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From Small Cage Back to Forest Freedom

London, United Kingdom – 11th October 2017. It is wonderful that orphaned orangutans can be rescued and released back to the wild but we must not forget it is their forest home that really needs protection, cautions UK wildlife charity, Orangutan Foundation.

Two-year-old orphaned orangutan Mona was being kept in a small cage, as a pet, before she was rescued and handed over to the Orangutan Foundation. How she became a pet is unknown but it is highly likely her mother was killed in the process.

Figure 1 Orphaned orangutan Mona being kept as a pet. Credit Orangutan Foundation

Figure 1 Orphaned orangutan Mona being kept as a pet. Credit Orangutan Foundation


Despite this tragic start in life, Mona is now thriving. She joined a handful of other orphaned orangutans undergoing a ‘soft-release’ programme in a protected wildlife reserve in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Mona enjoys playing in the forest with the other orangutans, especially Nyunyu, an orphan who was rescued after being found chained up by the neck.

Figure 2 Mona back in the forest where she belongs. Credit Orangutan Foundation

Figure 2 Mona back in the forest where she belongs. Credit Orangutan Foundation


This soft-release programme is a unique approach by Orangutan Foundation. Unlike most orangutan rescue centres, it is small and individualised, only caring for up to 12 apes at a time. The apes spend their day in the same forest where they will eventually be fully released. The aim is to get the young apes fully back to wild as soon as they are ready.

Most of the orphaned orangutans learn the skills needed to survive in the wild, such as nest-building, within a few years and can be fully released. Two orangutans, Jessica and Ketty, were fully released in June. But, as soon as one is gone another orphan takes their place. Bumi entered the soft-release programme after being kept as a pet. When examined, the Orangutan Foundation’s vet found small bullets embedded in his body, presumably a result of being caught in the crossfire when his mother was shot.

The loss of forest habitat and food sources is forcing wild orangutans to come ever closer to humans, which frequently ends up with orangutans being injured or killed. Ashley Leiman OBE, director of the Orangutan Foundation is concerned that the real message is being lost. “Each orphaned infant we rescue represents the loss of the forest. Rescuing and caring for orphaned orangutans will never be enough. The only way to halt the decline of this critically endangered species is to protect their habitat.”

Ms Leiman continued, “Our priority is to keep the forests standing and orangutans in the wild. We need to prevent orangutans from becoming orphaned in the first place. The way to do this is to protect their habitat.”

It will be a few years until Mona, Nyunyu and Bumi are fully returned to the wild. To ensure they have a future in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, home to 500 critically endangered orangutans plus thousands of other species, the Orangutan Foundation’s team of committed Indonesian staff continually guard and protect the 158,000 acre forest reserve.


Media contacts

For further information please contact Orangutan Foundation

Ashley Leiman OBE, Director/Trustee, +44 (0) 20 7724 2912 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cathy Smith, Head of Development, 07791 168986 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

High resolution images can be downloaded from Dropbox here: http://bit.ly/2y4x4jq and a photo gallery can be viewed here: www.orangutan.org.uk/current-news/photo-gallery

Download a PDF version here.


Notes to the editors

Orangutan Foundation is a UK registered charity established in 1990. It works in Indonesian Borneo to protect the critically endangered orangutan by protecting their tropical forest habitat, working with local communities and promoting research and education. It recognises that orangutan habitat is unique in its richness of biodiversity and is crucial for local communities, who are as dependant on the forest as is the orangutan.

The Foundation’s work is focused towards Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. In collaboration with the Indonesian government’s Conservation Authority (BKSDA), the Orangutan Foundation runs a release site for translocated wild orangutans and rescued orangutans requiring soft-release in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.





ANIMALS Orangutan
28-Nov-2016 09:22:27
By Jemma Crew, Press Association

(with pics) Embargoed to 0001 Tuesday November 29

Page 1

A critically-endangered orangutan who was blinded after being shot more than 100 times with an air rifle is to undergo an operation that could restore her sight.

