Putting some bite into conservation

This Sumatran orang utan which was rescued from a plantation in South Aceh, Indonesia, received a thorough examination from a veterinarian on Monday.

Orang utans can become trapped in isolated pockets of forest with insufficient food due to the clearing of surrounding forests for farmland. After being rescued and given a clean bill of health, they are released back into the wild in protected areas of forest.

Sumatran orang utans are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with an estimated population of less than 15,000.

Deforestation, especially due to the rapid growth of oil palm plantations, has been blamed for the destruction of the orang utan's habitat. Poachers also target young orang utans, capturing them to be sold as pets, while killing adults.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2019, with the headline 'Putting some bite into conservation'. Print Edition | Subscribe