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Press Release | 24 November 2011
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Melanie Subono Denounces Orangutan Massacres on Kalimantan

Melanie Subono Denounces Orangutan Massacres on KalimantanMelanie Subono Denounces Orangutan Massacres on Kalimantan

The rampant slaughter of orangutans (Pongo pqymaeus) on Kalimantan Island has moved Melanie Subono, a singer, to join ProFauna Indonesia activists in their street campaign protesting the orangutan and other wildlife killing. Melanie Subono who has joined the organization since 2005, showed her support on the campaign held in front of the Indonesian Police Headquarters in Jakarta on 24 November 2011.

The famous female rock star said, "It is sad to know that the endangered and protected wildlife like orangutans are slaughtered". Subono added that the orangutans should have been preserved to become the natural heritage which could boost the eco-tourism and generate income for the regional government. Together with ProFauna Indonesia, she urges moratorium on any activity causing Indonesian wildlife extinction.

During the street campaign, ProFauna team met the public relation of the Indonesian Police Headquarters. The official thanked the organisation for its encouragement to the police to enforce the law and stated that the police would fully investigate the orangutan slaughter case in Kalimantan.

Earlier in mid-November 2011, the police have successfully arrested the two suspects of the orangutan slaughter in Kutai Kertanegara, East Kalimantan. The culprits were pest exterminators of a palm oil company in the region named PT Khaleda Agroprima Malindo.

The arrest shows a direct relation between orangutan massacre and palm oil company presence. ProFauna Indonesia strongly condemns the cruel wildlife crime and urges the police to fully enforce the law to its full extent and to investigate to the top management of the pal oil company. It is allegedly suspected that the management is aware of the orangutan slaughter committed by its workers.

ProFauna Indonesia campaigner, Radius Nursidi, stated, "The palm oil company must be responsible for the orangutan killing happen in their plantation areas. The Police and the Forestry Department should investigate the case thoroughly." If the authorities can reveal that the company is really involved in the slaughter, ProFauna urges the government to annul the operation permit.

ProFauna's lawyer, Irma Hermawati SH, added, "The slaughter of orangutans and other protected wildlife is a crime and perpetrators should be punished according to the wildlife act". The Law No. 5 year 1990 concerning the Conservation of Natural Resources and Ecosystems, offenders are liable to five year prison term and 100 million Indonesia Rupiah fine.

Orangutans have been protected by Indonesian law yet its population is decreasing and on brink of extinction due to habitat loss. The apes are also threatened by the poaching for the illegal wildlife trade. ProFauna considers that the massive expansion of the palm oil plantation and the Industrial Plantation Forest (locally known as Hutan Tanaman Industri/ HTI) has destroyed the natural habitat of orangutans and other wildlife which further bring them to extinction.

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