Orangutans lost their habitat, they were shot to death and slaughtered. Consequently, the result of these horrible things has made the status of this Bornean charismatic ape elevated to critically-endangered, just one step before the extinction. To raise the awareness, Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) has worked together with the Indonesian Agency for Nature Conservation (BKSDA) chapter Palangka Raya to host the International Orangutan (OU) Day that was successfully held on Sunday (19/8/2018).
The event took place in the village of Kereng Bangkirai which is the entrance gate to the home for the largest orangutan population in the Sabangau Peat-swamp Forest and was attended by more than 500 audiences from nearby villages and towns. The crowd were entertained with the traditional dance by Anak Sabangau and the theatrical performance by the students of Sahabat Alam School that depicted the endless threat faced by orangutan in its wild habitat “home.”
The OU Day is celebrated across the globe in order commemorate this magnificent creature every August 19th which is just two days after the celebration of the Indonesian independence day. However, the awareness for protecting the orangutan in the country is still low. It’s still fresh to recall the orangutan that was shot to death with more than 100 bullets nested in the body of critically-endangered orangutan by heartless men in Kalimantan. Likewise, the habitat loss also becomes the threat of decreasing population of this Bornean flagship. Deforestation and annual forest fires have led to habitat loss making the red-furred mammals hardly find home to stay and food to eat.
As for the above reason, the event also features interactive dialogue with the orangutan experts from BKSDA, police official, and Forkah (the Central Kalimantan Orangutan Forum) where the audiences were given session to ask questions. The event is expected to shed some lights to general public regarding orangutan conservation considering multiple threats that have put the population into higher risk of extinction.
BNF has been working endlessly to protect the habitat of orangutan. The organisation has supported the local patrol team and the establishment of two fire-fighting communities in the village of Sabaru and Kereng not only to fight the fires in the rainforests of Kalimantan but also the land fires that hit the cities recently.
We would like to express our greatest appreciation to all of our supporters particularly the UK Government through the Darwin Initiative for providing generous support to make this event possible. We hope that through this event everyone will be informed about the importance of orangutans and the crucial message that we need to save orangutans from extinction. We don’t want a future without this charismatic species, where it is only a mascot but disappears from its forest home.
Let’s work together to protect orangutans and save them from the extinction!