“Eyes of the Orangutan” explores the dark side of wildlife tourism


Did you know that humans and orangutans share around 96% of their DNA? Unfortunately, the human characteristics and intelligence of the apes have contributed to their popularity as attractions in zoos and entertainment parks around the world, which in turn contributes to the rapid decline of the population of the species.

A new documentary titled Orangutan eyes explores this disturbing facet of wildlife tourism, while celebrating the closest relatives of humans. As a lucrative business, wildlife tourism is estimated at around $ 250 billion annually which is done to the detriment of animals.

The documentary is hosted by Aaron Gekoski, an award-winning environmental photojournalist specializing in human-animal conflict, who learned of the existence of a large bust infiltrated in Jakarta targeting orangutan smugglers, run by a human rights organization. animals and a special unit of the Indonesian police. Orangutan eyes was four years, during which Gekoski embarked on the investigation with director Chris Scarffe and cinematographer Will Foster-Grundy.

The documentary is produced by Terra Mater Factual Studios, the studio behind The ivory game (2016) and Sea of ​​Shadows (2019).

You can participate in the exclusive online premiere next Sunday, which will be held in two sessions at 4 p.m. Western Indonesian Time (WIB) (10 a.m. BST) or Monday, 12 p.m. WIB (6 p.m. BST). The event is free and you can register on the Orangutan eyes website.

There will be a discussion and question-and-answer session at the event, which will be moderated by actress and environmentalist Shannon Elizabeth, as well as guests such as Gekoski, Scarffe, Femke den Haas, co-founder of Jakarta. Animal Aid Network (JAAN), as well as Borneo Orangutan. Survival Foundation CEO Dr. Jamartin Sihite, among others.

Read also – Cool as she likes it: Orangutan at Indonesian zoo tries on sunglasses in viral TikTok video

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