The International Animal Rescue warned the Indonesian government that destroying forests could lead to more man-animal conflicts
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of animal cruelty that readers might find disturbing.
A heartbreaking video shows an orangutan desperately trying to protect its home by attempting to fight a bulldozer that's razing down trees in the jungle. Illegal loggers were destroying the forests in Borneo, Indonesia when they came across the orangutan that was desperate to protect its home. The video that went viral online shows the orangutan standing on a branch and trying to push away the bulldozer. As it fails to push away the bulldozer with its hands, the orangutan falls off the branch into a pile of trees that had already been cut down before getting up to fight the machine again, according to The Mirror.
The incident happened at the Sungai Putri forest in Borneo, Indonesia. A construction company is busy destroying protected forest cover illegally in the region. The Sungai Putri forest area is the natural habitat of endangered Bornean Orangutans. The video starts with the bulldozer bringing down a tree that already had the orangutan on it. The orangutan hangs on as the tree falls down. It then walks along the trunk of the tree that's horizontal now, and starts to push back against the huge Bulldozer 'arm.'
The video was captured by one of the workers at the International Animal Rescue (IAR). “This desperate orangutan is frantically seeking refuge from the destructive power of the bulldozer; a machine that has already decimated everything else around him,” wrote IAR about the video. “Despite all the obstacles thrown at them, our team were able to rescue this orangutan and bring him to safety.”
Two men with dart guns from the Orangutan Protection Unit for the International Animal Rescue non-profit organization can be seen approaching the orangutan, in an attempt to sedate it. The orangutan hides beneath the trunk of the tree but they successfully sedate the orangutan using the dart gun. International Animal Rescue warned that the destruction of animals' natural habitat forces them to enter human-populated which leads to conflict with humans. The incident happened in 2013 but the International Animal Rescue released the video only in 2018.
"Photos taken by Greenpeace Indonesia in March 2018 reveal at least six illegal logging settlements inside the PT Mohairson Pawan Khatulistiwa (MPK) concession in Sungai Putri, a 57,000-hectare peatland forest and one of the last orangutan strongholds in the world," wrote IAR. Apparently, the illegal logging activities were done in the darkness of the night and they didn't even spare the locations where the nests of orangutan are found." Greenpeace Indonesia also hit out at the government for doing little to protect the habitat. "This is a major embarrassment for the Indonesian government, which has consistently promised to protect Sungai Putri. More than a year ago, the government ordered MPK to stop trashing the forest and peatlands, yet its excavators are still in place and now chainsaws are finishing the job," said Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner Ratri Kusumohartono.
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Deforestation has become a serious issue in Indonesia and it has caused the orangutan population to plummet.“This is a major embarrassment for the Indonesian government, which has consistently promised to protect Sungai Putri,” said Greenpeace campaigner Ratri Kusumohartono, according to Mongabay. “Sungai Putri is home to one of the largest populations in the world and we are at a critical point for the Bornean orangutan, without forests like this they can’t survive,” said Karmele Llano Sanchez, program director of International Animal Rescue in Indonesia, before adding, "It is time for the Indonesian government to ensure the full protection of Sungai Putri, its environment, and wildlife.”