Thursday, 11 September 2008

The Inconvenient Orangutans

In July of this year I joined Hardi Baktiantoro of the Centre for Orangutan Conservation Protection (COP) on a investigative visit to amongst other places, Western Kalimantan (Borneo). Our second in six months to this region.

Both then and now, I remain shocked at how so-called conservation groups who proclaim publicly to be helping save orangutans, choose to ignore those in need of urgent help and often close to their own offices - where to my mind their staff appear to spend a lot of their time.

In a town called Pontianak, located in north-west Borneo, there are two orangutans which are 'owned' by a businessman who keeps them in cages
located in a housing complex, which you will see in the photos below.

Hardi and I took fresh fruit, a luxury to them in captivity, on both this occasion and last January. NO, not one, so-called conservation group locally will help these two orangutans or others like them. Who are these groups? Please see below.

To my mind, leaving these orangutans to the fate of this businessman would be nothing less than obscene, inhumane, disgraceful and, if you are receiving public money to save orangutans, then it is also in my opinion a - SCANDAL.

Please will you take a few minutes to view the photos below and if you are moved at all by them, write this very minute, whilst it is still fresh in your mind, to the people I mention above. If you don't, I'm afraid you become just as complicit as those groups I mention - in other words, you will choose NOT to help these and other orangutans.....and could you live with this choice?