Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Melbourne Zoo highlights plight of orangutans with call for palm oil labelling

Melbourne Zoo highlights plight of orangutans with call for palm oil labelling
July 29, 2016

Melbourne Zoo has marked the birthday of Malu, its Sumatran orang-utan, by highlighting how palm oil plantations in South East Asia are destroying the primates’ natural habitat and with a call for mandatory palm oil labelling on products.

Zoos Victoria is calling on the Federal Government to impose mandatory labelling on products containing palm oil and has already collected more than 50,000 signatures on a petition as part of its Don't Palm Us Off campaign.

Orangutan habitats in South East Asia are being decimated by the clearing of rainforest areas to make way for expanding palm oil plantations. Orangutans not killed when trees are felled are forced to move and compete with other animals for dwindling food sources.

Zoos Victoria Chief Executive Dr Jenny Gray said palm oil was used as an ingredient in more than 50% of the items Australians buy in supermarkets, and was often labelled as vegetable oil.

Dr Gray stated “palm oil, while it's a great oil and people love using it, it's also incredibly destructive on the environment when it's not produced sustainably.”

The Zoo used Malu's birthday to highlight the plight of critically endangered Sumatran orangutans in the wild.

The adventurous teenager sparked a lockdown last year when he escaped from his enclosure, forcing the Zoo's evacuation as keepers tranquilised him and returned it to its night quarters.

Melbourne Zoo Primate keeper Fiona Iacovangelo said Malu is a "typical teenager" and holds a special place in the Zoo's hearts because it was the first Sumatran orangutan to be born in Melbourne in a very long time.

Iacovangelo stated “he certainly is an adventurous boy and very playful - super active - and he's got a bit of an attitude too, which is I guess what you'd expect from a teenage boy.”

With less than 7,000 orangutan estimated to be left in the world, Dr Gray added “people love orang-utan (and) no-one would knowingly do something that would harm them.

"It was incredibly moving to go to Borneo earlier this year and to visit the people at the Borneo orangutan Survival Centre.

"They're doing incredible work rescuing orangutans that have been held as pets and also those animals that literally walk out of the forests, after the fires and destruction of habitat, they are just starving."

Referring to the mandatory labelling of products containing palm oil, Dr Gray concluded “we've been asking for it for over nine years (and) the Government will consider this in November so this is really the moment where we can make a difference and let our voices be heard.”

29th July also marks World Tiger Day and Melbourne Zoo said there were now only about 350 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild, partly due to destruction of habitat to create palm oil plantations.

Image: Malu at Melbourne Zoo.

1st June 2016 - TARONGA ZOO SHINES A LIGHT ON THREATENED SPECIES DURING VIVID SYDNEY

13th July 2015 - ORANGUTAN ESCAPE LEADS TO MELBOURNE ZOO LOCKDOWN

10th August 2014 - ICE CREAM MAKER ELIMINATES PALM OIL BUT LOSES ADELAIDE ZOO DEAL

3rd August 2011 - MELBOURNE ZOO REJECTS PALM OIL EXECUTIVE’S CLAIM OF ORANGUTAN DISTRESS


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

SENtag

Developed in Europe, this innovative system offers a safety management solution for swimming pools that checks individual swimmers via their wristband - monitoring their depth and time. Sensors…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Safety / Technology / Waterparks

 
 

Yellowbox Lockers

Yellowbox is an Australian technology company that has developed smart locker technology operated through an app with a focus on experience for users and facility managers. Found at Beaches, Aquatic…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Entertainment / Retail / Security

 
 

PAYSMART

Headquartered in Brisbane with an Australia-wide network of satellite offices, PaySmart is one of Australia’s largest and longest-standing direct debit billing companies. In 1996 we began…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology

 
 

AUSTRALIAN WATERSLIDES AND LEISURE

A leading designer and manufacturer of innovative waterslides and attractions, Australian Waterslides and Leisure (AWL) is also able to advise clients in the areas of concept and design, feasibility…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks

 
 

Aussie Strength

We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

ICP

ICP is an Australian-based company focused on indoor climbing. ICP will manage your project from initial design to completion and beyond, whether you're building an international-level climbing…

read more

Attractions / Fitness / Recreation

 
 

Clubware

Clubware’s online gym software is not your run of the mill management system. It has been carefully designed to incorporate all the elements that a fitness club would need. How did we do that?…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Recreation

 
 

Anti Wave International

Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Sport

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business