Deforestation or murder? Why orangutans are going extinct
Of course, massive deforestation is responsible for severe declines in orangutan populations. And the encroachment of villages into forests has put orangutans in more frequent contact with humans, and hence more susceptible to being killed by humans. This orangutan story is not so unique, as increased human-wildlife contact is being seen on every continent in the world: grizzly bears and wolves in the United States, pumas in South America, elephants and tigers in India and orangutans in Indonesia. Friends of mine with direct personal experience wonder how many endangered stellar sea lions in Alaska are shot by people — and I personally have seen fisherman shoot at marine mammals (illegally). Humans have been hunting and killing wild animals for tens of thousands of generations, and we should not be surprised by this type of behavior.