SA | Orangutans Are Hanging On in the Same Palm Oil Plantations That Displace Them

If orangutans that take up residence in plantations and near farms are to be left there, conservationists will need to overcome the fact that many people in Borneo view these primates as pests that eat crops and chew on oil palm shoots. “They don’t see the orangutans as special,” says Liana Chua, an anthropologist at Brunel University London, who has researched local attitudes toward orangutans but was not involved in the new study. Although it is illegal to kill an orangutan or keep one captive in Borneo, those laws are poorly enforced and do not stop human residents from taking revenge when they feel an animal has damaged their property, Chua says.

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