Mother and baby orangutan rescued from forest patch cleared for oil palm plantation

A mother and baby Orangutan have been rescued from a Sumatra forest just weeks before the forest was due to be cleared for a palm oil plantation.

Orangutan Release

A baby orangutan that was rescued before the destruction of a forest

These heart-wrenching pictures taken by Craig Jones brilliantly capture the moment when the two apes were rescued in Sumatra, western Indonesia.

Orangutan Release

The mother orangutan was anaesthetised to prevent the animal from becoming distressed

The baby, thought to be around one, was rescued with her mother from a patch of forest surrounded by farmland in Ujung Padang village, South Aceh on 19th February.

Orangutan Release

Rescuers were forced to swim through rivers in a bid to place to the primate in a new location

The Orangutans were isolated in some trees that were due to be cleared and planted with oil palms to produce palm oil, an ingredient found in up to half of packaged foods found on supermarket shelves.

Orangutan Release

The mother and baby were released into the Gunung Leuser National Park, after thir previous habitat was due to be destroyed for an oil palm plantation

Both mother and baby were released together into the Gunung Leuser National Park within an hour of the evacuation where they quickly climbed a tree together and swung off into the canopy.

Helen Buckland, Director of UK charity the Sumatran Orangutan Society, said: “As more forest is replaced by oil palm plantations, more Orangutans become isolated in forest patches.

“They are at serious risk of starvation or being killed if they wander into plantations in search of food.

“The team have saved the lives of more than 50 Orangutans in the last two years and are receiving more reports of animals needing help all the time.”

Sumatran Orangutans are critically endangered and without urgent action could be the first Great Ape species to become extinct.