Bulldozers can turn any rain forest into a desert within a few days. Today, advanced technology can do wonders, and these wonders aren’t always good for the environment. A starving pregnant orangutan learned it the hard way.
Boon-Mee was settled on a tree and was unable to look for food, because of the machines that destroyed her home.
Many orangutans shared the same destiny in Indonesia. Primates are left without their tropical habitats in Borneo and Sumatra. Unfortunately, the palm oil industry is more important than the lives of orangutans. Hundreds of apes are killed every year.
Boon-Mee was lucky. Sort of. The plantation owners were part of a conservation group, and they had already informed the International Animal Rescue.
The team arrived at the spot, and found Boon-Mee and her friends. Chaitanya had a baby, and she was hungry. Kalaya was lactating, and the team believes that her baby was dead or stolen. Boon-Mee was still strong, hanging on a tree.
IAR official Lis Key was happy about the gesture plantation owners made. Boon-Mee could have been killed, but she will now have an opportunity to live a better life. The orangutan couldn’t come down from her tree, and rescuers had to shoot her with a tranquilizer.
The apes recovered, and rescuers released them into the wild again. Sadly, other primates won’t be as lucky as Boon-Mee and her friends.
According to statistics, there are 40,000 orangutans in the wild. Ten years ago, there were 60,000.
What led to this decline? It’s the palm oil industry. Palm oil is added to processed foods, and now it’s used as bio-fuel and basic ingredient in cosmetics. It’s a cheaper alternative to other products.
On product labels, palm oil is tagged as vegetable oil, and we are not even aware of it. Hopefully, the EU will introduce new rules next year.