Long live the wild animals
DJUNGELSKOG soft toys collection is full of wonderful friends to play with and – sometimes – get consolation from. It's also a collection that highlights wild animals which, in many parts of the world, are endangered due to intense human activities. But with commitment and by making wise choices, we can all contribute to reversing the trend and restoring nature where it has been negatively affected. Then the animals can again find environments in which they thrive – just like the orangutan in Borneo.
The orangutan in DJUNGELSKOG is a cosy and cuddly friend. It's a little reddish-brown in colour, approximately 66 centimetres tall and has kind, curious eyes.
The live, wild orangutan lives Borneo's rainforests where fires and deforestation have considerably reduced the number of animals. But it's possible to reverse the trend.
Martin Petri, who works with sustainability matters at IKEA, was in a rainforest in northeastern Borneo in September, 2016. It was hot and humid, with the sound from surrounding wildlife resonating intensively in all directions. High up in a tree, he caught a glimpse of an orangutan dwelling – it was back.
"In 1983, a forest fire destroyed 18,500 hectares of rainforest", says Martin. "When Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA, heard about it he wanted to contribute to the restoration of the rainforest. That's why, since 1998, we've financed the project Sow a seed which has led to more than 12,500 hectares of rainforest being replanted."
Wild animals provide a sense of freedom
The return of the orangutan and other magnificent animals in this rainforest is a sure sign of nature recovering. There, the animals can continue to live free and independent lives, which fascinates us humans, especially children.
"Wild animal provide a sense of freedom, in particular for children living in urban environments", says Child Psychologist Barbie Clarke, who has extensively researched about children and their development.
The orangutan, the panda, the tiger and the other animals in DJUNGELSKOG are all species whose natural habitats are threatened and which we humans need to preserve. It is something that many children are aware of and which concerns them.
"For many children, the commitment naturally emerges around the age of six or seven when they become more interested in the world outside their own family. But it does not just involve concern, they’re also curious and want to learn more about the animals", explains Barbie.
For all children who want to immerse themselves in the jungle and its animals, we've complemented DJUNGELSKOG with a storybook and a factbook about the tiger. Among other things, they can read about how the number of tigers in the world is now increasing, after having decreased over the past 100 years. For us humans, we actually have the possibility to restore the natural habitats of animals and the important biological diversity which provides balance in nature ─ just like in the rainforest which Martin Petri visited.
"Sow a seed is one of the world’s largest rainforest projects, and has given involved researchers valuable knowledge which will be useful for other rainforests which have burned down or been felled", explains Martin.
More rainforest in Borneo means that more orangutans can swing between the trees with their long arms. When the evening approaches, they gather branches and leaves and build their dwelling for the night – with only the starry sky and as a roof.