After humans, Orangutans are the most intelligent animals on earth.
If you sat every living wild Bornean Orangutan in the available seats of Sydney Cricket Ground (44,002 seats) – 4,000 seats would remain empty.
The survival of Orangutans is threatened by rainforest destruction on the two remaining islands where they live wild.
In Borneo and Sumatra, there are thousands of orphaned Orangutans in care centres. They have been saved when their mothers have died from the cutting down and burning of the rainforest, or when their mothers have been killed and often eaten in front of the baby. Their ability to survive the trauma is one of the issues that must be addressed by those who care for these little “people of the forest”.
The greatest threat to their survival is the change to land use. Palm oil plantations are replacing rainforest – the habitat of Orangutans, Sumatran tigers, Proboscis monkeys and many more species unique to this area.
Palm oil is used in food like margarine, biscuits, soap, laundry detergent, even toothpaste. It is rarely seen on the list of ingredients. This edible oil is fuelling the destruction of the Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests, and the loss of the critically endangered species, including Orangutans.