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Shocking: Orangutans to be extinct in just 10 years?

Endangered orangutans

(NaturalNews) Native to the island of Borneo, the Bornean orangutan is at risk of extinction due to habitat destruction. The animal, one of the human's closest cousins, was reclassified as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in July 2016. Habitat belonging to the Bornean orangutan is being swiftly destroyed for the building of palm oil plantations.

Environmental groups say that the situation is dire, with more than a quarter, or 76 million acres, of the animal's habitat destroyed over the last few decades. Failure to take action will result in the worldwide extinction of orangutans by the year 2026, the International Animal Rescue (IAR) said in a statement.

Out-of-control fires "among peat beds" burning in many Indonesian islands coupled with deforestation have created a glum situation for the sweet animals, which are known for their childlike, playful behavior.


Orangutans are being sacrificed for the palm oil industry

"Chief executive of IAR, Alan Knight, predicts that we will see the permanent loss of several species of orangutans within the next decade unless serious efforts are made to address the fires and consumer-driven deforestation in this region," reports the Waking Times.

"He speculates that the fires, which are often claimed to be naturally occurring, provide the perfect cover for companies wishing to expand palm oil production and to clear vast swaths of rainforest without seeking legal approval."

Knight says that the palm oil industry capitalizes on the fires by claiming that the charred land is now purposeless, providing the perfect excuse to move in and establish operations.

Inexpensive palm oil is used in a variety of consumer products, including biodiesel fuel, beauty products such as shampoo and toothpaste, and even foodstuffs including pizza crusts, frying oil, snack foods and noodles.

Some of the largest name brands incorporating the ingredient in their products include PepsiCo, Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive.

How YOU can help save orangutans today

Sadly, the result is that orangutans and other animals are being driven from their homes. Alex Pietrowski with the Waking Times says an estimated 20,000 orangutans could be wiped out.

"If the current destruction of the rainforest continues, then I have absolutely no hope that any orangutans will remain in the wild," Knight added.

Fortunately, there are many things we can do to help save the orangutans. One of the easiest ways is to donate money to the Orangutan Conservancy and their mission to protect the animals.

The organization backs projects that both rescue and rehabilitate orangutans, as well creating awareness about their risk of extinction. You can even virtually adopt an orangutan through a program for $120 per year.

Chief veterinarian tours U.S. raising awareness about saving the orangutan

In an effort to raise awareness, Karmele Llano Sanchez, chief veterinarian and program director for IAR Indonesia, is currently traveling around the United States generating funds for her work in rescuing and rehabilitating the animals.

Karmele is in charge of a large team of veterinarians, primatologists, scientists, researchers and animal keepers at IAR's Orangutan Conservation Center in Ketapang, West Borneo.

The facility houses about 100 of the great apes, some of which have been kept in captivity as pets, while others were found stranded after their habit was destroyed.

Karmele is scheduled to give presentations on the animal's situation in Westport, Connecticut, on September 2nd through the 5th, and then in New York on the 6th and 7th.

To arrange an interview with her, you may contact Sophie Pollmann at (203) 919-7386 or via email at [email protected].






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