The Forest People, our Orangutans are Disappearing

Here I was, floating somewhere on the Sekonyer River of Borneo following the footsteps of Dr. Biruté Galdikas, a paleoanthropologist that studied under Louis Leakey. These folks dedicated their sanity and grit to survive this place that consumes you and eats you whole, the tropics of southeast Asia. Imagine days of solitude wading through tannic swaps, shrill cicadas threatening deafness, and a permeating humidity so thick it weighs each breath with heaviness. Days, years, lifetimes spent following our 96% DNA-related relatives. The word orangutan is derived from the Indonesian language. “Orang” means person and “hutan” means forest. They truly are “forest people” and spend most of their time swinging from limbs with their long arms.

And so, I float on this boat during a three-day tour with stops at orangutan feeding stations along the way. The orangutans of Borneo are fascinating beings to observe. Over half the population has been lost in the past sixteen years leaving less than 100,000. Deforestation due to the expanding cash crop, palm oil, is a major cause along with poaching and hunting. This is a critically endangered species that may cease to exist in my lifetime.

For more info: https://www.orangutantrekkingtours.com/…/palm-oil-products…/

To book a highly recommend tour with the off-the-charts amazing Siti: http://www.tanjung-puting.com/tanjung-puting-orangutan-klotok-boat-tours-independent-tour-guides/

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