Illegal logging practices in Borneo are wiping out the natural rainforest habitat of the Bornean orangutan, one of only two remaining species of orangutan.
Because of the economic struggles of this region, locals find themselves turning to illegal logging as a means of income to support their families and to afford necessary health care.
Logging not only creates a source for lumber and income, but it also creates area for agriculture. A crop that is creating controversy all over the world is the Oil Palm, a tree that creates a fruit containing oil that can be used in foods, cleaning products, cosmetics, and more. Demand for palm oil has increased exponentially, and the majority of plantations within Borneo are for palm oil production, making it a leading cause of habitat and species loss.
You can help to save orangutans by downloading Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Palm Oil app on your smart phone, or by visiting their website. These guides can help you to make informed decisions with the products you buy. Purchasing palm oil free and palm oil sustainable products will help reduce the demand for non-sustainable palm oil, which can help preserve Bornean rainforests and the orangutans within them.
Seneca Park Zoo supports organizations like Health in Harmony, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing economic alternatives to people living in and around Gunung Palung National Park, Borneo. Helping local communities helps preserve the rainforests, and the species within them.
Seneca Park Zoo also supports The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a not-for-profit association that promotes sustainable palm oil production practices. Sustainable palm oil is grown on plantations that did not require any new habitat destruction or deforestation, especially of primary forests or high conservation value areas. This helps reduce deforestation and preserves what is left of Borneo’s biodiversity. Zoo staff educate guests about RSPO’s mission to increase palm oil sustainability, and we support their mission by ensuring food and beverage products that are available for purchase within the Zoo are palm oil free, or palm oil sustainable.
Seneca Park Zoo is a Program Partner in AZA’s Orangutan SAFE program.