Photo of the Day — Close Relations

 

© 2012 Mark Meredith

Wow, 97% like us! Well, he certainly has a wise and knowing face; as though he really has knowledge of something we don’t. I found this message to be very powerful and quite profound, and this little girl seems to sense that too. Here we have an ape, an orangutan, a creature uniquely similar to us, whose habitat we are relentlessly burning to the ground in pursuit of palm oil plantation and logging profits. How shameful and irresponsible is that?  While I don’t always agree with Greenpeace, their recent campaign in New Zealand to stop Cadburys including palm oil in their chocolate by using graphic and unsettling images of a snapped Kit-Kat bar being substituted for an orangutan’s finger, spurting blood and all, was commendable and successful. Kiwi Cadbury chocolate bars no longer contain palm oil. It’s a small battle in a much larger war that’s been won. But I’m not optimistic. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in their latest Living Planet report say that in the Indo-Pacfic region, home to the orangutan of South East Asia, biodiversity is declining by 64 per cent, the world’s worst. Educational conservation work, like that carried out by Auckland’s excellent zoo,  is a vital tool but, tragically, by the time this little girl is big enough to make a difference it will probably be too late.

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