LESSONS FROM BORNEO

Few years ago, me and my family visited Borneo and spent a week in Malaysian rainforest. I wanted to see the orangutans living in their natural environment. I contacted a person who was to help me to organize professional rainforest hike in places usually hard to reach. We drove to the national park, which is situated in the state of Sabah, in the north-eastern part of the island and is strictly protected. You can only enter there by showing documents. I was a little surprised that you can enter the jungle only this way, but I found out why soon.

We spent a few days walking from morning till late afternoon with a guide called Mike (the name for the needs of foreigners, his natives called him Darum). The park’s area is app. 43,800 hectares. The habitants of the park are the following: 340 species of birds, 120 species of mammals, including elephants and orangutans. We did not have to wait long to see them all.

During our trekking, Mike told us why the jungle is so heavily protected. The strict rules protect the area against thefts of animals. Although the import of animals from Malaysia is illegal, there are mob organizations that steal animals and smuggle them, for example on ships with other goods. The animals are sent to countries where there is a high demand for such exotic pets. Have you seen movies on Facebook and youtube where a little monkey bathes in a bathtub, plays dressed in clothes or jumps on the couch at home? I hope you did not like this post because this monkey was probably kidnapped by smugglers and smuggled into a country where someone bought it to keep as a domesticated animal, away from other monkeys and from its natural environment. So sad…

Mike also told us about how the orangutans die when the jungle is taken over by man to make palm plantations. Palm oil forests are currently planted in many places in Asia and big farms are formed. The aim is to produce cheap palm oil used in many food and cosmetic products. The high demand for palm oil makes jungles disappear. Not only trees but also animals, including orangutans. Those who survived, even though their homestead was destroyed, are constantly returning to the place. But it is already a farm where orangutans considered to be pests are killed on the spot or caught in captivity. I therefore encourage you to give up palm oil products. Furthermore, it is very unhealthy as food additive.

Also taking the above into consideration please choose cosmetics consciously. Some natural cosmetics, especially soaps, also contain palm oil. I can assure you that Orientana natural cosmetics do not contain palm oil or its derivatives. You can use them without aby hesitation.

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