BREAKING: Police Arrest Orangutans in Minnesota

share this story
facebook twitter email stumble upon
Get Forest Alerts

In what has become an increasingly common sight in this upscale suburb of Minneapolis, homeless orangutans have once again been spotted protesting the agribusiness giant Cargill in locations across the Wayzata, MN region.

This startling orangutan invasion escalated significantly yesterday when a mother and her baby were arrested by police in downtown Wayzata. Bystanders captured video footage of a stern Long Lake Police officer loading the refugee animals into the back of a squad car (we’ll post it soon). Their whereabouts remain unknown and it is unclear at this time what, if any, charges the red apes face. Here’s a photo of the orangutan mother and her baby just before their arrest:


Here’s another photo of the orangutan mother protesting outside of Cargill HQ earlier in the day:

Prior interactions with the authorities have occurred intermittently since this small population of desperate primates relocated to the shores of Lake Minnetonka after their rainforest homes were destroyed by the expansion of palm oil plantations.

The orangutans have been seen carrying signs that read “Evicted by Cargill. Will work for habitat.” and “Home destroyed for palm oil. Anything helps.” Prior interactions with the authorities have involved allegations of loitering, hitchhiking and panhandling, but besides an altercation with private Cargill security at the company’s executive offices weeks ago, today’s arrests were the first.

Evicted by Cargill

Cargill is the largest importer of palm oil into the US and one of the largest traders of palm oil in the world. Critically Endangered orangutans live only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. While it is uncertain exactly how these tropical animals ended up in the frigid Midwest, their appearance follows a high profile string of public advertisements by Rainforest Action Network, including billboards, full page print ads and an online campaign calling attention to the urgent crisis of extinction orangutans face due to the wholesale destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests for palm oil plantations.

Please be on alert—while orangutans pose no threat to humans, these animals are clearly desperate for their survival and unless Cargill acts quickly to make sure it stops buying palm oil that destroys their precious habitat, there is no telling what they might do next.

5 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. CarKILL is actually killing all of us! So it’s ok to cut the forests, causing mass extinctions of animals like the orangutans & the displacement & imprisonment of indigenous peoples as well as causing severe global warming to our own demise BUT it’s not OK to protest the companies like CarKILL who are causing this global tragedy! Shame on Minnesota! I have been to Borneo & met many of the orphaned orangutans & this is a global tragedy. Since when is educating people a crime?!

  2. Hello,
    I live about 2 hours away from Minneapolis and would love to help the cause. I am moving down to the St. Paul area in the next few weeks to be closer to Como Park Zoo. Please contact me, I would love to meet up with you guys and help.
    Kind Regards,
    Jason DeGrauwe
    Deforestation Education {:(|)

  3. I couldn’t agree more, Patty. The city of Wayzata should release the now 3 orangutans who have been arrested for educating the public about Cargill’s impact on their population and habitat.

  4. Anne Ness says:

    Don’t forget to write “God bless” on the begging signs.

  5. Bob says:

    I knew those Orangutans, they had feelings just like you and me :( Seriously though, lets get Cargill to stop its rainforest destruction!

Trackbacks For This Post

  1. BREAKING: Police Arrest Orangutans in Minnesota « endoftheicons
  2. Cargill Dead Set On Plantation Expansion; Orphaned Orangutan Calls on CEO Gregory Page in Wayzata, MN. » Rainforest Action Network Blog

Leave a Comment Here's Your Chance to Be Heard!

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.