The plight of Aan captured the hearts of animal-lovers across the world in 2012 after it was revealed that she had been shot 104 times with an air rifle on a palm oil plantation in Indonesian Borneo.

A three-hour operation saw around one third of the pellets removed, but the dozens which hit her eyes blinded her left eye permanently and damaged her right.v

Unable to forage for food or protect herself, the critically endangered primate has since been cared for by the Orangutan Foundation in an enclosure in the Lamandau River wildlife reserve in Borneo.

While Aan's left eye is beyond repair, a British volunteer veterinarian ophthalmologist believes there is a possibility that her sight could be restored in the other - with a simple cataract operation.

Claudia Hartley initially felt nothing could be done after seeing X-rays showing the lead pellets that had riddled Aan's underweight body - 37 of which were lodged in her head.

During a visit in September, the 44-year-old, from Cambridge, discovered there was a "good chance" that the primate could regain enough sight to survive outside captivity.

She said: "I'm really hopeful that actually we may be able to give her vision, and then, even though she will only be one-eyed, she will be able to be released because primates can still forage one-eyed.

"She's a wild animal that's currently in an enclosure, and that's quite miserable for an animal that's as intelligent as an orangutan.

"It's akin to a human being in a prison cell, and that's her life 24/7 - it's the best that the charity can offer her because it keeps her safe, it keeps her fed."

There are approximately 56,000 orangutans estimated to live in the wild in Borneo. They are critically endangered and reproduce slowly, on average only once every 7-8 years.

Enclosure staff have described Aan, estimated to be between 10 and 12 years old, as a "clever" primate.

While pellets lodged near her ears initially prompted fears that she could become deaf, she has now become very sensitive to noise which can cause her to shriek and exhibit fearful, panicky behaviour.

Ms Hartley's team of four is planning to fly out in the first week of February with 265lb (120kg) of equipment in an attempt to restore Aan's sight.

The procedure is similar to cataract surgery in humans, and is expected to take around 20-30 minutes, although administering general anaesthetic and positioning will take longer.

Ashley Leiman OBE, director of the Orangutan Foundation, said the news was "incredibly exciting".

She said: "As a blind orangutan, she was going to spend the rest of her life in a cage.

"If it happens it will be absolutely amazing. She will be able to be released into the wild, she will be able to survive perfectly well with one eye."

Ms Hartley said she will know "pretty much straight away" when Aan wakes up if the procedure has worked.

She said: "It's very difficult not to judge people who wilfully go out and hurt another species, especially one that's so closely related to us, so I think that touches on people's heartstrings.

"The joy for me is feeling that I can perhaps right a wrong that other humans have done. I can't right it completely but I can give her something back and make it a little bit less bad."

"I'm fairly certain I can make the eyeball see, but it's whether that will get through to the brain is the crux of it," she added.




View photographs in our gallery here...


Meet the winners of our Children’s Writing Competition!

Meet the winners of our Children’s Writing Competition! Orangutan Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Children’s Writing Competition


The Orangutan Foundation teamed up again this year with National Geographic Kids Magazine to launch a children’s writing competition to great success! We received more than 300 entries, and were enormously proud and impressed with the creativity and insight expressed in each of them.

Each child wrote a story or poem to the theme of ‘The Orangutan’s World’, and every entry did a fantastic job at highlighting the problems that orangutans and their rainforests face. Selecting the winners was an incredibly difficult undertaking as the standard was so high, but our guest judge Joanna Lumley was finally able to select her favourites!

We are delighted to announce that Morgan Davidson, Angeline Islam, and Toby Mawer have won the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes (respectively) for the 6-9 Year Old category, and Eloise Blakey, Jacob Bicker, and Orla Dalby have won the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (respectively) for the 10-13 Year Old category! Congratulations to all!

The prize winners have not only won a number of incredible prizes, but both 1st place winners will have their writing published on the National Geographic Kids website, the LoveReading4Kids website, and the Orangutan Foundation blog!

We are very excited to be able to reward our young supporters in this way, and we do hope that all who entered the competition will continue to learn about and support endangered orangutans in the future.



