Discovery of two orphaned baby orangutans ‘further evidence of deforestation threat’

17 Oct

The discovery last week of two orphaned baby orangutans on Borneo is further evidence that deforestation and illegal hunting are threatening the existence of the great apes, an Indonesian conservation group has claimed.

The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation has reported the discovery of 19 babies so far this year. In the latest cases of a male, six to eight months old, and a three-year-old female weighing only 11 pounds, it is suspected that their mothers were deliberately killed.

Conservation groups have cited it as another indication that the species’ extinction is being hastened by habitat destruction through hunting, fires and deforestation for oil palm and pulp plantations.

As more forests are cleared, “hunters are able to reach previously isolated areas and orangutans,” the foundation said in a statement reported by the Associated Press.

“We have to take a stand to protect remaining habitat and the critically endangered wildlife which lives within. Our forests and our orangutan population are shrinking.”

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