Palm oil is a biofuel that has a lot of benefits for us too. This vegetable oil is affordable and can also be used for plenty of cosmetics and household items. Due to its versatility, for a variety of reasons, about 50% of all consumer products use palm oil. In the present world, the market for this flexible oil is also growing.
Nevertheless, palm oil production has serious impacts on our eco-system. Although it is a biofuel that is widely promoted, the demand for palm oil has resulted in increasing deforestation, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia. It is host to many native and endangered species such as orangutans, pygmy elephants, and Sumatran rhinos–all such animals ‘ livelihoods are threatened by the rise in palm oil cultivation.
Before we had to deal with the fact that animals are becoming affected by deforestation in those areas, there are several events. Unfortunately, another tragic event has taken place. A wounded Sumatran Orangutan was discovered in a palm oil plantation in the Subulussalam district of the province of Aceh on the island of Sumatra with her malnourished baby In a terrible condition, the mother was found–blinded, injured and with many broken bones.
We raced to a quarantine center when the rescuers found the mother orangutan and the baby on March 10, 2019. Sadly, on the way, the young child took his final breath. As they got the wounded mother orangutan, the veterinarians were stunned. They named it’ Hope.’ The veterinarians pointed out when the X-Ray report came back and they found that Hope had about 74 air rifle bullets in her body there were several in both of her eyes pellets that caused her blindness. The bones of the collar and other bones were also fractured. as reported by IFLScience, Her right arm, had wounds from several sharp objects.
The Orangutan is currently going through surgeries for her broken arm and the pellets are being removed from her body.
The issue faced by orangutans in Indonesia is not something new. Many people use air guns to kill or shoot orangutans or other animals to ward them off, according to the orangutan conservation program. Over the last ten years, the vets have examined more than 15 orangutans and removed over 500 pellets of air guns from their heads. Even in 2018, after being shot about 130 times with air guns, an orangutan from the Indonesian part of Borneo was killed.
Just 13,500 Sumatran orangutans are found in the wild, as confirmed by the IUCN Red List. A Cell Biology study found that since 1999 there has been a drastic decline in the orangutan population. The main causes of this loss are biodiversity and human intervention.
Now, it is high time we took important steps to preserve these endangered animals. While palm oil may be needed, our demand for it can be limited. For our animal friends, that’s the least we can do.