Sat, 05/16/2009 2:06 PM | Reader's Forum The Jakarta Post
This is a comment on a letter titled "Indonesia, save orangutans now!" sent by Jeanie Elford (The Jakarta Post, May 8)
Each time I visit your country, I cannot understand why people who are ever so friendly, should care so little about their sometimes breathtaking natural environment and the inhabitants, orangutans and other animals.
I do understand, however, that many people are so desperately poor that they have to care about other things, or may even end up as poachers.
But there must certainly also be an Indonesian middle class, who should have an interest in saving the surroundings for future generations, instead of only being able to offer them an endless, monotonous sight of palm oil plantations, as can already be seen in parts of Malaysia (and in Indonesia too, I am afraid).
And they would know how to deal with and how to stop those who are gaining most by destroying your environment.
There is a glimpse of hope though: it was Indonesian children that helped to create one of the first orangutan orphanages in Borneo. Also, while visiting zoos in Indonesia, I was often impressed by the respectful approach of the people toward the animals.
So maybe, they all just don't get enough information, as it happens likewise with the knowledge about the longtime effects of the plastic rubbish spread all around?
Recently another article, citing the Taman Safari Indonesia II Zoo, reports, that they have taken four small baby orangutans from their mothers in order to speed up reproduction.
Apart from the obvious cruelty (the offspring typically remain with the mother for about seven years in the wild), it is unbelievable that an Indonesian zoo would want to breed orangutans in captivity. As we all know, the Ragunan Zoo has already too many and can hardly provide for them It looks very grim for your natural heritage.