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Happy World Orangutan Day and World Photography Day!

Today is both World Orangutan Day AND World Photography Day! Please read and share the following information to spread awareness about orangutan conservation!

This is a photo of a mother Bornean Orangutan (note the tiny hand on her lap!) that I saw in Tanjung Puting National Park, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). These orangutans are "semi-wild"; they have all been rescued and rehabilitated (or are descendents of rescued orangutans), many times from palm oil plantations where orangutans are often killed or injured. These orangutans are then re-released into the wild where they are free to roam anywhere they please, although many stick around because they have grown habituated to humans and are fed a supplemental diet once or twice a day at feeding stations (there are good and bad aspects to this system, but that's a story for another time).

Both species of orangutan (Bornean and Sumatran) are greatly threatened by ever-expanding palm oil plantations. You can play a large role in orangutan protection by making an effort to buy sustainable palm oil products, and by urging companies that don't use sustainable oil to make the switch. !! Boycotting palm oil altogether is not necessarily a good solution, as it could negatively impact the communities companies involved in palm oil production, and companies could switch to other oils that cause even more habitat devastation. Instead, please focus on buying products that use Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO)!

Some quick facts about Conflict Palm Oil (Non-Sustainable Palm Oil): - Conflict palm oil is the primary threat that is currently endangering wild orangutan populations - Approximately 50,000 orangutans have died because of deforestation due to palm oil in the last two decades - Conflict palm oil is found is approximately 50% of packaged products (including food items, shampoos, lipsticks, and more!) sold in grocery stores in the US - Conflict palm oil is used for food products, detergents, cosmetics and biofuel - The conflict palm oil industry has been linked to major human rights violations such as child labour in countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia - Conflict palm oil production is one of the world's leading causes of rainforest destruction

Please visit the following websites to learn more about this issue: - Rainforest Action Network - - WWF -…/footprint/agriculture/palm_oil/ - -…/how-to-source-sustainable-palm-oil/

Thank you for caring about the world's orangutans!!

Photo: "I See You" - Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) - Kalimantan, Indonesia - 2014 ISO 800 - F4.5 - 1/80 - 70mm

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© Alena E.S. Photography

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