‘Jungle Book’ characters cameo in species-save campaign video

‘Jungle Book’ characters cameo in Sumatran Orangutan Society’s video campaign that aims to raise funds to buy haven for endangered great apes.

Chloe Green | 23rd Aug 18
A wildlife charity has launched a YouTube video that raises awareness of the impact of deforestation on orangutans by taking 'Jungle Book' characters and dropping them into urban landscapes.

A wildlife charity has launched a YouTube video that raises awareness of the impact of deforestation on orangutans in Sumatra with the help from characters from Disney’s Jungle Book.

The Sumatran Orangutan Society’s Concrete Jungle featuring beloved characters from the 1967 animated feature film was created to raise awareness of the devastating impacts of forest destruction in Sumatra’s Leuser Ecosystem and promote its Rainforest Home Appeal.

The video, created by creative agency Don’t Panic, shows iconic Disney characters struggling to survive on grey city streets, having lost their natural rainforest habitats.

Sumatran Orangutan Society hopes the video will encourage donations to its Rainforest Home Appeal, with which the charity aims to buy an 890-acre plot of land and turn it from a lifeless palm oil plantation back into rainforest.

According to Sumatran Orangutan Society, Indonesia has the fastest deforestation rate in the world, and Sumatra’s forests are being torn down for palm oil, logging, mining and to build roads. This destruction has pushed the Sumatran orangutan to the edge of extinction, along with the Sumatran elephant, Sumatran tiger and Sumatran rhino, all of which are classified as Critically Endangered, the charity reports.

Individual orangutans, tigers, elephants and many other animals are suffering as their homes are destroyed and they struggle to find food and shelter.

“This campaign film is a moving illustration of the stark reality facing wildlife in Sumatra. Animals need forests, but Sumatra’s jungles are being wiped out,” said Joe Wade, Managing Director at Don’t Panic. “By taking Jungle Book characters and dropping them into urban landscapes, we hope to make everyone look twice. We hope their universal quality is able to engage a wider audience around the issue of deforestation.”

“We have an opportunity to secure a vital area of land on the edge of the Leuser Ecosystem,” said Helen Buckland, Director at Sumatran Orangutan Society. “Once reclaimed and restored, it will provide a home for thousands of species.”