Starving, pregnant orangutan clings to the final tree as bulldozers destroy her rainforest.

Humans are so selfish that rampant deforestation of the amazon, the plunging wildlife population, and the plight of animals don’t prevent them from attacking the environment and driving humanity to extinction. Animal rescuers rescued a fragile, frightened, pregnant, and malnourished orangutan as bulldozers demolished her rainforest home. Boon-Mee was so frail and traumatized she couldn’t leave the tree stump where she sought refuge as massive machinery tore apart her Borneo habitat. Because she couldn’t search for food, she faced famine and death. Plantation owners contacted International Animal Rescue (IAR) about her.

When an IAR team accompanied by local forestry officials arrived, they spotted Boon-Mee and three other orangutans. While Boon-Mee lived on bark, Charanya was pregnant and hungry. Kalaya was semi-conscious and lactating; she may have delivered a dead or pet baby. Boon-Mee couldn’t climb down the tree, so rescuers tranquilized her before netting her. IAR representative Lis Key said, “It’s heartbreaking to watch the dreadful state of these creatures as their habitat being razed for palm oil” This time, instead of chasing them off or killing them, the corporation contacted us. Three adults and one baby were transferred to a sanctuary, where Boon-Mee gave birth. The Mirror reports that all the apes were nursed back to health and reintroduced into the wild. Lis said, “Despite their condition, they’re lucky.”

The worst part is hundreds of orangutans won’t be so lucky due to their terrible conditions. Only 41,000 orangutans remain in Borneo and 7,500 in Sumatra due to deforestation for palm oil. In 1900, Southeast Asia had 230,000 orangutans. Palm oil, a vegetable oil produced from the fruits and seeds of the oil palm, is used in up to half of all processed goods like instant noodles and as a bio-fuel. 66 million tons of palm oil are produced annually, leading to deforestation and land theft for plantations.

 

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