Monday, October 10, 2011

Adventure travel Borneo: creating a brighter future for orang-utans

Anyone who has visited Borneo will most likely tell you that a highlight is viewing the orang-utans. But what people may not realise is that 90% of the population of these primates has been wiped out in just over 100 years.

Orangutan Odysseys seeks to deliver a much needed boost to the orang-utan-based travel industry, which it believes is vital for the survival of these creatures. It runs trips within Borneo and Sumatra, ranging from slow boats up remote rivers to treks into the mountains, while accommodation ranges from jungle camps to five-star hotels. Participants also get involved in fundraising prior to the trip.

“Extinction for Sumatran orang-utans is likely in the next 10 years and soon after for Borneo orang-utans — their habitats are being destroyed for clearing so that palm oil trees can be planted and many adult orang-utans are dying or being killed, leaving young infants as orphans,” expedition consultant Nicole Sundin said. Care centres where the orphaned orang-utans were looked after existed but had limited resources, she added.

By visiting the orang-utans with the operator, people would be helping protect their habitat through donations to local non-government organisations including the Australian Orangutan Project, and also directly through employing local village people, Sundin said. “Orang-utan tourism helps to make their forests a more valuable asset, and as such, worth protecting against deforestation,” she added.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Adventure travel Borneo: creating a brighter future for orang-utans

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