Category Archives: MONKEYS & GORILLAS

Aceh citizens take legal action to protect Sumatran jungle

A male orangutan in the wild at Gunung Leuser National Park on Sumatra image www.pythonjungle.com

A male orangutan in the wild at Gunung Leuser National Park on Sumatra. Photo: Penny Stephens

Jakarta: Activists are suing the Indonesian government in a bid to stop development they say will devastate the last remaining area on earth where Sumatran tigers, rhinoceroses, orangutans and elephants live together in the wild.

The world-renowned Leuser Ecosystem in the heart of the Sumatran jungle in Aceh is at risk of being destroyed by a government plan to allow roads in the area and by potential concessions for mining and plantations, campaigners say.

In the latest stage of a nearly two-year bid to have the plan retracted, nine representatives of the group Gerakan Rakyat Aceh Menggugat launched a civil lawsuit at the Central Jakarta District Court.

malaysia map image www.pythonjungle.com

Photo: Google Maps

“[The plan] effectively dissolves protection of much of Aceh’s remaining tropical rainforests, whitewashing crimes of the past, and paving the way for a new wave of catastrophic ecological destruction,” GeRAM representative Farwiza Farhan said.

The short-term profits from the developments would not benefit the people of Aceh, she said.

“They are after quick immediate short-term gains, but the consequences will be borne by the rest of the community.”

A worker on the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program carries a tranquilised animal as it is prepared to be released into the wild image www.pythonjungle.com

A worker on the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program carries a tranquilised animal as it is prepared to be released into the wild last year. Photo: AP

The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program says the Leuser Ecosystem is crucial for the survival of the Sumatran tigers, rhinoceroses, elephants and orangutans.

“If you lose Leuser you lose all four of those species guaranteed,” Sumatran Orangutan Program conservation manager Ian Singleton said.

“The … plan basically ignores the existence of the Leuser Ecosystem. It opens up massive areas of lowland forests to potential new concessions for plantations, mining, timber even, and it also legalises many roads that have been cut through the forest … and roads alone are enough to send these species to extinction.”

The lawsuit is against both the Aceh government, which activists claim is acting unlawfully by not including the protected ecosystem in the plan, and the Ministry of Home Affairs, which they claim has failed to protect the Leuser Ecosystem.

The group claims the Ministry of Home Affairs indicated the plan would need to include protection of the ecosystem but has failed to take necessary action.

They are hoping to have the Aceh government redraw the plan and provide protection for the Leuser Ecosystem and proper environmental analysis.

The Leuser Ecosystem covers more than 2.6 million hectares across the provinces of Aceh and Northern Sumatra and is regarded by conservationists as one of the richest areas of tropical rainforest in Southeast Asia. Within the ecosystem is Gunung Leuser National Park, which is listed as a World Heritage Site.

“The Leuser Ecosystem is a jewel in the crown of the world’s rainforests – and it’s unbelievable that the Aceh government isn’t taking stronger steps to help protect it,” Professor Bill Laurance, of James Cook University, says.

“In a world in which invaluable ecosystems are vanishing almost daily, the Leuser is becoming one of the most alarming environmental tragedies unfolding anywhere.”

The geographically diverse area consists of lowland rainforest, peatlands, mountain ranges, lakes and nine substantial rivers. In addition to providing a habitat to a number of endangered wildlife species it is also a life system for the more than 4 million people, and helps protect the area from natural disasters such as flooding and landslides.

Professor Laurance has been campaigning to have the Leuser Ecosystem listed as a World Heritage Site.

“Virtually anywhere else on the planet, the Leuser would be protected as a World Heritage Site – a crucial element of our global heritage. I think the best hope is that the Indonesian federal government might be persuaded to intervene in Aceh, just as we saw happen in Australia with the establishment of World Heritage sites in Tasmania and the Queensland Wet Tropics. I haven’t seen much evidence that the Aceh government on its own is going to the swayed to protect Leuser.”

The court will order a mediation between the two parties before the litigation proceeds.

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Henry Sapiecha

A Lioness Captures A Baby Baboon And Does The Last Thing You’d Expect

Nature can be a brutal place, but sometimes the unexpected behaviour of animals can shock us all.

This is the moment a lioness grabbed a female baboon by the scruff of the neck while her baby clung onto her limp body.

lioness with dead baboon in mouth image www.pythonjungle.com

With the mother baboon now dead, the baby attempted to make a break for the tree, but was too weak to climb.

The lioness watched in disbelief, seemingly eyeing up her next snack.

Lion-Baboon_baby on tree image www.pythonjungle.com

Things looked bad for the tiny monkey, who looked as if he was about to be gobbled up by the bloodthirsty lioness.

Lion-and-baboon_baby play at tree image www.pythonjungle.com

But remarkably, just as it looked as if the lioness was about to take a fatal swipe, something incredible happened.

Lion-and-Baboon-baby lay together image www.pythonjungle.com

The lioness started playing with the baboon and, after a while, picked up the tiny primate softly in her mouth before settling down with the baby between her paws.

Lioness-Baboon_baby suckling image www.pythonjungle.com

Then, in a strange behavioural twist, the baboon started to try and suckle the lioness.

Lioness-Baboon_baby together image www.pythonjungle.com

The baby was safe, for now, as the lioness was as gentle and tender as the baboon was unafraid.

But then, just as it seemed the ordeal was over, something even more remarkable happened.

lioness chases away male lions image www.pythonjungle.com

Two male lions arrived on the scene to examine the baboon, but were met with aggression by the lioness, who chased them away in an unexpected show of compassion.

Baboon-Baby_rescue in treetops image www.pythonjungle.com

However, during the fracas, a male baboon – who had been watching from a nearby tree – saw an opportunity to save the baby from the clutches of the lions.

He swooped down undetected and whisked the baby to safety in the tree tops.

baboon cuddles his baby monkey in treetops image www.pythonjungle.com

Back safely in the trees, the father cuddled the baby after his heroic rescue mission.

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Henry Sapiecha

Orangutan escapes at Melbourne Zoo in Australia.Very funny video report

Melbourne Zoo went into lockdown on Monday after an orangutan escaped its enclosure.

Visitors were whisked into secure buildings, while the 11-year-old orangutan was on the loose in public areas for about an hour.

The Sumatran orangutan, named Malu, was eventually sedated with a tranquiliser, a zoo spokeswoman said.

orangutan Malu.image www.pythonjungle.com

The orangutan Malu. Photo: Zoos Victoria

“Melbourne Zoo staff acted quickly to lock down the zoo and all visitors have been safely ushered into secure areas,” the spokeswoman said.

Bendigo woman Justine Cowling, who was at the zoo with her family as the drama unfolded, said the orangutan appeared to use a blanket to make his escape.

“It escaped by using the blanket as leverage to break the top wire of its enclosure,” Ms Cowling told the Bendigo Advertiser.

“It pulled itself up and out and walked along the roof of the enclosure.”

Melbourne Zoo said the orangutan was captured and secured shortly before 4.30pm.

“Malu has been secured in an undercover area of the zoo with keepers and vets on hand to assist,” the spokeswoman said.

The zoo later said, via Twitter, that Malu had been returned to his night quarters.

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Henry Sapiecha