Orangutan caught in snare as ‘sustainable’ palm oil company trashes forest16/04/2012 09:53:35 Palm oil company responsible for the deaths of countless orangutans is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
April 2012. Large numbers of orangutans in West Kalimantan are dying because their forest home has been destroyed to make way for a palm oil plantation. Shockingly, the company behind the new plantation - PT KAL (Kayung Agro Lestari) from Austindo Nustantara Jaya Group - is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The RSPO was set up to promote the sustainable production and use of palm oil, and oil produced by member companies is marketed to consumers as environmentally friendly. However, numerous orangutans have been forced to flee into a small forest beside the new plantation and are dying of starvation or losing their lives in conflicts with nearby villagers.
Orangutan caught in a snare
The rescue team, led by veterinary director Karmele Llano Sanchez, sedated the orangutan, freed him from the snare and gave him fluids for severe dehydration before transporting him back to IAR's clinic in Ketapang, West Kalimantan.
The 400 hectare forest in Pelangsi, Kuala Satung, West Kalimantan is providing refuge to a large number of orangutans that have fled from the new palm oil plantation. The local man who set the trap has admitted to having 60 snares in the forest which pose a huge threat to the orangutans and other wildlife.
IAR's centre in Ketapang is already caring for three baby orangutans that were rescued from the PT KAL palm oil plantation and the team also tried unsuccessfully to rescue three more that were found there during land clearing operations. Clearly the company has no concern for the welfare of the wildlife living in the forest, in spite of its membership of the RSPO.
Karmele Llano Sanchez, IAR Veterinary Director, said: "Pelangsi's story is a graphic illustration of the fate of countless orangutans that are left homeless and hungry when the forest is cut down. Our rescue centre is now caring for 50 orangutans and that number will continue to rise rapidly until drastic measures are taken by the palm oil companies to protect orangutans and other wildlife from the devastating effects of their industry.
"Our team of Indonesian and European vets is working round the clock to save Pelangsi's life," she added. "I couldn't be more proud of the commitment and dedication they show to helping and healing the growing number of sick and injured animals in their care. Our thanks to Dr Adi, Dr Wendi, Dr Silje, Dr Richa, Dr Jesus and Dr Raul for all they are doing."