Today is World Orangutan Day. “That sounds like a made-up day.” Well, all days are made-up days, but you do kind of have a point there, reader.
Between 1992 and 2000, the world population of the Sumatran orangutan dropped by more than 50 percent, and just an estimate 7,000 of them are left. Over the past decade, the Bornean orangutan population came down by nearly 43 percent, and their population is estimated at around 45,000, reports MSN.
Some experts have estimated that the orangutan will be extinct by 2023.
“At the current rate of habitat destruction, orangutans could be extinct in the wild in ten to twenty years,” said Cheryl Knott, an anthropologist at Harvard University.
So August 19 is World Orangutan Day, meant to “recognize the most iconic victim of the palm oil industry,” according to the day’s official website. Illegal logging or trees in the face of heightened world demand for palm oil has destroyed nearly 90 percent of the orangutan’s rainforest habitat.
“The pace of the logging is increasing and escalating,” said Knott. “Now they’re moving much further, quite far, into the interior, and it’s just really critical that we stop it because the interior part of the park is the last, really the only, long term research site in the world.”
If orangutans are your thing, you can consider a donation here to help the people hard at work rescuing orangutans around the world. You can also check out the worldwide event on Facebook here.
Are you planning on observing World Orangutan Day?