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World Orangutan Day

Updated on August 12, 2016

World Orangutan Day

World Orangutan Day takes place each year on August the 19th. The aim of the event is to draw the World's attention to the plight which Orangutans are facing in the wild.

The Orangutan is in big trouble. Its forest homes are being destroyed, felled, burned, clear cut to provide land for growing Oil Palms. The Palm Oil industry is big business. The industry reeks of corruption. There is no caring, there is no concern. The Orangutans have nowhere to go. Nowhere!

Orangutans are burned to death, hacked to death. Some are caught and sold to Dysfunctional Zoos such as Safari World in Bangkok. International laws are flouted right left and center. There is not enough caring.

Good Zoos care. There are managed captive Breeding Programmes for the Orangutan. At the rate destruction is taking place it may well be that the only place you will ever see an Orangutan is in a zoo. Good zoos don't want that. Good zoos are saving species for a day when our presently mad planet realises that other species matter.

On World Orangutan Day visit a good zoo. Think about the animals there. Why they are there. Think too about Palm Oil.

Palm Oil

It is difficult for you to escape Palm Oil. It is the 'secret ingredient' in so many of the products which are in your kitchen cupboard today.

Why secret? Because the companies who manufacture these goods are only too aware of the damage THEY are doing to the forests of Asia. Such is their guilt that they change the names. Palm Oil may be listed as an ingredient under such as:

PKO – Palm Kernel Oil

PKO fractionations: Palm Kernel Stearin (PKs); Palm Kernel Olein (PKOo)

PHPKO – Partially hydrogenated Palm Oil

FP(K)O – Fractionated Palm Oil

OPKO – Organic Palm Kernel Oil

Palmitate – Vitamin A or Asorbyl Palmitate (NOTE: Vitamin A Palmitate is a very common ingredient in breakfast cereals and we have confirmed 100% of the samples we’ve investigated to be derived from palm oil)


Sodium Laureth Sulphate (Can also be from coconut)

Sodium Lauryl Sulphates (can also be from ricinus oil)

Sodium dodecyl Sulphate (SDS or NaDS)

Elaeis Guineensis

Glyceryl Stearate

Stearic Acid

Chemicals which contain palm oil

Steareth -2

Steareth -20

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate

Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate (coconut and/or palm)

Hydrated palm glycerides

Sodium isostearoyl lactylaye (derived from vegetable stearic acid)

Cetyl palmitate and octyl palmitate (names with palmitate at the end are usually derived from palm oil, but as in the case of Vitamin A Palmitate, very rarely a company will use a different vegetable oil)

List source:

Not Just In Food

Palm Oil is not just in food it is in cosmetics too.

The Good News

The good news is that Palm Oil is only in around 50% of the products on the Supermarket shelves. There ARE alternatives. Ethical purchasing will hit the corrupt uncaring companies in their bank balance and force change.

Also good to know is there are people working to save Orangutans from their destroyed homes. They rescue every animal they can. They care for them and support them to the best of their ability. It needs money though....for food, accommodation and veterinary care. This is no stop gap short term cure. Orangutans are long lived animals. They need support, our support till the end of their days. We owe it to them. It is our lifestyle which as left them homeless.

On World Orangutan Day why not pledge to support one of the organisations which really cares for Orangutans? That actually returns some to protected forests.

The very best is founded by the remarkable Lone Dröscher Nielsen.

There are other good rescue facilities out there but equally there are others who are more concerned at being famous or lining their own corrupt pockets.

My choice would always be to support Lone, because I know she cares, I know she will make sure that our money goes where it is truly most needed.


Jesus As an Orangutan

Whether you are religious or take a scientific approach to life we all have to appreciate that we are actually sharing our planet with other creatures. We as the mega primate need to be concerned about all life, not just ours. We need to care especially to care for our primate cousins, our closest relatives. The home of the Orangutans is being destroyed. They really have nowhere else to go. They cannot catch a boat or a plane. They cannot even walk away as the trees are burned around them. They will die. They will disappear. The only place you will be able to see our magnificent cousins will be within well managed zoos. What would Jesus have to say?

Other Animal Days

There is a list of Other Animal Days on

Zoo Conferences, Meetings, Courses and Symposia


Submit a Comment
  • Wendy Husband profile image

    Wendy Husband 

    5 years ago

    Well noted.... on one side of the palm oil issue. I worry we are viewing the issue through a narrow lens, zoomed in on the food products that contain palm oil and have for a very long time... however this is NOT the cause for the massive increase for more oil, the demand now for more oil , and a LOT more than just food consumption is for fuel and why is this not also the focus ? Is it because we (humans) in our commendable efforts to be 'green' and developed alternative fuels based on natural plant materials such as corn, palm, rice etc.

    Food companies choosing to use palm oil as a cheaper vegetable oil alternative is an issue but more so is the demand for the oil to be used for bio-fuels. Much larger amounts are required for this product and why are WE all not looking at this in the BIG picture?

    Palm oil sales in Malaysia 20 years ago had hit a glut in the market for human consumption, and for many years, the oil industry struggled to find new markets, now there are such new markets and not only has this dealt with the supply and demand issue the industry faced but also has now lead to a massive expansion of this industry for its huge economic potential in the SE Asian regions.

    I am really concerned we may be missing the point in our applaudable efforts to increase consumers awareness about the food products they purchase and in the meantime the oil industry continues to grow at a alarming rate and illegally slash and burn forests to keep up with the demand that is being driven by our desire for 'green' fuels which is also a 'good' alternative however the issue must certainly be 'where' the plantations are located eg. pristine peat/rainforest habitat or moving into less fertile wasteland areas of farming or other cleared lands that can be found in other parts of each country - I guess I am saying, this is a powerful rapid express train, that's not going to slow down anytime soon, and truly not by us reducing what food products we consume, this is a much bigger concern that needs to be addressed and by believing that not buying our chippies today, will make a difference, I believe will be the ultimate downfall for all wildlife and where we will lose time in making a a positive impact, because by then , once that forest is cleared and planted with a monoculture plantation, there is NO going back... I truly believe the focus must be in assisting with steering the train (fuel oil industry) in the right direction, one that will cause minimal negative impact, be able to fulfill consumer (our) needs and not attempt to impede on this powerful industry that right now is a run-a-way train, with little to no guidelines and with some trying to put a 'STOP sign on the tracks.... its time to use a wide angle lens.... time's rapidly running our for wildlife habitat ....


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