LEONARDO DICAPRIO SUPPORTS SOCP
Hollywood-celebrity and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio last week, visited the SOCP orangutan quarantine centre, near Medan, Sumatra. The academy award winner has committed himself to supporting a consortium of local and international NGO’s, of which PanEco and YEL are integral members, in their efforts to protect the World renowned Leuser Ecosystem, home to 85% of remaining wild Sumatran orangutans and the last place on earth, where orangutans, elephants, tigers and rhinos can still be found living side by side.
‘Leo’ was accompanied to the SOCP centre by another film star friend, Adrien Brody of ‘The Pianist’ and ‘King Kong’. Both were fascinated by the orangutans in our care at the centre and eager to learn from the staff regarding the problems they face in the wild and the threats to their habitat posed by the expansion of palm oil plantations and fragmentation by roads. Leo got to know some of the individual orangutans quite well, reaching out to share some fruit items with Bintang and Megaloman among others, whilst they were hanging nearby from the branches.
With this visit, Leonardo DiCaprio has again announced to a worldwide audience, how fragile and endangered the Leuser Ecosystem and its remaining wild orangutan populations really are, and issued a rallying cry for extra effort to ensure their long term protection.
«As the forests of Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem continue to be cleared to meet demand for Palm Oil, the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan is being pushed to the brink of extinction. At the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP)’s Orangutan Quarantine Center, rescued orangutans are rehabilitated so they can be released back into the wild. Help support this important work.»
Through his «Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation» the actor also supports the «Save the Leuser Ecosystem»-Petition. «A world-class biodiversity hotspot, Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem is one of the most important areas of intact rainforests left in Southeast Asia and home to critically endangered Sumatran orangutans. But Palm Oil expansion is destroying this unique place» underlined DiCaprio.