Unfortunately, the Indonesian rainforests are the battleground of the endangered wildlife that lives there due to the ongoing growth of modern agriculture and palm oil.
And, victims among wildlife are numerous, the latest one being Hope-a Sumatran orangutan that was recently discovered blinded, its bones broken, and full of air gun pellets.
Hope was lying next to its one-month baby near a palm oil plantation located in the Aceh province.
Orangutan Hope Is just one of the many Victims of Palm Oil
On the 10th of March, 2021, the team of veterinarians from the Orangutan Information Center and BKSDA Aceh rushed the animals to the clinic where they found Hope had fractured bones and was injured with a sharp tool in the right arm.
The X-rays also showed her body had at least 74 bullets from air rifles.
The numerous pellets were in the eyes, causing the animal to lose its eyesight and become defenseless.
Sadly, the baby orangutan didn’t survive-it died on the way to the clinic due to malnutrition because the blind and severely injured mom couldn’t feed it.
Hope Undergoes Emergency Surgery
After the tests, Hope was rushed into the OR to treat the broken arm and to take out the gun pellets.
The surgery went well, but she’s still in a poor state. But, the veterinarians who care for her are confident she will make full recovery.
It will be long way there, but she will get all the needed support. The vets also emphasize the need for mental rehab too since she lost a baby while still breastfeeding.
Sweet Hope is already eating some fruits and drinking some milk-she still in the IC cages.
Palm Oil: The Biggest Issue
Indonesia is one of the biggest producers of palm oil in the world.
This oil is versatile and cheap and it’s used as animal feed, as biofuel, and added to a long list of foods and household products.
Did you know that around 50 percent of the packaged foods in supermarkets contain it, including chocolate and shampoo?
In fact, according to the IUCN’s Red List, there are less than 13,500 Sumatran orangutans in the wild; however, this population is being reduced by the continuously decreasing habitat.
And, as the example with Hope shows, this species is also dealing with increasing conflict with humans.