The sweet sound of chainsaws - SOS – Sumatran Orangutan Society
palm oil trees from the sky sumatra

palm oil trees

The sweet sound of chainsaws

Usually striking despair into the hearts of conservationists, last week the sound of chainsaws ringing out within the borders of the Leuser Ecosystem signalled a major triumph.


In September 2016, we launched an appeal for donations to enable us to reclaim and restore vital orangutan habitat that had been illegally turned into an oil palm plantation. Just a few weeks later, thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we hit our target!

Last week the team on the ground fired up the chainsaws, and 9,000 oil palms, planted across 75 hectares in the Cinta Raja region of the Leuser Ecosystem, have been felled, clearing the way for the return of the rainforest.

Our partners on the ground, the Orangutan Information Centre, joined forces with the police and government conservation agency to eject the company responsible, and reclaim the land for conservation. They have a major task ahead of them, protecting the area from further encroachment and planting over 90,000 tree seedlings to restore the ecosystem. Given the incredible results the team have had at other restoration sites, we look forward to bringing you more news soon of wildlife starting to return to Cinta Raja!

cinta raja
palm oil plantations in Sumatra
Before After
Drag Me

This wouldn’t have been possible without the backing of so many people around the world, and sincere thanks to Colchester Zoo’s Action For The Wild Fund for supporting this project.


Stage 1 complete:


oil palms felled


Stage 2 underway:


rainforest trees to be planted in their place

An adult sumatran orangutan

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