Meet the winners of our Children’s Writing Competition! 

‘Keep on writing and thinking and believing. Soon, you will inherit the earth and your dear goodness will keep it safe.’ – Joanna Lumley




This competition has been sponsored by: Zoological Society London, Skates.co.uk, Delta Force, LoveReading4Kids, Rainforest Café, Ravensden Plc, and the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.


Zoological Society London Skates.co.uk
Theatre Royal Drury Lane Rainforest Cafe LoveReading4Kids Ravensden Plc Delta Force




Landmark Agreement Increases Critical Forest Habitat for Orangutan Conservation

[PRESSWIRE] London, United Kingdom - 04 November, 2015 -- The Indonesian Government, together with the Orangutan Foundation UK and its Indonesian partner Yayorin, is increasing the amount of protected orangutan habitat in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, by 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres).


Landmark Agreement Increases Critical Forest Habitat for Orangutan Conservation

High resolution versions can be downloaded from the Orangutan Foundation Dropbox, link here.


This area, which is larger than Guernsey in the Channel Islands, will provide a biodiversity-rich home to orangutans, as well as to many other species, including proboscis monkeys, sun bears, long-tailed macaques, stork-billed kingfishers, and slow lorises.

The Indonesian Government and the Orangutan Foundation have a long history of collaboration and have been working together over the past ten years to achieve this significant conservation success story. This species-rich area of forest will be annexed to the Foundation’s Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, increasing its total area by 15% to 64,000 hectares (160,000 acres).

Finding and protecting suitable habitat for orangutans is critical to ensure their survival. Vast tracts of forest have been cleared in Borneo for timber, agriculture, oil- palm plantations and mining. Currently, Indonesia’s forests and surrounding marginal lands are suffering severely from the worst peatland fires since 2006, the peat continuing to burn even after surface fires are extinguished.

The country is engulfed in a haze of smoke and air quality continues to decline, affecting humans and wildlife populations alike. The Orangutan Foundation, working in hazardous conditions, is continually rehoming stranded orangutans, many of whom have been rescued from the tops of the last remaining standing trees. These are then released into the safety of the Foundation’s Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

The reserve is currently home to over 250 re-introduced orangutans and their offspring. This extra land will provide vital additional habitat and enable the Foundation to release rescued orangutans back to the wild as part of its Orangutan Reintroduction Programme, carried out in collaboration with the Government Agency for Nature Conservation (BKSDA).

“At a time when forest habitat is being lost all over Indonesia, The Orangutan Foundation is extremely proud to be working together with the Indonesian government to increase protected habitat in Kalimantan. With release sites in short supply and 1,000 orangutans still waiting to be released into safety, this agreement to protect an area of much-needed forest habitat shows how governments and conservation organisations can successfully collaborate to secure a future for orangutans and wildlife“ says Ashley Leiman OBE, Director and Trustee of the Orangutan Foundation.

This November marks the Foundation’s 25th year of protecting orangutans by safe-guarding their tropical forest habitat, working with local communities, and promoting research and education. Conservation successes include: the birth of over 60 orangutan infants to reintroduced female orangutans in the past 15 years, the protection of three critical orangutan populations from illegal logging, fires and the conversion of their forest habitat to oil palm, and the provision of alternative livelihoods for local people who live close to orangutan habitat.

The Orangutan Foundation’s Director Ashley Leiman is positive about the future for orangutans “At a time when 80% of orangutan habitat has been lost over the last 30 years, we are delighted that, in the Orangutan Foundation’s 25th year, such a significant achievement has been realised. This new area of protected land to increase the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve will provide vitally-needed habitat for orangutans and other wildlife species and help to protect their future."

The Foundation is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in November 2015. It is launching an appeal to provide vital services to support its work in increasing critical orangutan habitat by 8,000 hectares. You can read more about the appeal here at http://www.orangutan.org.uk/


For more information please contact:

Ashley Leiman, Orangutan Foundation Trustee
Phone: 020 7724 2912
Email: Rowan Sharp at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Notes to Editors

About the Orangutan Foundation UK

Founded in 1990, the Orangutan Foundation is the foremost orangutan conservation organisation, working actively across the entire range of orangutan species. The Foundation works to protect endangered orangutans by protecting their tropical forest habitat, working with local communities and promoting research and education. It recognises that orangutan habitat is unique in its richness of biodiversity and is crucial for local communities, who are as dependant on the forest as is the orangutan.

