Orangutans are being forced to work to make money for off-site conservation institutions such as zoos and safari parks. They are put through harsh and rigorous training so that they can appear in photographs with visitors, dance on music stages, or perform in circus shows. The Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP) views these practices as harsh and inhumane and demands their immediate abolition.
Today, a group of COP supporters, members of Orangufriends, launched their campaign simultaneously in 9 cities: Jakarta, Denpasar, Banda Aceh, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Solo, Surabaya, Malang and Samarinda. This campaign is known as #orangutanbukanmainan or #orangutanarenottoys.
Following are statements from the campaign coordinators in each city.
“One of the main goals for off-site conservation foundations is education. Orangutan exploitation is not humorous, but unethical. These harsh businesses will continue to survive if society supports them by buying tickets to shows or paying to appear in photographs with orangutans”, said Desya Maharani, a member of Orangufriends Yogyakarta.
“Circuses and photo opportunities with orangutans set a bad example, and demonstrate a disregard for the values of education and understanding about orangutan lives, for which these institutions are supposed to stand. It is no longer appropriate for society to visit these institutions and watch orangutans as circus entertainment or pose for photographs with them”, said Vilinda Maya Marvelina, member of Orangufriends Malang.
“It is not necessary to use circuses or photo opportunities with orangutans to entertain visitors and bring in income for zoos. Clear and accurate education about wildlife must become the priority for these institutions. It’s time to replace circus entertainment with information”, said Ikhwanussafa Sadidan, coordinator of Orangufriends, Bandung.
“The activities performed by orangutans on the circus stage or in photographs with guests do not constitute natural orangutan behaviour. Orangutans have to undergo long training processes to learn to perform these actions. It is clear that this is not how orangutans behave in their natural environment”,said Mawar Purba, coordinator of Orangufriends, Surabaya.
“Orangutans share 97% of their DNA with humans, and therefore can experience emotions such as sadness, fear, love and oppression. Circuses and forced photographs with orangutans constitute a form of mistreatment which we as a society must not support financially”, said Indira Nurul Qomariyah, coordinator of Orangufriends, Solo.
“Orangutans are an international icon for wildlife conservation. Now their very existence is under threat, and it is time for those in management positions to raise their understanding and respect for this issue, and put a stop to these exploitative practices. Circuses and photographs with orangutans do not provide a learning experience, and are not in line with the values of conservation,” said Bintang Dian Pertiwi, coordinator of Orangufriends, Jakarta.
“Orangutans have already been pushed out of their natural environments because of the actionss of mankind. Now in off-site conservation fields, orangutans are still suffering mistreatment at the hands of humans. It is important for these animals to receive protection and better living standards, rather than being made into a source of entertainment in circuses and photographs”, said Andro Sulopadang, coordinator of Orangufriends, Samarinda, East Kalimantan.
“Bali is a beautiful destination for international tourists, and yet in many in zoos, orangutans can still be found in circus shows and being forced into photographs. We should be embarrassed that we are continuing with activities that are already illegal in many nations”, said Rian Winardi, coordinator of Orangufriends, Bali.
“Rescue teams often save baby orangutans whose parents have already died, sometimes as a result of the expansion of palm oil plantations. This fact is not revealed to park visitors. All attempts to educate society about orangutan lives will continue to fail until visitors can understand this context behind the seemingly happy orangutans that appear in circus shows and photographs”, said Ratno Sugito, coordinator of Orangufriends, Aceh.
For further information and interviews please contact:
Rian Winardi, Campaign Coordinator of Orangufriends Bali
Mobile Phone: 085245905754
Vilinda Maya Marvelina, Campaign Coordinator of Orangufriends Malang
Mobile Phone: 085230453454
Mawar Purba, Campaign Coordinator of Orangufriends Surabaya
Mobile Phone: 082230957562
Indira Nurul Qomariyah, Campaign Coordinator of Orangufriends Solo
Mobile Phone: 08567634086
Destya Maharani, Campaign Coordinator of Orangufriends Yogyakarta
Mobile Phone: 083869533631
Bintang Dian Pertiwi, Campaign Coordinator of Orangufriends Jakarta
Mobile Phone: 081212715451
Ikhwanussafa Sadidan, Campaign Coordinator of Orangufriends Bandung
Mobile Phone: 085624066740
Andro Sulopadang, Campaign Coordinator of Orangufriends Samarinda, Kalimantan Timur
Mobile Phone: 081350355822
Ratno Sugito, Campaign Coordinator of Orangufriends Aceh
Mobile Phone: 085360866756