Saving Orangutans
by Alain Schroeder

project STATEMENT

This series documents the incongruous behavior between man and the environment in Sumatra, Indonesia. On the one hand, humans destroy virgin forests, wounding and killing animals, while on the other hand they do everything possible to save them. One day, an orangutan is found peppered and blinded by 74 air bullet wounds, and the very next day a surgeon travels halfway across the planet to save it.

Indonesia’s Sumatran orangutan is under severe threat from the incessant and ongoing depletion and fragmentation of the rainforest. As palm oil and rubber plantations, logging, road construction, mining, hunting, and other developments continue to proliferate, orangutans are being forced out of their natural rainforest habitat.

Organizations like the OIC (Orangutan Information Center) and their immediate response team HOCRU (Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit) rescue orangutans in difficulty (lost, injured, captive…) while the SOCP (Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme) cares for, rehabilitates, and resocializes orangutans at their purpose-built medical facility, aiming to reintroduce them into the wild and to create new self-sustaining, genetically viable populations in protected forests.

That we share 97% of our genetic heritage with orangutans seems obvious when you observe their human-like behavior. Today, with just over 14,000 specimens left, the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) along with the 800 specimens of the recently discovered Tapanuli species (Pongo tapanuliensis) are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Artificial Glaciers
Ciril Jazbec

Mountains are the water towers of the world. They provide freshwater to half the world’s population for irrigation, industry, domestic use, and hydropower.

Changing Perspectives: Chile
Jamey Stillings

Changing Perspectives: Chile examines the evolving nexus between renewable energy, development, and mining in the Atacama Desert of Chile.

Midnight in the Garden
Anna Beeke

There is a garden in the city, an idyllic oasis set apart from the urban chaos by a wrought iron fence. If you pass it in the daytime, you might notice how nicely it has been curated and cared for it, how pretty it is, how much like paradise.