Orangutans are not monkeys; they are classified as great apes. These intelligent mammals are very gentle and patient. They can live for more than 60 years; and males can weigh up to 130 kg. These apes have become subject to exploitation in their habitat. Today, they can only be found in Sumatra and Borneo islands of Indonesia. They dwell and thrive in rain forests. Here, they are facing grave threats from plantation owners and poachers in the rain forests. As a result, it is estimated that over 5,000 orangutans are killed every year.
This shocking reality will see these great apes wiped out in not more than 10 years to come. This massive destruction is being fueled by agricultural activities like the mass cultivation of palm oil. Illegal logging still remains a major challenge. Many plantation owners have literally labelled orangutans as land pests. To this end, they pay for their removal and death. Poachers have therefore taken advantage in a campaign to wipe out these apes from their natural homes. In a bid to clear the forests for planting, many trees are cut and fires are lit up. The smoke is enough to destabilize the apes.
Today, orangutans that have not been killed are dying of starvation and trauma. The reality is indeed gloomy but it is not all doom. Thankfully, many conservation efforts have been put to save these apes. Numerous organizations are raising money and working on the ground to help avoid extinction. One good example of such an initiative is The Orangutan Network. This network works to provide vital research and statistics to help conserve orangutans. The network is therefore always based on the ground to monitor the habitats closely. This platform provides vital information and data that can be used to save the apes.
The Orangutan Network endeavors to make concrete contribution by seeking to understand the local traditions of orangutans. Joining in the efforts of this organization will see you play a pivotal role as well. In addition to spreading the word about conservation, you can donate to the research work on the ground. Joining forums and talking about the subject will also go a long way in this respect. Take time to sign relevant petitions in a bid to propel local authorities to act in the interest of orangutans. You can also volunteer your time in the many initiatives on the ground whenever possible.
These red-haired apes contribute a lot to the world and not having them around would be devastating. They spend most of their time on top of trees looking for food. They love fruits and leaves. However, they eat a lot of other stuff including nuts, insects, eggs; and many more. Big cats like leopards are their biggest enemies and to this end, they prefer sleeping on branches up in the trees. It is shocking to note that orangutan females only give birth once in every eight years. In this regard, increasing the hurting population becomes even harder. There is so much more to learn about these fascinating apes and conserving them is critical.