For 15 years Aurelien Brule has lived in the Indonesian jungle, crusading against palm oil multinationals, loggers and corruption in his bid to save endangered gibbons from annihilation. A Conservation International photo of northern white-cheeked crested gibbons (Nomascus leucogenys), including an adult female with baby (R) and adult male (L) in an undisclosed location in Vietnam He admits that his is a losing battle. The primates are being pushed out of their natural habitat by loggers removing the equivalent of six football fields-worth of jungle “every minute” to make way for palm oil plantations. Around 100,000 gibbons remain in the forests of Borneo, but there will be few left within the next 15-20 years according to Brule with up to 1.5 million hectares of jungle lost every year, despite the efforts of conservationists. For Brule, who has since changed his name to “Chanee” — meaning “Gibbon” in Thai — it is a struggle that he was probably destined for. As a 12 year-old, he spent so much time observing gibbons at a zoo in his hometown of Frejus in southern France the local press dubbed him “the little strange kid who watches monkeys instead of playing video games.” Four years… Read full this story
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