orangutan extinct

Palm Oil Production - Orangutans Extinct in 10 Years?

Written by Elizabeth Ely on 22 June 2010

Orangutan and dog as friends

We hear about good oils and bad oils - the eating kind not the crude kind - as they relate to our health. And we hear about the bad done to our planet because of the latter, but not usually the former. But it turns out great damage is being done to the planet due to certain food oils as well. One oil, palm oil, is especially bad - it’s pretty daunting how many products it’s in, it seems like nearly all processed foods have it. The resulting demand for cheap palm oil - and therefore its mass production in Southeast Asia, has led to the destruction of much of the orangutan’s natural habitat. This loss of habitat is the main reason, "It is expected that orangutans could be gone in the wild in as little as ten years." Ten years and gone?

Orangutan and Dog

Sadly we hear all too often about newly endangered and extinct species, so much so that it can be hard to even comprehend. The idea that there is no more, no more at all, no more forever, of an entire species of being...I can’t entirely grasp that. Putting a face to the orangutan’s plight is Suryia, who is "one of the animal ambassadors from T.I.G.E.R.S. [The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species], helping bring attention to the endangered species of the world."

But Suryia also has another role, as a stray Blue Tick hound dog’s best friend. Animals sure have it figured out. Roscoe just wandered up to the South Carolina animal preserve. He didn’t have a home, until he met Suryia. It’s been over 2 years now, and as Dr. Bhagavan Antle, founder of T.I.G.E.R.S. has written, "They will spend a few hours each day together rolling around, swimming...Suryia will take Roscoe for walks around the enclosure and even feed him some of his monkey biscuits . When they are both feeling a little lazy they will go for a ride on the back of Bubbles, our 27-year-old African elephant."

Orangutan ExtinctionThe video below shows the two playing, walking, swimming, and just enjoying each others company. Dr. Antle recounts their first meeting when "they jump[ed] into each others arms and they act[ed] like they [were] long lost friends."The whole video is pretty special but that hug at the 3 minute 30 second mark...let’s hope palm oil is replaced by olive oil for another reason now. Suryia should not be one of the last of her kind. Besides, what would all the Blue Tick hounds do for friends?

Click here to view video