The Orangutan Foundation works to protect critical orangutan habitat in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Additionally, in collaboration with the Indonesian Government’s Directorate General for Nature Conservation, the Orangutan Foundation also runs a reintroduction programme to release rescued orangutans back to the wild in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

Ms Ashley Leiman OBE is Director and Trustee of the Orangutan Foundation, which she founded in November 1990. Ashley has been actively involved in Asian conservation for over 30 years. Her initial involvement was with the Natural History Society and Conservation Society in Hong Kong. In 1985 she was on the organising committee of the New York Rainforest Alliance. In 1986, after spending time in Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesian Borneo, Ashley set about establishing the Orangutan Foundation in the UK. In 2006 Ashley was appointed OBE for her services to Orangutan Conservation. Ashley is also a member of the Executive Committee of the UNEP’s Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP).

Threats to orangutans. Orangutan habitat is being destroyed and degraded by logging for timber, oil-palm plantations, acacia plantations, fire, mining and small-scale shifting cultivation. The destruction of tropical forests affects the global climate and is one of the world’s most pressing environmental concerns. For orangutans the situation is critical.

Currently, the biggest threat to the orangutan’s habitat is the conversion of forests to agriculture, especially vast monoculture oil-palm plantations. Palm oil is produced from the kernel of the oil-palm plant and is the world’s most popular vegetable oil, primarily produced in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Deforestation for mining (both legal and illegal) has the potential to be just as devastating. Illegal mining has been found within the boundaries of the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. The Orangutan Foundation is protecting this area of critical orangutan habitat with guard posts and patrols.



Website: www.orangutan.org.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/orangutanfndn
Twitter: @OrangutanFndn


Video links

Video of orangutan rescue from burnt forest and its release. The Orangutan Foundation rescues a stranded orangutan and releases it into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. https://youtu.be/rRkbroRr1rg

Video of forest fires in Central Kalimantan. Fires rage on in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. The Orangutan Foundation’s fire-fighting teams are working tirelessly to save the forests, as well as to rescue orangutans left stranded by the devastation. https://youtu.be/U101MX_KAt0



Download from: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3ayqty4twqztaem/AAAkZTQtEwwwZxPHKbs2mnoLa?dl=0

1. Lamandau Wildlife Reserve with new 8,000 ha extension. OF-UK
2. Forest habitat in Central Kalimantan critical for orangutan survival. OF-UK
3. Orangutan in tree with mother. Photo credit Brian Matthews
4. Lamandau Wildlife Reserve provides excellent habit for reintroduced orangutans. OF-UK
5. Extreme fire and haze near the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve October 2015. OF-UK
6. OF-UK fire-fighting teams taking on the extreme fires around Lamandau Oct 2015. OF-UK
7. OF-UK rescue teams save an orangutan trapped in an area of land filled with fire and smoke. OF-UK
8. OF-UK vet, Dr Wawan, performs a health check on a mother and infant orangutan after their rescue. OF-UK
9. A female orangutan, Maksum, and her infant released into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. OF-UK
10. A young orangutan rescued from an oil-palm plantation undergoes a physical examination with OF-UK vet, Dr Wawan. OF-UK
11. A female orangutan and her offspring. OF-UK
12. Two young orangutans Okto and Rocky in OF-UKs soft-release programme. OF-UK
13. Long-tailed macaque. OF-UK
14. Stork-billed kingfisher. OF-UK
15. Slow loris released into Lamandau. OF-UK
16. Wild gibbon. OF-UK


Join us to celebrate the Orangutan Foundation’s 25th Anniversary...

