Forest fires threaten endangered animal species

Among the endangered species at the center of WWF`s attention are tigers, elephants, rhinos and orangutans.
Bandung, W Java (ANTARA News) - The ongoing land and forest fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan have put the lives of endangered animal species there on the line, an environmentalist has said.

"Of course, their condition has become a cause for concern. The smoke has disrupted the health of these animals. Furthermore, the forest, which serves as their habitat, has caught fire, while water resources are also limited due to drought," research assistant of environment information center, Bumi Panda WWF Indonesia, Sani Firmansyah said here on Friday.

Among the endangered species at the center of WWFs attention are tigers, elephants, rhinos and orangutans, he said.

"We have been making every effort to save the animals exposed to the smoke. We have rescued and treated them. If they are found fit to return to the forest, we will release them (to their habitat)," he said.

The WWF has also tried to address the issue of haze by encouraging the government to deal with the problems caused by land and forest fires, he said.

He expressed the hope that the problem will be resolved soon and underlined that it has disrupted not only human health but animal health as well.

A young orangutan in Kalimantan has reportedly developed an upper tract respiratory infection due to haze.(*)

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