Erie Zoo News & Updates

Palm Oil Crisis

Posted on July 29th, 2021 at 7:00 AM
Palm Oil Crisis

Orangutans are endangered and there are less than 100,000 Bornean, about 13,000 Sumatran, and no more than 800 Tapanuli left in the wild. Their biggest threat is NON-sustainable palm oil farming. This could cause the extinction of orangutans in the wild in the very near future without your help.

As you know, the Erie Zoo is very fond of our resident Bornean Orangutans! Joe, Dasa, and Otis are beloved members of our family and we are encouraging everyone to take a moment to read about how you can help prevent the extinction of their species by engaging in sustainable palm oil practices. Please read the information, download the shopping guide apps, and visit the links below to see how you can help save the orangutans!

What is palm oil?

It is a type of vegetable oil. It is found in many foods, so you probably eat it every day. It is also found in some bath products.

Palm oil comes from West Africa, but can grow in other tropical climates. Most oil palms are grown in the islands of Borneo and Sumatra which are the only two places in the world where orangutans live.

Palm oil is not something that is part of a rainforest; it is a crop that was introduced. It needs a tropical climate to grow. Therefore many rainforests are being cut down in order to plant more palm oil plants.

The palm oil plants can produce 5 to 10 times as much vegetable oil as soy or other plants farmed in the same amount of space.

The way palm oil is grown makes all the difference.

There is a special group call the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). They make sure that palm oil is grown in a way that is sustainable and does not hurt the rainforest or the animals that live there.

Palm Oil and You:


Orangutan Friendly Ice Cream Guide

Orangutan Friendly Cleaning Supplies

Orangutan Friendly Picnic Guide

Orangutan Friendly Candy Guide

Orangutan Friendly Pantry Staples Guide

Shopping Guide App:

Google Play - Android App

Apple App Store

Learn More:

Palm Oil Crisis

Source: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo -