'The Orangutan's World' by Eloise Blakey

The Orangutan’s World: A poem by Eloise Blakey Logging, clearing, chopping,

No trees for me.

Fire, burning, smoking,

No place for me.

Palm oil plantations,

No food for me.

Poaching, hunting, killing,

No peace for me.

Sleeping, climbing, swinging,

No home for me.

Habitat disappearing,

No tree, no me.

By Eloise Blakey

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The Orangutan’s World: A story by Eloise Blakey

Hi, my name is Uri, and I am a five-year-old female orangutan. I live in the rainforests of Sumatra with my mother. It is an amazing place to live with its exotic flowers and lush green trees. There are lots of fabulous fruit for us to eat, my favourite being the spiky durian which is delicious, but smells so bad! When the fruit is out of season my mum and I have to eat leaves, insects and even the bark from the trees. When we are thirsty we collect rainwater from leaves, and when the weather is too dry we chew leaf sponges. If we need to, we drink from rivers and streams, but we do not like to go in the water.

I spend most of my day with mum looking for food, but sometimes I play with my friends swinging through the trees and playing hide and seek. The boys like play fighting and even bite each other. I try to keep away from them! If I wander too far, my mum calls me because the forest can be a dangerous place. When we are tired we build ourselves a nest in the trees and have a little sleep. I don’t see my father; he went off as soon as I was born, like all the males do, leaving my mum to look after me on her own. I would love to have a brother or sister but mum says it is hard enough keeping me safe.

We are in danger all the time from snakes, crocodiles and other predators, but our biggest threat comes from humans. They come along and chop down the trees we live in. We have to swing like made through the branches to get away from them. One of my friends was caught by them and the last we heard was she was being kept for a pet. That is so unfair, we have our rights and we should be left to live in peace. Another danger is the forest fires which the humans start as a quick way to clear the forest. As soon as we smell smoke mum and I rush away to a safer place. It is not always easy because the fire spreads so quickly. Sometimes my friends get caught up in it and either die from the smoke, or get killed by the humans. They don’t seem to like us, and if we dare go down to their plantations they shoot us.

It is not all bad though, there are some good humans and if they see us in trouble they rescue us and take us to places where we can get better. I hope I don’t have to go to one as I would miss my mum! Please think about us and tell your friends that we are endangered. You are responsible for our future - after all we are almost human!

By Eloise Blakey