Humans have become so greedy that rampant deforestation of amazon, destruction of rainforests around the world, plummeting wildlife population, and plight of animals doesn’t deter the most intelligent species from assaulting the nature and driving humanity to the brink of extinction.
In the latest heartless and cruel display of indifference, animal rescuers caught a weak, frightened, heavily pregnant, and starving orangutan clinging to the final tree as massive bulldozers destroyed her once pristine rainforest home.
Boon-Mee was so weakened and traumatized that she couldn’t leave the tree trunk where she had sought sanctuary as heavy machines ripped apart her home in Borneo. As a result, she could not forage for food to feed herself or her unborn baby, meaning she had nothing to look forward to besides death by starvation.
Luckily, the plantation owners told UK-based charity International Animal Rescue (IAR) about her. Soon, an IAR team backed by local forestry officials was dispatched; when they finally arrived at the scene, they found not just Boon-Mee but three other orangutans.
While Boon-Mee was barely surviving on bark, Charanya had a baby and was desperately searching for food. Kalaya was semi-conscious and lactating; she may have delivered a baby which had either died or had been taken as a pet.
Since Boon-Mee was too weak to climb down the tree, rescuers were forced to shoot her with a tranquilizer before catching her in a net. IAR official Lis Key said:
“It’s heart-breaking to see the appalling state of these animals as their habitat is razed for the palm oil industry – they were weak from hunger. It’s a small comfort that this time rather than chase them off or kill them, the company did the right thing and contacted us.”
The three adults and one infant were taken to a refuge, where Boon-Mee successfully had her baby. According to the Mirror, all the apes were nursed back to health and later released into the wild deep in another part of the forest. Lis added:
“Despite the condition they were in, they really are the lucky ones. The worst thing is there are hundreds of orangutans who won’t be so lucky because of the awful conditions they are forced to try to survive in.”
Deforestation for palm oil is the leading reason why only 41,000 orangutans are left in Borneo and only 7,500 in Sumatra—the only two places where they can be found. A century ago there were over 230,000 orangutans in Southeast Asia.
Palm oil, a vegetable oil that is extracted from the fruits and seeds of the oil palm, is used in up to half of all processed foods like instant noodles, is increasingly being used as bio-fuel, and is a key ingredient in items like shampoos, detergents, and cosmetics. Roughly 66 million tons of palm oil are produced each year, driving a trend that has seen forests burned and land robbed to make room for plantations.