Orangutans: Facing Extinction

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Orangutans are vanishing at alarming rates — humans are to blame.

As INTERNATIONAL ORANGUTAN DAY approaches, it is important we acknowledge our part in the fragility of one of our closest ancestors — the orangutan.

Indonesia is the world leading exporter of palm oil, exporting $15.3B worth of the resource in 2019. Because it can be refined and blended into many different products — soap, chocolate, instant noodles, toothpaste, detergent — palm oil’s versatility makes it very desirable. Today, the world produces 75 million metric tons of palm oil — 25 times the amount of worldwide olive oil production.

But this convenience comes at a devastating cost — to both wildlife and to us.

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