If the fires continue and the Bornean orangutan loses its natural habitat, 49% of its population will be lost. #BorneoIsBurning
There’s a haze hanging over Indonesia right now, as swaths of forest are being set ablaze and burned down by those seeking to extract palm oil. As was recently reported, many of those fires have gotten so out of control – partly due to the extremely dry season this year, they are contributing to one of the worst environmental disasters ever recorded.
In effect, wildlife is getting increasingly desperate and fleeing, taking any refuge possible from the flames. Unfortunately, when animals encounter frightened humans, their odds of survival decrease.
As ABC News reports, when an orangutan family (mother and child pictured above) came across a group of fearful villagers in Borneo, they were attacked. Villagers threw things at the terrified mother before attempting to capture and tie her up.
A team from International Animal Rescue (IAR) reached the orangutan family, who were surrounded by a crowd of almost 100 locals. The primates were quickly anesthetized and taken away from the village.
“The [orangutans] have now been translocated and released into a safe area of protected rainforest and are being monitored by a conservation team to ensure that they are recovering well from their terrible ordeal.”
At least their unfortunate encounter had a happy ending. Such is not always the case for other animals. As IFLScience reports, trigger-happy people are killing elephants, tigers, and other innocent wildlife seeking to escape the flames.
This is just one more ugly effect of Borneo’s burning forests.
It is essential activists everywhere raise awareness about this issue and urge the Indonesia government to stop the madness. Read this article to learn how you can get involved, and use the hashtag #BorneoIsBurning to spread the message.
If the fires are not stopped and the Bornean orangutan loses its natural habitat, 49% of its population will be eradicated, reports a PLOS ONE study.
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