At Hyperbiotics, one of our passions is working to reduce and offset carbon emissions as much as we possibly can to lovingly care for our planet and its inhabitants.
As we look into alternatives for more sustainable business practices, we’ve partnered with Natural Capital Partners to contribute to the Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve, which works to preserve the natural rainforests in Indonesia from unprecedented destruction.
Rimba Raya sits on the southern coast of Borneo and focuses on both community development and conservation, with the protection of the endangered Bornean Orangutan at the top of their list. In fact, the reserve is home to the largest private orangutan sanctuary in the world, Orangutan Foundation International (OFI).
When we learned about the work that OFI was doing in partnership with Rimba Raya, we simply had to get involved. OFI’s efforts focus on saving rainforests that are crucial to animal life, and rescuing and rehabilitating displaced orangutans.
Saving Our Orangutans
Orangutans only live on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, but these isles have seen widespread deforestation and destruction of their habitats. About 85% of global palm oil production comes from Indonesia and Malaysia currently, with the industry predicted to double by 2020.
Approximately 80% of orangutan rainforests are pillaged due to illegal logging, gold mining, agricultural encroachment, and fire, along with devastating animal capture and trading. Many adult orangutans are killed merely for being agricultural pests, while infant orangutans are sold on the black market into horrifying conditions. Those who remain struggle to adapt as their food supply is constantly chopped down and their ecosystem remains disrupted and unable to recover quickly enough to sustain them.
With approximately 55,000 Borneo orangutans left in the wild, the UN’s Environment Program believes that if illegal logging, fire, and development of oil palm plantations continues, the Bornean Orangutan will become extinct in as little as 10-20 years. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, Indonesia has the largest number of threatened mammal species in the world.
OFI is helping rehabilitate orangutans who are displaced because of deforestation, while also making a lasting impact through sanctuaries, education and training programs, and rainforest protection.
To support their incredible efforts, we didn’t hesitate for a moment when deciding to foster five of OFI’s orangutans. We're taking care of their medical, dietary, and emotional needs until they can be returned to the wild, and we can’t wait to watch them grow!
Little Bayat’s mother was killed by a poacher and arrived at OFI just a few months old. Bayat is still a baby, but definitely full of charm! Whether she’s pulling her caregivers hands to show them around or throwing dirt on her friends, Bayat is not afraid to get the party going and is incredibly confident.
Coming to OFI as an infant, Irvine had lost her mother, presumably at the hands of illegal loggers. Irvine is highly independent, exploring the tree tops on her own and working on her wilderness skills. With her brilliant red coat and good nature, Irvine is a sweet orangutan that’s easy to fall in love with.
Cory Marder is the “Queen Bee” of the playground, creating nests, tumbling with her friends, and playing hide-and-seek with the other orangutan infants. Cory is one example of why OFI’s palm oil company training initiative can make a huge difference—her mother was tragically killed by employees of a palm oil company. OFI’s training initiative works with companies and their employees to reduce the unnecessary killing of orangutans and supply new options for coexisting. The hope is that they can collectively work to preserve the lives of many orangutans, like Cory’s mother.
Krista was born at OFI, but was rejected by her mother. Unfortunately, this can happen if a mother orangutan is faced with stress incurred during captivity, severe trauma, and other reasons. Krista has beautiful chocolate brown eyes with long eyelashes and cream colored eyelids and is an absolute prankster, waiting for the perfect moment to snatch items like notebooks and cell phones from her caregivers’ backpacks. It usually takes a convincing barter of her favorite foods for the caregivers to get their belongings back from this sweet-natured yet mischievous girl.
Little Lear was discovered at the bottom of a tree by villagers on Borneo. Lear hadn’t even grown teeth and had no mother in sight. After the townspeople cared for Lear for a few months, he moved to OFI at a mere 6 lbs (2.8 kg). Now, Lear is going through the awkward in-between phase; think of the pre-teen or middle school phase that we all try to forget. Stumbling and curious but still building confidence, Lear can usually be found discovering his surroundings by trial and error.
We are so excited to watch these orangutans blossom and hopefully re-enter the wild after they’re completely rehabilitated by OFI, and we look forward to bringing you their individual progress and updates throughout the year.
Thank you for helping us support those who are truly making a difference in our world!
Julie Hays is the Communications Director here at Hyperbiotics. Health writer and mama of two little girls, Julie's on a mission to empower others to live lives free of the microbial depletion many of us face today. For more ideas on how you can maximize wellness and benefit from the power of probiotics, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.