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Sunday, 6 February, 2000, 13:18 GMT
Orangutan population decline in Indonesia



The Indonesian state news agency says the population of orang-utans in Indonesian Borneo has dropped by about a third in the last three years.

The agency said the main reason was the destruction of the orang-utans┬┐ habitat when fires destroyed hundreds of square kilometres of forest in Kalimantan in 1997.

It said fewer than twenty thousand of the animals now remained in the region.

The head of an orang-utan rehabilitation project in East Kalimantan province said many of them could be found wandering outside their habitat.

She said some strayed into residential areas, where they were often caught or killed by villagers.

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