What a wonderful way to start our next 25 years:

Increasing critical orangutan habitat by 8,000 hectares

Dear friends and supporters,


In October 2015, thanks to your generous and continued support over the years, the Orangutan Foundation will celebrate 25 years of achievements at the forefront of orangutan conservation in Borneo.

Our work has made a real difference on the ground:

  • We have reintroduced orangutans to establish a viable population in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve in Central Kalimantan. More than 60 orangutan infants have been born here to reintroduced females in the past 15 years.
  • We have safeguarded three critical orangutan populations from illegal logging, fires and conversion of forest to oil palm. This includes the largest wild population of orangutans outside a protected area, in Belantikan.
  • We have provided alternative livelihoods for local people surrounding orangutan habitat.

To mark our 25th Anniversary, we are now launching an ambitious challenge to secure the future of 8,000 hectares of prime, critical orangutan habitat adjacent to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. This area (larger than Guernsey in the Channel Islands) would increase the size of the reserve by 15 per cent, bringing the total extent of its protected habitat to 64,000 hectares.


Lamandau Wildlife Reserve

Click to enlarge...

Existing reserve (boundaries indicated by red lines)
Additional 8,000 hectares (indicated by pink cross-hatched inset)

click map to see enlarged version...


  • Legally incorporate an additional 8,000 hectares into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. Mapping out the borders of the extension will ensure that it is recognised as a protected area.
  • Establish two additional guard posts to help stop encroachment around the reserve. Without such protection, the reserve remains at risk from illegal exploitation.
  • Purchase two new long boats to access and patrol the additional area. All access to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve is by river.
  • Invest in fire prevention and early detection.
  • Provide education and information services to local people to promote understanding of and respect for orangutans and their habitat. Forming a partnership with local communities (more than 32,000 people) will ensure the sustainability of the reserve.


We need your support to make a long-term commitment to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve by planning for the next 25 years. With your help, our vital conservation work can continue into the next quarter century.


Every donation will make a difference: both to orangutans and the tropical forest habitats that they need to survive.

Thanks to a generous supporter, you can donate to our appeal today and double your donation!

Thank you for your generous support.


Best regards,


Ashley Leiman OBE


The Orangutan Foundation is proud to launch the 'Sir Terry Pratchett "Oook" Award for the Conservation of Orangutans and their Habitat'

In tribute to the long-standing commitment of Foundation trustee, the late Sir Terry Pratchett, the Orangutan Foundation will be launching the ‘Sir Terry Pratchett “Oook” Award for the Conservation of Orangutans and their Habitat’. Sir Terry’s love for orangutans was apparent from his famous characterisation of the orangutan ‘Librarian’ - vocalised only by ‘oook’ - which was featured throughout his Discworld book series. This award created in his name will therefore be aimed toward those aspiring to making a difference in the field of orangutan conservation.

The Orangutan Foundation is proud to launch the 'Sir Terry Pratchett

Through this award scheme, research students, journalists or filmmakers of any nationality will be able to apply for the grant through submitting a proposal to our board of trustees. Our aim is to give an annual award of £5,000 to a chosen applicant. Since the Foundation is approaching its 25th year, we are hoping to pledge for 25 more years of vital conservation work.

This award can only be launched with the help of the general public.

For this we would like to get the support of not only Sir Terry's fans, but also our Foundation members. If our fundraising is successful, we can contribute toward important field research, and thus help to make great steps in the world of conservation, zoology and the environmental sciences.

The Foundation wishes to maintain Sir Terry’s presence in the conservation community, and we do hope that you all will help us to make this a reality.

Thank you.


Orangutan trader gets 2 years in prison and IDR 10 million fine in Medan, North Sumatra

From : Wildlife Conservation Society – Indonesia Program (WCS-IP).

Medan, July 6 2015 – Orangutan trader, Vast Haris Nugroho was sentenced to 2 years in prison and fined 10 million IDR in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Nugroho was arrested on February 27, 2015, by the Forest Police Rapid Response unit (SPORC) of the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry’s Conservation Agency in North Sumatra (BBKSDA North Sumatra). The perpetrator initially attempted to resist arrest, physical trying to fight off law enforcement authorities when apprehended whilst trying to sell a 1-year old female orangutan, transported at the time in his holdall.

