MDF | Photo by @paulhiltonphoto For the past five years, conservation photojournalist …


Photo by @paulhiltonphoto
For the past five years, conservation photojournalist and wildlife trade consultant Paul Hilton (@paulhiltonphoto) has lived in Indonesia documenting Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem. “It is often referred to as ‘the last place on Earth,’” says Paul. “It is the only remaining habitat shared by critically endangered Sumatran elephants, rhinoceroses, tigers and orangutans.”
Paul’s work in Sumatra focuses on the palm oil trade and the issues it causes for the more than 10,000 square miles (26,000 square kilometers) of the Leuser Ecosystem, including deforestation, climate change and habitat degradation. “My first interaction with a Sumatran orangutan was in the Tripa peat swamp forest with Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme team. They had to rescue a large male orangutan caught in a very small block of forest. The orangutan was tranquilized, but it was still conscious. Seeing the ape up close, it made eye contact with me, and at that point, I realized how wrong it all was. To do this to such an intelligent being, to cut down these huge tracts of forest, was wrong on so many levels.”
Check out today’s story for #EndangeredSpeciesDay to learn more about Paul’s work.

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