Heartbreaking photos show orangutans driven from their home due to forest fires

Heartbreaking photos show orangutans driven from their home due to forest fires

Recent headlines have been dominated by the devastating fires tearing through the Amazon. The situation has become so severe that enemy tribes have united against the government in a bid to save the Earth's lungs.

Now, heartbreaking photographs have emerged of orangutans being driven from their homes due to fires in Borneo.

Similar to the situation in the Amazon, the fires are the result of deforestation, which has only been growing in its severity. The pictures below were taken on Salat Island, Borneo.

In this video, an orangutan tries to fight the bulldozer destroying its habitat: 

The fire hasn't just affected wild orangutans. The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation said that the animals in its care are also being affected by the toxic fumes, which satellite images have shown has created a haze that has traveled as far as Malaysia.

Orangutans feeling their homes. Credit: Getty

The foundation said: "The thick smoke does not only endanger the health of our staff... but also it affects the 355 orangutans we currently care for.

"As many as 37 young orangutans are suspected to have contracted a mild respiratory infection."

Channel News Asia reported that the animals at the Samboja Lestari facility in East Kalimantan can only be allowed outside for a few hours at a time in conditions which have also been described as "hazardous" for humans by the environment ministry.

Orangutans feeling their homes. Credit: Getty

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the orangutan population now consists of just 100,000 animals. There were 288,500 in 1973.

In an interview with the Mirror, Annisa Rahmawati, a forest campaigner for Greenpeace Indonesia, said that unless deforestation is brought to an immediate end, wildlife will cease to exist as we know it:

"Forests from Brazil to the Boreal to Borneo are burning. We are facing a climate emergency and, aided and abetted by governments in Brazil, Indonesia, Europe, China and the USA among others, commodities like palm oil, soya and meat are driving forest destruction across the world.

"To stop climate breakdown, companies must take immediate and transformative action to drop suppliers linked to deforestation, and governments must address these crises with the urgency they deserve."