Helping Rescued Orangutans in Borneo
An orangutan poses for the camera.

Helping Rescued Orangutans in Borneo

Borneo is home to the largest population of critically endangered orangutans in the world: about 55,000. But those numbers are falling. It’s predicted that by 2025, that number will drop to 47,000.  Forest fires and fragmentation have ravaged much of the species’ key habitat, and hundreds of wild orangutans have been trafficked as pets. Smithsonian researchers are partnering with a rehabilitation center in the West Kalimantan province that has rescued more than 250 orangutans, with 85 currently on track to be reintroduced to the wild. With your help, scientists will study why certain orangutans disproportionately catch diseases, namely malaria, so they can develop key diagnostics and standardized mitigation procedures. With these insights, rescued orangutans, and the wild populations they are rejoining, will be less vulnerable to dangerous diseases.

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