Going ape for gold: UK miner destroys habitat of rare orangutan

World

Going ape for gold: UK miner destroys habitat of rare orangutan

Satellite images show the firm has decimated swathes of land occupied by the rarest great ape in the world

Helena Horton

A newly discovered orangutan species is being driven to extinction by a British firm’s Indonesian gold mine, a wildlife charity has claimed.

The Tapanuli orangutan, the rarest great ape in the world, was discovered by scientists in 2017, the first to be identified in a century. It lives only in the Batangtoru Forest in Northern Sumatra and there are just 800 of the primates left.

Its habitat is on top of a rich gold seam currently being mined by Jardine Matheson. Lord Goldsmith, the UK’s international environment minister, has said that it has a “moral obligation” to stop degrading the environment...

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