A heartbreaking moment as a desperate orangutan tries to fight off an excavator to save his jungle home from loggers in Indonesia.
As the excavator crashed down on a pile of trees, the orangutan leaped down a large trunk to try and stop the machine digger with his hands.
On the footage, that was shared on Facebook by workers from International Animal Rescue (IAR), the great ape tried clinging onto the arm of the bulldozer but slipped and fell into the stack of trees. He then tried to scramble around the back of the machine so he could climb back on.
This heartbreaking scene was captured in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, as a construction company demolished a section of Sungai Putri Forest, which is a habitat of the critically endangered Bornean orangutans.
Fortunately, the IAR team was near the site and managed to rescue the animal, relocating him to a remote and protected area of the forest.
The footage of the scene just shows how far these indigenous animals are being endangered by humans.
The IAR reported:
“This desperate orangutan is frantically seeking refuge from the destructive power of the bulldozer; a machine that has already decimated everything else around him.”
“Despite all the obstacles thrown at them, our team were able to rescue this orangutan and bring him to safety.”
“Unfortunately, scenes like this are becoming more and more frequent in Indonesia. Deforestation has caused the orangutan population to plummet; habitats are destroyed, and orangutans are left to starve and die.”
Sungai Putri Forest is one of the few natural habitats left for Bornean orangutans, but it’s on the verge of destruction as many people and corporates clear the forest to expand palm oil plantation and other projects.
In a recent Greenpeace Indonesia’s investigation report, at least six illegal logging settlements exist near Sungai Putri Forest, and the activities are mostly carried out at night.
Bornean orangutans in Indonesia have already lost more than half of their habitats due to logging activities, since the 1970s. The animals are even at risk of being killed if they ever return to the lands after palm plantations have been established.
Karmele Llano Sanchez, program director of IAR in Indonesia, revealed:
“Habitat destruction forces orangutans to enter neighboring plantations and farms looking for food, and this frequently leads to conflict with humans.”
“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.”
This Indonesian forest is among the last “refuges” of Bornean orangutans, and the survival of these species depends on creating “wildlife havens” and protecting the existing ones.
Scientists have estimated that Bornean orangutans’ population has halved in the last 17 years. According to a recent study by the Centre for Conservation of Natural Resources, Sungai Putri Forest is home to 950-1200 orangutans. And 84 percent of this landscape is covered by peatland
IAR is now working on the ground to safeguard orangutan’s habitats. They’ve even created a fund, where you can donate and offer support, to help save these indigenous animals.