BENEFITING: Orangutan Outreach Inc
EVENT DATE: Nov 04, 2011
Time-twin birthday fundraiser for Borneo Orangutan Survival Edit This Page
November 4 is my birthday. And not just mine: On the very same day I first cast an eye on this world another baby girl was born not far away in Denmark. Her name is Lone Droescher-Nielsen. Early on in life Lone saw the plight of the Bornean orangutan, a highly intelligent primate, which shares almost 97% of its DNA with humans, and which is rapidly losing its only remaining natural habitat in Indonesia and Malaysia due to logging, mining and oil palm plantations.
In 1996, Lone moved permanently to Borneo to help save the "man of the forest" (orang (h)utan) from extinction. With the aid of the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation Lone founded the Nyaru Menteng orangutan rehabilitation and rescue centre in Central Kalimantan in 1999 which has since become the largest primate rescue project in the world.
Nyaru Menteng is a sanctuary that takes care of orphaned as well as sick and injured orangutans and prepares them for re-release into the wild. Orphaned babies are reared for up to 7-8 years. In forest school they are taught what their mothers would have taught them in the wild had they not been killed or starved to death. Originally designed to hold about 100 orangutans while they go through rehabilitation, the centre now, sadly, hosts over 600 orphaned and displaced orangutans which are cared for by about 200 local staff and volunteers. In addition to quarantine cages, a medical clinic, and nursery, the sanctuary has a large area of forest in which young orangutans learn the skills needed to live in the wild.
I recently had the great pleasure to pay a brief visit to Central Kalimantan and the Nyaru Menteng rescue centre where I met some of the dedicated staff and volunteers. My joy of seeing first hand the important and successful work being done at Nyaru Menteng was of course tinged with sadness that such a place needs to exist at all. The preferred option is of course to secure the apes natural habitat but unless you have a heart of stone it is impossible to look into an orangutans eyes without seeing their individuality, intelligence, and emotions. You cannot but want to help them on an individual level. At a more detached, scientific level, each individual saved also represents an important part of a dwindling genepool.
This year, on our combined 94th birthday, I would like to ask my family and friends and all who care about our red-haired cousins to donate a few Euro, Dollars or Pounds in lieu of birthday presents, or simply because they care, in order to help Lone and all the great people who work at Nyaru Menteng to rescue the Bornean orangutan from extinction.
Please help me make this Lone's best birthday ever. And mine.
Every cent helps. Your support is a wonderful gift.
For more info see: http://www.orangutan.or.id/subcontent-5-22.html
Lots of photos from Nyaru Menteng at http://www.flickr.com/photos/wspacanada/sets/72157624436042106/with/4767293233/