We can all get a lot out of palm oil, which is a biofuel. Vegetable oil is easy to find and cheap, and it can be used in many household and beauty items. About half of all market goods use palm oil because it can be used in many different ways. This is done for a number of reasons. Today, the market for this oil that can be used in many different ways is also growing.
But the process of making palm oil is bad for the earth. Even though palm oil is promoted as a biofuel, the desire for it has led to more deforestation, especially in Indonesia and Malaysia. There are many local and endangered species there, like orangutans, pygmy elephants, and Sumatran rhinos. The increased production of palm oil threatens the lives of these animals.
Before we had to talk about how animals are affected by the loss of trees in those places, a few things took place. Another terrible thing has happened, which is sad. On the island of Sumatra, in the province of Aceh’s Subulussalam district, a wounded Sumatran orangutan and her starving baby were found in a palm oil farm. The woman was found in a terrible state, with many broken bones, bruises, and being blind.
On March 10, 2019, searchers found a mother orangutan and her babies. They were taken quickly to a quarantine centre. Sad to say, the young child passed away on the way. When they finally got the hurt mother orangutan, the vets were shocked. They gave it the name Hope. When the X-ray results came back, about 74 air gun bullets were found in Hope’s body, the vets said. There were many of them in both of her eye pellets, which is what made her go blind. The shoulder and other bones also had cracks in them. IFLScience says that her right arm had been cut by several sharp things, leaving marks.
The orangutan is having surgery to fix her broken arm, and pellets are also being taken out of her body.
But orangutans in Indonesia have had a problem for a long time. The orangutan protection programme says that many people kill or scare away orangutans and other animals by shooting them with air guns. Veterinarians have taken more than 500 air gun pellets out of the heads of more than 15 orangutans over the past ten years, when they were being checked out. In 2018, an orangutan from the part of Borneo that is in Indonesia was killed by being shot over 130 times with air guns.
IUCN’s Red List says that there are only 13,500 Sumatran orangutans left in the wild. A study in Cell Biology found that the number of orangutans has dropped sharply since 1999. The main reasons for its decline are loss of biodiversity and meddling by people.
We need to do something right now to help these animals that are in danger. Even though we might need palm oil, we don’t have to use a lot of it. It’s the least we can do for our animal friends.