Vast Haris Nugroho was charged under Article 40 clause 2 jo Article 21 clause 2 from the Indonesian regulation on Natural Resources Conservation and its Ecosystem, jo Article No 7 year 1999 on the preservation of Plants and Wildlife that forbids the killing, capture, trade or ownership of orangutans, a protected species in Indonesia, and the prosecution initially sought a prison sentence of 3 years.

The head of BBKSDA of North Sumatera, Ir. John Kenedie, MM stated, “the sentence for the orangutan trader is an important step taken by the government in reducing the level of orangutan trade in Indonesia. We will act firmly on every form of wildlife crime to prevent such cases from recurring in the future.”

Vast Haris Nugroho admitted illegally sourcing wildlife via a hunter’s network and local dealers in Aceh and North Sumatera, and to having a trading network that reaches as far as Java. Based on investigations, Vast Haris was found to have also traded numerous other live animals illegally, including orangutans, golden cats, porcupines, slow loris, siamangs, gibbons, hornbills and baby crocodiles. He also illegally sold animal parts, such as hornbill beaks and the skins claws and canine teeth of Sumatran tigers.

Noviar Andayani, Country Director of the New York based Wildlife Conservation Society’s Indonesia Program, commented on hearing the verdict “We view the law enforcement efforts in this case as evidence of the government’s commitment to preserving Indonesia’s rich biodiversity, including its many protected wildlife species. We hope that the very clear and firm decision from the judge and prosecution today will have a deterrent effect among the community, sending a clear message that wildlife crimes can and will be punished.”

The Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) is a distinct species, different from its relative in neighbouring Borneo (Pongo pygmaeus). Sumatran orangutans are listed by the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species as ‘Critically Endangered’ and on the list of the World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates. Both orangutan species are protected under Indonesian National Law No 5, 1990 on the protection of natural resources and ecosystems. The main threats to their survival include the destruction and fragmentation of their tropical rainforest habitat, often for plantations and roads, conflict with humans on farmland and plantations, and the illegal black market trade in orphan orangutan infants as pets, after their mothers have been killed.

Dr Ian Singleton, Director of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) added, “This is an excellent and extremely welcome result. Since the early 70’s there have been over 3,000 confiscations of illegal pet orangutans in Sumatra and Borneo but only a handful of actual prosecutions, and all of them only in the last few years. For far too long those involved in wildlife crime in Indonesia have known the chances of any serious legal consequences to their activities were essentially almost zero.”

According to WCS and BBKSDA North Sumatra this is actually the second time Vast Haris has been known to trade in orangutans. He confessed, in fact, to having carried out numerous illegal wildlife transactions over the last 2 years. His arrest was also the result of follow-up by BBKSDA/SPORC on a previous case in April 2014, in which one of Vast Haris Nugroho’s staff, Dedek Setiawan, was arrested and 2 golden cats, a siamang and a gibbon were confiscated in his possession. He was also found to be offering wildlife illegally for sale on the internet and sourcing many animals from Vast Haris Nugroho, known to have ready access to large numbers of animals of a wide variety of species. In August 2014, Dedek was sentenced to 16 months in prison and fined 5 million IDR.

Dr Singleton concluded, “ The sheer scale of wildlife crime and trafficking in Indonesia is indeed staggering. Effective law enforcement and the threat of serious consequences for those involved is an essential component of the conservation arsenal if there is to be any hope of preventing the extinction of orangutans, and many other heavily traded and persecuted species here.”

The orangutan confiscated from Nugroho in this case, now named “Cita Ria”, is currently being cared for at the SOCP’s orangutan quarantine centre in Sumatra and will eventually be returned to the wild at one of its specialist reintroduction centres.

