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ENDANGERED: The Orangutan


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The plight of the Orangutan has appeared in the media a lot over the past several months.

The Iceland Christmas Advert brought a lot of attention to the issue of deforestation for the mass production of Palm Oil products. However, as with all issues that gain traction in the news, the buzz around the issue has died down and people have once again moved on to the story of the day. I felt this was an important week to once again draw attention to this beautiful and critically endagered animal.


Image Credit: e-smile on Pixabay

The name 'Orangutan' orginates from the Malay word for 'person of the forest' and stands at around four to five feet. True to their name, they spend 90% of their time in trees, using them for shelter, play, and even sleep. It is not surpsrising that these animals have suffered so much from mass deforestation when you discover how integral trees are to their lives. Currently, deforestation is the 'primary threat to the orangutan'.

Turning the Page on Rainforest Destruction: Children’s Books and the Future of Indonesia’s Rainforests

Image Credit: Rainforest Action Network on Flickr

According to the Scientific American, '2007 assessment by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) predicts that orangutans will be virtually eliminated in the wild within two decades if current deforestation trends continue'. This is just another way in which our high demand and expectation for products is destroying the planet and the life that lives within it. 

Orangutans are known for being intelligent and relatively solitary. However, mothers will stay with their babies for six to seven years before they attempt to live by themselves. One of the reasons that the species is suffering so heavily is due to the fact that females 'only give birth once every eight years'

Search Engine Ecosia is one way in which you can help. 

According to The World Wildlife Fund (WWF), orangutans 'share 96.4% of our genes and are highly intelligent creatures'

There are three different species of Orangutan: Sumatran, Bornean and Tapanuli. There are only 800 Tapanuli orangutans left in the wild. 

Another threat to the mammal is the pet trade. WWF claims that
, 'there may be more (pet) orangutans per square-mile in Taipei, Taiwan than in the wild'. That is shocking...

Boycotting Palm Oil products is just one of the ways in which you can help to stop these atrocities. Companies are slowly moving towards using less palm oil, but such a gradual change is not enough. Deforestation needs to stop now. 

Palm Oil

Image Credit: feelphotoz on Pixabay

Read more about how you can help increase the sustainability of Palm Oil.

The Orangutan Foundation is just one of the many charities working to  'sav[e] Orangutans by protecting their tropical forest habitat, working with local communitites and promoting research and education'.

orangutanImage Credit: Daniel Kleeman on Flickr

Tragically, like many issues destroying the planet,  it is clear that without a major change, soon the fate of the orangutan will be sealed. In the end it all comes down to money. Society must change before it's too late, and yet another genocide is complete.

Lead Image: Daniel Kleeman on Flickr

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