The Borneo and Samaritan orang-utans are beautiful
animals that roam the forest of Sumatra and Borneo but unfortunately there are not many of them left. The orang-utan population has declined a dramatic 50 percent in the past 10 years due to the one simple act of deforestation and the one substance of Palm Oil. There are only around 50,000 orang-utans in the wild and with up to 300 football fields of forest cleared every hour to make room for Palm Oil plantations that number is decreasing rapidly and soon the humble orang-utan could become extinct. A goal to work towards is to stop deforestation and leave the orang-utans in their natural habitat where they belong and where they can fend for themselves and don’t need looking after. Another goal would be to stop all use of Palm Oil as it is used in almost every single food on the supermarket shelves. Palm Oil could be substituted with another oil that does not affect the orang-utans such as Olive Oil or Sesame Oil. This campaign is extremely important as the humble orang-utan is the closest non-human relative that we have left on this planet. Orang-utans are also responsible for seed dispersal which is very important for the eco system and all the animals in the forest for that matter. Without the orang-utans who knows what would happen to the forests of Borneo and The orang-utan numbers are getting smaller and smaller by the day and if we don’t do something soon it’s going to be too late. In 2006 at least 1,500 orang-utans were brutally clubbed to death by palm workers, the palm workers are also responsible for around 5,000 land and human rights conflicts. Nearly 45 million people live in the forests of Indonesia, the very same forest that the orang-utans also populate and yet in 2011 palm workers ransacked an entire village destroying about 40 homes to clear 40,000 hectares for more palm oil plantations. Palm oil also isn’t a very healthy choice for our bodies with 55 percent of your daily saturated fat recommendation in only one teaspoon of the stuff. A new substitute is clearly needed. Around 12,000 years ago in the Pleistocene period the orang-utan population was spread around Southern China, Indochina, Java and Southern Sumatra. The species is now extinct in all these regions except for Northern Sumatra and Borneo, Sumatra.

Change is clearly needed as the above facts have shown, it’s as simple as we need to stop deforestation and the use of palm oil because otherwise the orang-utan species will be extinct within the next 10 years. The first reason for change is the extremely dramatic decrease in orang-utan numbers, which has been dramatic in the past years. The second reason we need change is because orang-utans have a massive effect on seed dispersal and revegetating the forest which has a huge effect on the survival of the whole eco system. The third and final reason is that the orang-utans are humans closest relatives as we share at least 28 physical characteristics with the orang-utans.

Extreme descent in orang-utan population is a huge problem for the species, a current species count estimated the orang-utan population at around 50,000 to 65,000 left in the wild. That’s an extremely low number remembering that in the last 10 years the orang-utan population has halved. Currently 2,000 to 3,000 orang-utans are being killed each yeah due to deforestation to create palm oil plantations, a quote from independent.co.uk states that “If the current destruction of the rainforest continues, then I have absolutely no hope that any orang-utans will remain in the wild.”  If the humble orang-utan species becomes extinct then the eco system will begin to struggle more and more because of the important role that the orang-utans play in the seed dispersal and revegetation of the forest. The eco system will struggle to survive without these creatures as the seed dispersal and revegetation of the forest is extremely important.

The important role that the orang-utans play in the eco system extremely vital for its survival as seed dispersal and revegetation of the forest is a very important job. The orang-utans are known as the gardeners of the forest as they are responsible for the majority of seed dispersal and revegetation that takes place in the forests of Indonesia where the only orang-utans now live. The seed dispersal and revegetation is also very important for other species of animals that also live in the forests as it keeps the vegetation healthy to eat and also creates new plants. By saving the orang-utans it keeps the gardeners of the forests in the forest which means that the other species that live in there such as Asian elephants, Sumatran rhinos and even tigers. By conserving the orang-utan’s habitat we also benefit local communities and also other animal species. A quote by the General of WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) states that “for decades scientists have been warning that human actions are pushing life on our shared planet toward a sixth mass extinction,” wrote Marco Lambertini. A report on habitat loss by The Star News channel also states that habitat loss and overexploitation are the two biggest current threats to wildlife, the report suggests. And much of the problem has to do with the growing human population’s ever-increasing need to feed itself. This news report suggest that humans are greedy creatures and always think about themselves first and not all of the beautiful animals that were here before us. Why would we try and drive one of our closest animal relatives off the planet.

Orang-utans are the closest animal relatives that we have left on this planet and yet there are still forests being destroyed and palm oil plantations being built right where the trees used to stand. According to scientist orang-utans are the closest relatives to a human that’s still left on the planet today, humans have at least 28 unique physical characteristics with the humble orang-utan. We only share 2 unique physical characteristics with chimps and only 7 with gorillas which makes us and the orang-utans almost cousins in a way. The first blueprint of the genetic code that is an orang-utan has confirmed that the orang-utans share a whopping 97 percent of their DNA with humans. They also recorded around 13 million DNA variations in the apes and they found that the species split around 400,000 years ago which is much earlier than the experts is originally thought. A statement from the daily mail states that “ if things continue as they have for the next 30 years, we won’t have orang-utans left in the wild”  This is completely true and if the world does together as one and try and save these beautiful creatures.

The Orang-utans are innocent, beautiful animals and cannot look after themselves against these violent loggers that have been found to beat over 150 Orang-utans to death with clubs. This is a despicable act and needs to be stopped immediately, we can help the Orang-utans by donating to www.wwf.com. They are an organisation that is there especially for very endangered animals such as Orang-utans and Panda’s. They help by sending teams there on missions to stop the loggers from doing their jobs, they are also starting to rescue the Orang-utans when their homes are about to be cut down and put them into captivity so they can survive. It is extremely sad that the world has come to the point where people would rather have a Palm Oil plantation rather than keep our most closely related animal in the forest. Have a think about it!

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