Op.ECO: Roar of the Jungle
+ Walk with me into a tropical forest unique to anywhere else on Earth. Walls of trees covered in large leaves and vines. There is a sound in the distance that is difficult to make out. We start our journey in that direction. In hopes to find all the different species along the way. We push through the brush and discover a family of Orangutans sitting just above our heads. These friendly animals are in-fact 97% DNA similar to humans. It’s captivating watching the family before us and how they interact. But that sound in the distance is calling. We step over a fallen tree, seems to have been here for a while as we look up we see a Sun Bear on the other side. Mining for whatever is inside this hollowed log. Capturing our pictures we then hear a loud snap, this interrupted our bear’s afternoon feast. Out of the corner of our eyes we see something moving in the trees above us. Could it be the Clouded Leopard or the Sumatran Tiger? Nope just a curious young Orangutan. Seems to have joined our party.
We continue on with a small river at our side, the noise in the distance is getting louder. Maybe it’s the Sumatran Tiger? We hurry our pace in the hope to see such an elusive animal. There is something so humbling being in an insulated jungle, untouched and free. Splashing in the river is a herd of Pygmy Elephants. We don’t move any closer as not to disrupt their afternoon bath, for the jungle weather is thick with humidity. We stop, these Elephants have the right idea. It’s time to cool off from the hike so far.
The Elephants notice us and start moving towards us. We are the visitors here and they are curious about us. Still our young Orangutan sits in the distance. Moving a little closer every time we look back. The roar of the sound we’ve been tracking moved the Elephants onto their journey away from the sound. We press on. The jungle has been so dense all day, but there seems to be more light up ahead. The sounds are getting louder. Maybe it’s a pack? Not knowing much about this species of Tiger we are keeping cautious. A clearing seems to be up ahead, we move a little quicker now with great anticipation about our discovery. Our friend the Orangutan is now on our heels.
As we reach the edge of the jungle, we’ve done just that. The lush terrain that we’ve been breathing all day has just turned into a desolate wasteland of the fallen. Covered in dead trees and burning fields. The roar that we were following revealed itself. Large machinery ripping through this unique territory. None of us speak. Shock, sadness, disbelief is washing over all of us. How can this be? Who is doing this? And what for? What could be so important that the destruction of this habitat is happening?
We hear a high pitched scream. Turning our heads we see our young Orangutan friend being carted away in a cage. No more standing around and waiting for someone else to do it. It’s time to take action.
What is it? Cheap vegetable Oil Where is it grown? Predominately Borneo & Sumatra What is it in? Cosmetics & packaged goods
Orangutans Dropped from 1999 when there were over 200,000 Now less than 70,000 Pygmy Elephants Less than 1,500 wild remain We are at critical endangered to risk of extinction!
Deforestation Greater than 6Million Hectars(ha) have been destroyed. That’s over 4.5 million football fields. The Grand Canyon only 493,059 ha! CO2 releasing high capacity
Affects to Humans +Cardiovascular Disease, +Ischaemic heart disease mortality, +Other adverse affects (According to the W.H.O) Deep Dive with the link below…
How you can help? Donate to organizations that are on the front lines of conservation.
+ Deeper Dives
This is just scratching the surface on a large issue. Follow the links below to learn more about the palm oil industry & other reliable sources.
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