The Sumatran orangutan is one of the world’s most threatened primates. And the biggest threat to them is another primate; man.
Sharing 97% of our DNA, Orangutans are our closest relative and thought to be the most intelligent of the great apes, yet man has pushed them to the brink of extinction. We need to help them before it is too late.
Working with artists Andrew Coutanche (Jersey Sandman) and Iain Alexander, Durrell has created this unique art installation to show the intriguing intelligence of these magnificent apes who so desperately need our help.
Humans are responsible for the rapid destruction of orangutans’ rainforest habitat which has resulted in perilously low numbers of these dignified apes left in the wild. Huge areas of the Sumatran rainforest are being cleared for palm oil plantations. This biologically rich area is being deforested faster than anywhere else on the planet.
Durrell has worked with these great apes at Jersey Zoo for nearly 50 years and makes a valuable contribution to the breeding programme for this Critically Endangered species. In the wild, Durrell works with Dr Ian Singleton, an ex-Jersey Zoo keeper, who has set up the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme to provide rehabilitation and eventually reintroductions for Orangutans that have been captured as illegal pets or harmed by forest fires.
Palm oil is in half of all supermarket products, including food, cosmetics and cleaning products, and demand is expected to double in the next ten years.
Orangutans are considered a pest in palm oil plantations, and those that manage to survive in the rainforest fragments are often killed when they wander into plantations in search of food. The same fate often awaits other forest animals such as rhinos and elephants. Any surviving orphan Orangutan babies are sold as pets. People living in the forests are also displaced and lose their livelihoods.
How to help
DONATE: Durrell and its partners at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation programme are working tirelessly to bring back these intelligent apes from the brink of extinction.
PALM OIL: Please look at the ingredients list of the products you buy and avoid anything that lists palm oil.
Try switching to palm oil free alternatives. http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/palmoilfreelist
SHARE: Please share this video and help us spread the word about the impact of palm oil #orangutanSOS