An orangutan faced off with a bulldozer in the Sungai Putri forest in Indonesia at one of the last habitats in the world for the animals. A video, captured by an observer, showed the heartbreaking confrontation as the orangutan tried to fight off the machine as it destroyed a tree. The animal barely swung to safety as the machine’s claw bored down.
According to the International Animal Rescue program director Llano Sanchez, Sungai Putri is home to one of the largest populations in the world and without forests like this the Bornean orangutans will most likely become extinct.
“Habitat destruction forces orangutans to enter neighboring plantations and farms looking for food, and this frequently leads to conflict with humans,” Sanchez stated.
Between 1999 to 2016, more than 100,000 Bornean orangutans have been killed. They are now listed as an endangered species with only 1,000 living in the Sungai. Although the Indonesian government states the animals are protected, more illegal logging areas have been operating in the cover of the night.
In a study in Current Biology, the orangutans decline have been the steepest in areas that were deforested or transformed for industrial agriculture (often oil palm or paper pulp plantations). Forests must be protected; some communities and one oil palm plantation has stepped up to protect the animals. Still we must do more.
This orangutan was rescued. Others have not been as fortunate.
Check out the video:
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