Did you know that orangutans share 97 percent of our DNA? Like us, they have complex emotions, family bonds, and a love of drawing and music. Rickina is a little orphaned orangutan who’s being cared for at the IAR Ketapang Orangutan Rescue Center in Borneo, after being confiscated from a man who claims that her mother dropped her and ran away when she saw a stranger in the forest. Rickina has a horrible wound on her head that the man says was caused by his machete when he bent down to pick her up, but considering that mother orangutans will fight to the death to protect their young, his story is “suspect”, to say the least. In this video, Rickina is making some new friends, who will hopefully lessen her anxiety at being away from her mother.
Orangutans are disappearing from the world on a near-daily basis: not only is their natural habitat being destroyed to create palm plantations, these close cousins of ours are being slaughtered for the sake of oil production. Mass orangutan graves have been found in areas where major companies like Proctor & Gamble get their palm oil supplies, and when parent apes are killed, the orphans are left to fend for themselves. As you can imagine, if they’re not found by conservationists, they will die.
The horrific cruelty inflicted upon orangutans has to end, and they need our help to make it stop. Please consider donating to one of the organizations that’s dedicated to helping these intelligent beings, and do your research to find out if the products you’re using are created ethically. Write to companies and your members of parliament to make your voice heard: let’s not allow our cousins to be eradicated for the sake of another’s greed.