The fight that can’t be won
The International Animal Rescue association has released a video showing an orangutan confronting a bulldozer in the Indonesian forest. In the video, you can see one of the great apes running up the trunk of an uprooted tree and heading straight for the bulldozer's claw. He tries to grab it but, clearly out of balance (possibly after receiving a tranquilliser dart), the orangutan falls to the ground, which is littered with branches and cut down trees.
Fortunately, the animal was rescued by the organisation’s team, and they explained on Facebook that the animal was looking for a refuge.
The International Animal Rescue organisation, who clarified that the animal in the video had been rescued by their team, wrote:
Unfortunately, scenes like this are becoming more and more frequent in Indonesia. Deforestation has caused the orangutan population to plummet; habitats are destroyed are orangutans are left to starve and die.
A species on the brink of extinction
The scene was filmed in 2013 in the woodlands of Sungai Putri, one of the last refuges for Borneo’s orangutans. Although it was protected through the serious fires in 2015, this fragile ecosystem is still subject to massive deforestation today, due to logging companies, paper mills and palm oil.
Borneo’s orangutans are on the red list as critically endangered according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) . According to a study carried out between 1999 and 2015, nearly 150,000 of these great apes have disappeared or become victims of deforestation and the exploitation of natural resources. There are therefore only estimated to be around 70,000 to 100,000 of these animals left in the world.
Borneo is one of the last places in the world where you can still find wild orangutans, and researchers estimate that 43,300 more animals will disappear by 2050 due to deforestation. This figure doesn’t even include those killed by hunters.
Take a look at the video above to see the heartbreaking moment one orangutan stood up to the bulldozers that had come for his home...