I’m finally back on my blog!
I have to apologize for the long silence, I’ve been away from here for too long, but so many things happened and kept me busy. Now I’m very motivated to keep this blog updated more frequently to connect with you all, so I promise that you will read more often from me on here.
There’s something really important I need to share. Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release is working on another project and needs help from all of us. For those of you who still don’t know, Wild & Free – Rehabilitation and Release is a UK-based charity, intent on saving species which are endangered, orphaned, injured or abused, by supporting centres who return them to where they belong. In 2014, Geraldine Morelli founded Wild&Free, born from her immense passion for wild animals following years spent volunteering in South Africa (check more on my Save The Wildlife page).
I’m sure that you all know the critical situation of orangutans population. Hunting, habitat loss and the pet trade are just some of the threats to the orangutan’s survival. As reported by Orangutan Appeal UK, the impacts of such threats equate to a staggering 86% population reduction of the Bornean orangutans between 1973 & 2025. In the heart of Borneo lies the Labanan Research Forest, run by the Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP), rehabilitating orangutans who’ve been cruelly treated. COP Borneo consists of a ‘forest school’, a pre-release island, and a quarantine area. The apes must pass through all 3 stages to ensure their survival alone in the wild. Six apes currently are awaiting freedom from the pre-release island – Unyil, Hercules, Leci, Untung, Antak & Novi – have all faced their own battles; all six apes were rescued from appalling conditions, either in local zoos – where they were found hairless and malnourished – or being held captive as pets, but are lucky to be given the chance to return to the wild. That’s why when Orangutan Appeal UK asked Wild & Free to fundraise for the quarantine enclosure, Geraldine, it’s founder, agreed instantly.
“When I was approached by Orang-utan Appeal UK to raise funds for COP, an orangutan rehabilitation centre in Borneo, I simply couldn’t say no. The context was difficult as it was going to be the first time I would try to raise funds for 2 projects in parallel, namely the pangolins in Vietnam and this one in Borneo, and the biggest amount I ever had to raise. Yet knowing that 6 orangutans that lived in a crate or in deplorable conditions in abandoned zoos could be returned to the wild was something I promised myself I would do anything to make happen. This is exactly what the charity is for.”
These are Geraldine’s words. And after reading the stories of these orangutans I totally understand why she decided to start this project. Antak was discovered by COP at Samarinda zoo when he was 5 years old. It is not known how he came to be at the zoo or what happened to his mother. He regularly ate his own faeces and was in extremely poor health. Unyil was being kept in a tiny wooden crate next to a toilet, where he’d been held for three years. Snatched from his mother as a baby, it was believed his mother was murdered so that he could be sold illegally. After Unyil was rescued by COP staff, they realised he had none of the skills his mother would have taught him in the wild. When the staff placed him in a tree for the first time, he even grabbed on and began crying.
So now the question is, what can we do to help these beautiful animals to enjoy the freedom they deserve? Well, first of all, donate! Even a small donation can help enormously and definitely make a difference. I did make my donation of course, and I encourage you all to do the same, whatever you can, even a small amount is really important! 5 £ don’t make a big difference in our lives, but can change the life of these animals, so please consider this! Click on the following link to see how you can help:
Then, share, share and share! Share this on Facebook, on your Instagram account, talk about this with your friends, please share this campaign in every way you can! Spreading the word about this is fundamental, the more we are, the more we can do for these orangutans. And this doesn’t cost anything! You can read more facts and updates about Antak, Unyil and the other orangutans on Wild & Free website, Facebook page and Instagram (don’t forget to give it a like and follow if you didn’t already).
Thank you very much on my and on Wild & Free’s behalf!