A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Orangutans Fight Back


It’s not quite Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but it seems like orangutans in the Borneo rain forest are not up for being driven from their homes any longer.

One tribe of these gentle creatures has begun fighting back. After constant attacks by logging and palm oil agribusiness workers, in which the orangs are beaten and harassed into leaving their homes in the forest, or are simply shot and killed if they don’t comply, one family apparently decided they were “mad as hell and not going to take it any longer.”

The Australian Daily Telegraph reports that after a series of shootings by palm oil workers, one of the workers was found unconscious and covered in bite wounds.

“He was badly injured, some of his fingers were nearly cut off. He had fainted after losing a lot of blood,” a government conservation agent said.

It was clear that the man, known by his single name, Kurnadi, had not been attacked by just one orang, but by a whole group.

The Daily Mailquotes an environmentalist in Jakarta as saying: “The attack on the worker is perhaps an indication that the orangutan realizes it must strike back to save its habitat.”

They may, indeed, not go out without a fight. But right now it’s almost certain that they’re going out. Like our other great ape cousins, orangutans are expected to be extinct in the wild within a few decades from now.

One of the groups working to protect them is the Austrian organization Four Paws. Earlier this year we wrote about how they rescued a mother and childfrom a gang of men who were coming at them with knives. The palm oil companies that are tearing down the forest homes of orangutans in Borneo pay roughly $100 per animal slaughtered.

More photos of the orangutans and the groups that are trying to save them are in this story.

What you can do: Don’t buy foods or household products with palm oil in them. Read the label carefully. Palm oil is in more and more processed foods and supplies.