Orangutan Clings To Only Tree Left After People Destroy Her Home

She wouldn't let go.

In what used to be a forest filled with trees and wildlife, a single orangutan clung tightly to the last tree that remained of her former home.

International Animal Rescue

She was "stranded, starving and left to die," wrote International Animal Rescue (IAR), which found the orangutan in the razed field back in 2013. Her home had been destroyed, likely to make way for palm oil plantations.

International Animal Rescue

"Thankfully, our team reached this orangutan just in time and were able to translocate her to safety," IAR said.

Unfortunately, as this poignant image shows, there's a very real cost to Borneo and Sumatra's booming palm oil industry. Countless acres of forest have been torn down to make way for new plantations, leaving already threatened orangutans with nowhere to go. Some die of starvation or from venturing too near humans; others have been killed in the resulting forest fires. The two species of orangutan are now listed as endangered and critically endangered.

"We are the last and only hope for orangutans in West Kalimantan [in Borneo], and the rainforest continues to be destroyed at an alarming rate," IAR said. "We are busier than ever before, desperately working to protect the forest that still remains."

Losing a home is devastating for any animal - but it's even worse when it's one of the few safe areas you have left.

Luckily for the orangutans who survive the destruction of their homes, IAR is working hard to provide the medical treatment and care they need so they can enjoy the rest of their lives in peace and safety.

To help IAR save orangutans like this one, you can make a donation here.