Orang-utan book hits Dutch bookstores

14th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

The book on the pitiful plight of orang-utans created a commotion in 2007 when it was first published.

14 May 2008

THE NETHERLANDS - De Telegraaf writes about a book over orang-utans called 'Thinkers of the jungle' by the Dutch environmentalist Willie Smits.

The book, containing many unique photographs of orang-utans, goes on sale on Wednesday in bookstores in The Netherlands.

Smits first wrote the book in German, which caused considerable commotion in 2007. He says: "I hope that people become angry, because they’ll be able to see with their own eyes the total lack of respect for nature." The author has worked thirty years in Indonesia, where he fell in love with the orang-utans.

"In 1989 I found a half-dead orang-utan in a garbage dump. I helped that magnificent being to recover. I expressly use the word being because you can’t call an anthropoid (ape) an animal. They are nearly a hundred percent human. Since 1989 I've met around 1,300 apes. They’ve become my friends."

Among the pictures are those of orang-utans fishing. They stand on stones in the water holding a stick waiting until fish swim by.

The book also shows shocking images of people abusing orang-utans. Smits fears the orang-utan is doomed because the forests in Borneo and Sumatra are being cut down "at an enormous pace" to make way for palm-oil plantations.

[Radio Netherlands / Frank Scimone / Expatica]

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