She was adamant about not letting go.
A solitary orangutan clung to the only tree that remained of her previous habitat in what used to be a forest teeming with trees and fauna.
International Animal Rescue (IAR), which discovered the orangutan in the destroyed field in 2013, described her as “lost, hungry, and abandoned to die.” Her house was demolished, most likely to make room for palm oil plants.
“Thankfully, our crew arrived just in time and was able to translocate this orangutan to safety,” IAR stated.
Unfortunately, as this moving animation illustrates, the burgeoning palm oil business in Borneo and Sumatra comes at a high price. Thousands of acres of forest have been cleared to make room for new plantations, leaving orangutans without a safe haven. Some die of hunger or coming too close to humans, while others perish in the following forest fires. The two orangutan species are currently classified as endangered and critically endangered, respectively.
“In West Kalimantan [in Borneo], we are the last and only chance for orangutans, and the rainforest is being destroyed at an alarming rate,” IAR stated. “We’re busier than ever before, urgently trying to save what little forest there is.”
Losing a home is traumatic for any animal, but it’s even more so when it’s one of your last safe havens.
IAR is working hard to offer the medical treatment and care that orangutans who survive the destruction of their habitats require so that they can live out their lives in peace and safety.