Some villagers allegedly became frightened of an orangutan and its baby. The animals had just escaped a certain death from the brush fires that are taking place across Indonesia. The villagers began throwing stones at the poor animals. They say it was in self defense.
Thankfully, a group of rescuers came along just in time to save the lives of these animals by taking them out of the village where they were in danger of being stoned to death.
“The villagers threw things at the terrified mother before attempting to capture and tie her up,” International Animal Rescue (IAR) said.
The group of rescuers quickly anesthetized the primates and took the animals away from the village.
“The [orangutans] have now been translocated and released into a safe area of protected rainforest and are being monitored by a conservation team to ensure that they are recovering well from their terrible ordeal,” the IAR team added.
People are setting fires in the forests of Indonesia in their quest for palm oil. As a result, the wildlife has been severely disrupted, and many are fleeing their habitats and encountering humans, who fear them. Clashes between wild animals and humans in Indonesia aren’t new but the fires are driving animals out towards fearful, territorial human populations on an unprecedented scale.
The reason the villagers give for trying to kill orangutans are self-defense and fear, but a previous study on the Kalimantan region of Indonesia shows that many villagers actually want to eat the primates.
The Bornean orangutan are an endangered specie, with only 22% of their entire population living in specially protected areas; 49% of the population will be lost if all of their natural forest habitat outside of the protected areas is destroyed. The overwhelming forest fires are bringing them closer to extinction.
Fortunately, this particular story has a happy ending.