An orangutan was seen in a video released by International Animal Rescue apparently confronting a bulldozer that was destroying its habitat in the West Kalimantan province of Borneo, in Indonesia.
The great ape is seen rushing towards a mechanical digger along a fallen tree trunk and trying to grab the huge steel bucket as it descends, before grabbing the bucket's claws in a vain attempt to stop the destruction of its age-old jungle home. Eventually, it flees through the upturned roots of smashed trees.
The incident happened in 2013 but the footage has only just been released by IAR to show the extent of the devastation caused to the endangered apes' natural habitat. Since the footage was taken, the Bornean orangutan has been reclassified as Critically Endangered
More than 1,000 orangutans living in the region have been threatened by illegal actions in the forest despite the Indonesian government's vow to protect it
In a report by Greenpeace, the non-profit group says at least six illegal logging settlements were identified in Sungai Putri, home to one of the last orangutan strongholds in the world.
"This is a major embarrassment for the Indonesian government, which has consistently promised to protect Sungai Putri. More than a year ago, the government ordered MPK to stop trashing the forest and peatlands, yet its excavators are still in place and now chainsaws are finishing the job. The government cannot let this stand - it must uphold the law and ensure the full and permanent protection of this beautiful and important forest," said Ratri Kusumohartono, Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner.
According to the report, protecting Sungai Putri forest is essential if Bornean orangutans are to survive.
"Habitat destruction forces orangutans to enter neighboring plantations and farms looking for food, and this frequently leads to conflict with humans. That's why last year we had to rescue a male orangutan in the south part of MPK's concession. Sungai Putri is home to one of the largest populations in the world and we are at a critical point for the Bornean orangutan, without forests like this they can't survive," Karmele Llano Sanchez, Program Director of IAR in Indonesia, said.
Kusumohartono also said: "Sungai Putri is one of the last refuges of the orangutans and the survival of the species relies on creating wildlife havens and protecting the existing ones. It is time for the Indonesian government to ensure the full protection of Sungai Putri, its environment and wildlife."