutterstock