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Dramatic picture shows the tragedy of orangutans due to forest fires burning Southeast Asia
La deforestazione, le piantagioni di palma da olio e il conflitto tra uomo e oranghi. Una delle peggiori crisi ambientali del pianeta racchiusa in un’immagine.
An exhausted, frightened female orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) with her baby clung tightly to her chest, seeing its world being burnt.
The picture has been taken in Borneo by volunteers of the International Animal Rescue (IAR) whilst rescuing the two animals. These two orangutans, like many other individuals, had to flee the forest, which is their habitat providing them with livelihood and shelter, due to fires devastating Southeast Asia.
Borneo, Indonesia, part of Malaysia and Singapore are undergoing an unprecedented crisis due to arsons ignited by farmers to obtain cultivable lands, in particular to make space to oil palm plantations.
The consequences of fires are devastating for both citizens (10 people already died for having breathed the contaminated air) and animals, mostly orang-utans, rare anthropomorphic monkeys threatened with extinction.
The two animals in the picture are not only victims of fires, but also of human cruelty. The pair, forced to flee flames, have sought shelter in a small village, where villagers attacked them by throwing things and then tried to capture them.
Locals often consider these monkeys as parasites, since they feed on crops surrounding their villages. This represents the main cause of conflict between humans and orangutans.
Fortunately, the volunteers of the International Animal Rescue took action, anaesthetising the two monkeys and bringing them to a protected area of the rainforest, where they are properly monitored.
“They were forced out of their forest home as a result of the fires and ended up in a village,” reads a press release of the environmental association. “Fortunately, IAR’s team got to her just in time”.
Over the past weeks, at least 12 orangutans were rescued due to forest fires buning out of control. “This is a global environmental crisis and it is already considered by experts as the worst man-made ecological disaster of the century,” says Karmele Llano Sanchez, Programme Director for IAR Indonesia. “I fear that in terms of the orangutans, the worst is yet to come. And if serious action isn’t taken soon to stop the fires, it will simply be too late.”
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