It is believed that orangutan hunting has taken place since the beginning of time. This is based on the fact that many cave pictures show images of them as pets. Other show them as being confined so that they could later be consumed as a type of meat. Early hunting for these animals though was very different from what it is today. In the early times it was mainly on an as needed basis for the survival of man. It was also done with primitive tools.
Today orangutan hunting is still taking place in some areas for the food source known as bush meat. They also kill them so that they don’t have any competition for the various types of fruits that grow it the forests. The villagers can go in and take it for themselves instead of sharing it with the orangutans that consume large amounts of it on a daily basis. As the number of villagers increase they will need that food source and to consume meat from these animals as well.
Orangutan hunting also takes place for the sheer fun of it. There are people from all over the world that will go to remote locations to be able to legally hunt for orangutans. This trophy hunt that they complete is more important to them than the future of these animals. Many of these individuals also don’t have the right information. They aren’t aware that orangutans are in very low numbers. Others do know but they simply don’t care.
It is believed more than 1,000 orangutans are smuggled annually to be sold as pets around the world. In order for them to be accessed the mothers have to be killed as she won’t give up her young without a fight. They younger a baby orangutan is them more money it will bring in on the black market. Since they ride of the backs of their mothers for about the first two years of life it is extremely hard to get them any other way. It doesn’t work well to trap them both in a net, take the offspring, and let the mother go. These hunters aren’t’ going to put their own lives in danger.
The governing bodies in the areas where orangutans still live are giving information they that are very strict on hunting and the smuggling of orangutans. Yet there are independent films out there that suggest these events are taking place on a regular basis out there. The fact that the evidence is caught on film means it can’t be denied or hidden. The belief is that there are laws in place to protect orangutans from hunting. Yet in most areas there isn’t anything offered to enforce that at all.
There simply has to be more laws as well as enforcement of those laws in place to protect the orangutans from hunting. By placing individuals responsible in jail for long periods of time it can send a huge message to those that continue to take part in the hunting of them. It will make the financial gain too much of a risk for them to continue being a part of.
Offering generous rewards for reporting of the hunting of orangutans is another way to make sure that the process is significantly reduced. Nothing gets people talking and turning each other in faster than knowing they are going to make money on the deal. In fact, it is likely to be other hunters that start to turn in people they know to make money. That may seem unfair, but so is the fact that they are all destroying the future for the orangutans to make money.