See also earlier story - http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/dotearth/2015/04/20/sumatran-authorities-arrest-wildlife-dealer-caught-with-young-orangutan/?referrer


  1. Irma Hermawati, Policy and Legal Advisor, Wildlife Crime Unit: (+62 8128101907)
  2. Ian Singleton, Director of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP): (+62 811650491), Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Helen Doron Announces Winners of the “Hello My World!” Campaign

Thousands of children from 31 countries across the globe joined together to say “Hello My World!” to raise awareness for the plight of the endangered orangutan and vanishing rainforests.

“Hello My World!” is an international social awareness and educational campaign initiated by the Helen Doron Educational Group to mark the 30th anniversary of Helen Doron English. The awareness campaign taught 100,000 Helen Doron students worldwide about how and why animals lose their natural habitats and how palm trees used for manufacturing palm oil can lead to the extinction of numerous animal species.

The response to the campaign was outstanding; local Helen Doron Learning Centres invited parents, students and the community-at-large to participate in awareness events. Communities in Portugal, Croatia and Hungary sponsored events at local zoos and adopted newborn orangutans. Children of all ages were invited to participate and to submit a video in English to spread the message.

Helen Doron, CEO and founder responded, "I am thrilled to see the nearly 3000 videos you have submitted. You have used English to spread the message that the endangered orangutan and rainforests need our help and protection. Together, your voices are making a difference.”

The videos garnered an impressive 350,000 votes from friends, family and the global community. The top rated videos were reviewed by representatives from Orangutan Outreach, Orangutan Foundation (OF)-(UK), International Animal Rescue(IAR), Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) and Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation and Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Project (GPOCP) along with CEO Helen Doron and Polish environmental awareness and conservation writer, Beata Pawlikowska.

All reviewers agreed that public awareness is essential to protecting and conserving the endangered orangutan population. Jessica McKelson from SOCP explains, “Sumatran orangutans are a critically endangered species with estimated 6,600 animals remaining in the wild. “ Karmele Llano Sánchez from IAR agrees, "The plight of orangutans is very critical and yet their populations in the wild are still declining due to habitat loss. We must try to save the orangutans before it's too late.”.

The judges were impressed with the quality of the videos that were submitted. Ashley Leiman from OF remarked, “These videos seem to sum up everything that I could possibly say about why you should save orangutans and the rainforest. They’ve said it all.” Environmentalist Beata Pawlikowsk agreed, “I am happy to see that children of the world understand the wonderful power of nature and the need to protect it.

These judges chose the campaign’s prize winners. Masha from Ukraine won the grand prize award, a trip to see the orangutan in its natural habitat. Máté from Hungary, Minnie from China and Paola M. from Ecuador also submitted prize winning video clips and will receive tablets as the second and tied third place winners. When told that she had won the grand prize, 8 year old Masha exclaimed, “I am so very excited to see the orangutans!” View the winning clips here.

Helen Doron Ltd. will donate €1 for each posted video and continues to accept videos until the target of €4000 has been reached. The funds will be awarded to Orangutan Outreach where they will be distributed to continue to promote public awareness and to protect orangutans in their native habitat while providing care for orphaned and displaced orangutans until they can be returned to their natural environment.

Richard Zimmerman of Orangutan Outreach responds, “We are thrilled to be joining forces with Helen Doron English Schools to help save the orangutans! Bringing attention to the plight of orangutans is the first step to saving them. It is so exciting to see thousands of young students from all over the world learning about orangutans and doing their part to help save them. Helen Doron is doing so much to help encourage children to love orangutans. It is heart-warming to see. Thank you!”

All judges unanimously agree that the work must continue. Nico Hermanu for BOS explains, "Orangutan rescue, rehabilitation, and release programs need a lot of support: to acquire release areas, patrols, monitoring and more strict law enforcement for the benefit of the remaining habitat and wildlife...” Cassie Freund from GPOCP summarizes, “This is a great contest to raise awareness about the plight of the orangutan, and saving the rainforest today means that it will still be around when these children grow up".

