Throughout Borneo, orangutans playfully swing from branch to branch, enjoying the wooded wonderland they call home – but dangers are often hiding in the shadows. Although the name “Orangutan” actually translates to “man of the forest” in the Malay language – it appears thatman may pose their greatest threat.
Illegal logging in the areas forests is destroying the orangutan’s habitat. With palm oil plantations expanding at record speed, greater numbers of orangutans are found orphaned and illegally held and traded.
In order to help preserve precious wildlife, the Animal and Habitat Protection project (AHP) was created. This three-member team promotes conservation education and ecological awareness, while also monitoring illegal trade in wildlife, timber and other natural resources.
Along with orangutans, the animals in need of help are vast and varied – and growing in number by the day. Recent investigations by the team found the following illegally held wildlife: 14 orangutans, 16 gibbons, 3 eagles, 1 hornbill and 3 proboscis monkeys.
The work being done by the AHP team is helping to change the way local authorities respond to conservation violations - and even led to the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding. By gaining the support of law enforcement officials – and the local people of the area – efforts to protect these rare and wonderful animals become infinitely more effective.
The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund has supported the project since 2008 and is proud to play its part in helping these extraordinary species survive.