The number of orangutans in Borneo and on the Indonesian island of Sumatra has fallen precipitously since the 1970s
In this Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016 file photo, a wild orangutan sits on a tree branch in Sungai Mangkutub, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Conservation group Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) says nearly a fifth of the forest belonging to an orangutan sanctuary on the Indonesian part of Borneo has been occupied and damaged by people living near the area, threatening efforts to rehabilitate the critically endangered great apes for release into the wild. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara, File), photo: AP/Dita Alangkara, File
27 of July 2017 19:52:25
JAKARTA – A conservation group says nearly a fifth of the forest in an orangutan sanctuary on the Indonesian part of Borneo has been taken over by people, threatening efforts to rehabilitate the critically endangered great apes for release into the wild.People thought to have migrated from other parts of Indonesia have occupied part of the sanctuary, cut down trees and planted crops including palm oil, Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation spokesman Nico Hermanu said Thursday.The human activities are near a "forest school" where more than 20 orangutans live semi-independently and learn how to find food, build nests and other skills they need for survival — a crucial part of their rehabilitation from trauma often inflicted by people, who take babies for pets or kill the animals for wandering into plantations.The foundation bought the land for the 1,850-hectare (4,571-acre) sanctuary from locals over several years and restored its forest. It now cares for 170 orangutans overall.Hermanu said the foundation told the residents they were encroaching on the Samboja Lestari sanctuary, "but their activities keep continuing."