Last year I went to Borneo to see for myself what is happening to them. I wanted to do some research and film them for a documentary I am making about them. I will let you know when it is finished. These photos are a small portion of what I took when I was there.
A couple of things are happening, firstly the forests are being cut down and replaced with Palm Oil Plantations and secondly climate change. The orang-utans natural habitat and natural food stocks are depleting and therefore pushing these graceful animals close to extinction. It takes years and years to rehabilitate an orang-utan back into the wild.
A great organisation helping the orang-utans is the Australian Orang-utan Project, their website is www.orangutan.org.au they have a great education page where you can learn more about orang-utans.
I am hoping to return to Borneo as a researcher and not a tourist but I also would like to go to Sumatra.
Here is an article I wrote last year for the Australian Orang-utan Project about my trip to Borneo.
My Trip to Borneo
My name is Parrys Raines, I am 13 years old. My passion for the environment started a few years ago but over the last two years I have become particularly interested in Climate Change and how humans are making a huge impact on our planet.
I have a special interest in Orang-utans and earlier this year I travelled to Borneo on my way to the International Children’s Conference on the Environment in Norway, to learn and film them for a documentary I want to make about them. I have wanted to go to Borneo for a long time after I had read books about the orang-utans. I also wanted to see for myself the palm oil plantations that are replacing the natural forests. This is devastating for Borneo’s wide range of wild life but in particular the orang-utans. It was a shock to see the plantations from the air; you see the real picture of what the orang-utans are up against.
I had seven days in Borneo; four of the days were spent learning about the Orang-utans in Borneo’s sanctuary’s and rehabilitation centres. I also spent two days travelling on the rivers in the jungle looking for Proboscis Monkey’s which are also only found in Borneo. It was exciting to find groups of them by the riverside. I also saw other types of monkeys and even fireflies.
Borneo is a beautiful country. It is a developing country and people live a lot different to how we live in Australia. I learnt how privileged we are in Australia.
I was able to get a lot of footage of Orang-Utans for my documentary. It was so special and so different to see these magnificent creatures up close playing in the trees in their natural environment. There is no way to describe the feeling I got when I looked into the big beautiful eyes of an orang-utan. When I saw my first orang-utan swinging in the trees I wondered how I would feel if someone took away my home. I wondered what each orang-utan had gone through to get to these sanctuaries. I wondered what the mother orang-utan thought when she knew she may not be able to save and protect her baby. Their only crime was looking for food among the palm oil trees.
These sanctuaries are necessary I know but there should be no need for them. They should be able to roam freely in the jungle. After all orang-utan means “man of the forest”. I will go back to Borneo and I would like to go to Sumatra as well. Next time though, I don’t want to go as a tourist but in a role that allows me to help them.
My motto is ‘Habits made today will help life tomorrow’, older generations need to work with younger generations to help combat issues of climate change and help protect plants and animals like the Orang-utans. We have the technology, the know-how and most importantly we still have time, just enough time to combat the issues we are faced with.
The Australian Orang-utan Project is an organisation helping these beautiful animals. Without them and other organisations the orang-utan would have already become extinct in the wild. It is our responsibility as humans not let the orang-utans become extinct in the wild. What will it take to stop this from happening?