Haze from Indonesian forest fires has disturbed orangutans living in a natural reserve on Borneo island, a park official said on Monday, blaming deer hunters for intentionally torching protected areas.
The fires have been burning for weeks, creating the smoke that has spread over much of Southeast Asia, triggering fears of a repeat of the months of choking haze in 1997-98 that cost the region billions in economic losses.
Saut Manalu, a senior official at the Tanjung Puting national park where 6,000 orangutans live, told Reuters by telephone that animals are even more affected by the smoke than humans.
"We can hear them scream late at night," he said, adding fires had been found inside the reserve that occupies a large swathe of land in Central Kalimantan province on Indonesia's side of Borneo island.
"The fires are at the rim while the orangutans live deeper inside. We are focusing on how to put out the fires. If they go out of control, we will take care of the animals. We may need to evacuate them," said the park official.
Monday, October 16, 2006
You know the haze is getting out of control when even the orangutans get distressed by it! From Reuters:
Posted by I.Z. Reloaded at 5:15 PM
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