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Orangutans in danger

© BOSF | FOUR PAWS │Adzwari Ridzki

The last four decades have seen Borneo’s rainforest destroyed at twice the rate of any other habitat in the world. Orangutans are victims of the palm oil, tropical timber, and coal industries. Approximately 3,000 fall victim each year to the destruction of the rainforest for commercial plantations and open-cast coal mining. On palm oil plantations they are often killed for money, as they are considered to be "crop thieves." The killing of these great animals leaves many vulnerable orangutan orphans exposed in the rainforest, and many end up being illegally sold by animal dealers as pets. Globally, orangutans comprise 60% of all illegally traded great apes.


Fewer than 50,000 wild orangutans are left. Many baby orangutans in Borneo, Indonesia suffer a dreadful fate: their mothers brutally murdered by humans while they are caught and sold as pets. So much of Borneo’s forest has now been destroyed that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) officially classified the Borneo orangutan as critically endangered at the beginning of 2016. Recent studies show that the orangutan population in Borneo has shrunk by 80 percent and without serious and immediate protection they will be doomed to extinction within three orangutan generations. 

Dr. Signe Preuschoft standing in a destroyed forest.
© BOSF | FOUR PAWS │Matthias Schickhofer

FOUR PAWS is helping orangutan orphans

For years, FOUR PAWS has been fighting against the extermination of these beautiful great apes. Unlike many other mammals, an orangutan does not come into the world fully developed. Like a human, they have to learn. At the FOUR PAWS Orangutan Forest School the committed staff is doing their part to help save this amazing species.

© BOSF | FOUR PAWS │Adzwari Ridzki