Daily Mail, By Richard Shears, March 29
Hundreds of orangutans are believed to have died in fires deliberately lit by palm oil companies.
Conservationists say the rare Sumatran orangutan could be wiped out within weeks.
”˜It is no longer several years away, but just a few months or even weeks before this iconic creature disappears,’ said Briton Ian Singleton, of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme.
The apes, which live in the Tripa forest on the coast of Aceh province in northern Indonesia, have had to flee the flames as fires wipe out their habitat ”“ and palm oil companies have been blamed for starting the blazes.
Land clearing fires have been started inside the forest, resulting in the animals fleeing – but hundreds are feared to have died in the flames because Indonesians in the employ of the palm oil companies have been accused of driving them back into the flames.
Dr Singleton, originally from Hull, said the remaining orangutans will die either in the fires or of gradual starvation and malnutrition as their food resources disappear.
He added: ”˜We are currently watching a global tragedy.’
Via Digital Journal: Op-Ed: Outrage as palm oil companies exterminate hundreds of orang-utans