I go ape every time I see your smileAs scientists argue over the best way to save the orang-utan, the orangutan’s habitat is rapidly being destroyed to make way for farms, palm oil plantations and acacia forests (to provide wood pulp). Habitat loss and poaching are pushing them towards imminent extinction every minute, every day, a size equal to six football pitches of Indonesian forest is lost. London will host the Great Ape debate on thursday 30th April at the Linnean Society against a background of almost 1000 orangutans, many orphaned infants, who are living in refuges in Sumatra and Borneo. The orangutan population is probably only 7000 in total in Sumatra and there it is ‘criticaly endangered’ – even with 40,000 orangutans in Borneo the population there is ‘endangered’. Conservationists remain divided about whether sanctuarys will protect the species, pongo abelii and pongo pygmaeus and whether santuary animals can ever be successfully reintroduced into the wild. Scientists believe that with the current rate of deforestation by 2020 there will be so few wild orangutans that the population will not be sustainable.
Bill Baily will headline a special concert for Orangutan SOS on the 1st June 2009 at the Lyceum Theatre in London. The OrangAid concert features Dave Brown who is Bollo in the Mighty Boosh, Tim Minchin, Nina Conti and Jason Manford and is hosted by Simon Munnery, For tickets see :the Sumatran Orangutan Society website – SOS http://www.orangutans-sos.org/