For more information about “Hello My World!” go to http://www.helendoron.com/world/hello/

About the Helen Doron Educational Group

The Helen Doron Educational Group stands at the forefront of innovative educational systems, providing exclusive learning programmes and quality educational materials for babies, children and adolescents the world over since 1985. The company’s flagship franchise, Helen Doron English, along with Helen Doron Kindergarten, MathRiders, Ready Steady Move! franchises today encompass nearly 800 learning centres in almost 40 countries in Europe, Asia and South America. Today, more than two million children have learnt with the unique Helen Doron methodology.

The Helen Doron Educational Group invites entrepreneurs to join a successful business operation that benefits children around the world. Visit us at www.helendorongroup.com.

The Orangutan Foundation is pleased to support the ‘The Helen Doron Educational Group’ with the “Hello My World!” Campaign

The Helen Doron Educational Group

The Helen Doron Educational Group stands at the forefront of innovative educational systems, providing exclusive learning programmes and quality educational materials for babies, children, and adolescents.

In celebration of its 30th anniversary, the Helen Doron Educational Group has launched a campaign in over 30 countries to raise awareness for the plight of the orangutan and the destruction of their natural habitat.

What makes this campaign unique? The Educational group has united over 170,000 Helen Doron English students from more than 800 locations around the globe to make their voices heard through an international social and educational campaign they’ve called “Hello My World!”

Thousands of children have filmed short individual video clips to say “Hello My World!” and to show their support for saving the orangutan. Through this campaign, children worldwide are learning about the importance of cooperation and compassion for the world we share.

Hearing the voices of future generations join together for this important cause is truly inspirational. Because youth education is central to the Foundation’s mission, we urge you all to take a moment to watch these video clips, and to join in on this special global tribute toward orangutan conservation!

After June 1st, the Foundation will join a panel of judges to decide the best video clip, and the winner will receive a once in a lifetime prize! In the meantime, parents and children are invited to vote for their favourites, by ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ the videos via social media!

Additional information on the campaign and links to the children’s video clips can be viewed at www.HelenDoron.com/world/hello.

The Orangutan Foundation is excited to partner with the Helen Doron Educational Group to promote their campaign and to join together to fight toward the same goal: protecting the endangered orangutan. “Hello My World!”

To find out more about the Helen Doron Educational Group, please visit their website: http://www.helendoron.com/ or their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/HelenDoronEG

And follow the Foundation on Facebook and Twitter to see our favourite videos!


Wildlife groups hail new EU legislation as a boost for responsible palm oil production.

Wildlife groups hail new EU legislation as a boost for responsible palm oil production.

New Europe-wide legislation which comes into effect tomorrow (13th December) means that palm oil will no longer be a hidden ingredient on food packaging – a move which conservation groups are hailing as a significant step forward for the protection of orangutans and other endangered species.

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Terry Pratchett Facing Extinction BBC2 9pm Wednesday 27 March 2013


Source: Orangutan Foundation, London, UK
Date: 27 March 2013
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Terry Pratchett Facing Extinction
BBC2 9pm Wednesday 27 March 2013

Terry Pratchett hears the orangutans’ long call

Sir Terry Pratchett, fantasy author and Trustee of the Orangutan Foundation,
returns to the forests of Borneo to see what hope there is for the endangered orangutan
whilst facing his own personal challenges


Sir Terry Pratchett encountered wild orangutans for the first time in 1994 whilst filming Terry Pratchett’s Jungle Quest. One ape, Kusasi, who was the dominant male “king of the jungle” at the time, left a lasting impression that would, almost two decades later, entice Terry back to Borneo. In his latest film, Terry Pratchett Facing Extinction, to be aired on BBC2 9pm on 27 March, Terry explores not only the fate of the endangered orangutan but also his own fate as he battles with a rare form of Alzheimer’s.

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Bornean Orangutan With 104 Air Gun Pellet Wounds Recovering Well From Three-Hour Operation

A wounded female orangutan, rescued from an oil plantation in the Indonesian part of Borneo where she had been roaming for over a month, has survived an operation to remove 32 of the total 104 air gun pellets in her body – read more here and for images please visit our photo gallery.

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Orangutan Conservation

Find out how Orangutan Foundation is working towards a future for orangutans, forests and people.

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