Orphaned and Abused: The Truth About Orangutan Tourism

“During filming for Eyes of the Orangutan, we interviewed an ex-trader, and he described how orangutans are caught from the jungles to supply the demand for the Wildlife Tourism industry,” the photojournalist and filmmaker Aaron Gekoski tells me. “We were told how the trader watched as an orangutan mother–brains spilling from her head–pulled her baby to her breast for one final meal before she died and he was snatched away. He was then locked away in a cage, smuggled across international borders, and sent to a zoo.” 

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