Happy International Orangutan Day!

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International Orangutan Day, celebrated annually on August 19th, aims to raise awareness about the significant impact of the palm oil industry on orangutan populations.

The day highlights the need for public engagement in safeguarding these remarkable creatures. The Sumatran orangutan population saw a decline of over 50% from 1992 to 2000, while the Bornean orangutan population dropped by nearly 43% between 1996 and 2006. Deforestation rates persist, potentially driving actual populations even lower.

International Orangutan Day serves as a call to action to save orangutans from these threats.

For years I’ve adopted orangutans through Orangutan Outreach and have donated a portion of all sales to Borneo Orangutan Survival.

As a little girl I collected stuffed orangutans and compulsively visited a baby named Mango at the Oklahoma City zoo during college. In March 2024 I’ll be going to Borneo to meet these beautiful beings and plant trees for them through this special retreat experience. I’m over the moon about this opportunity!

Meet a few of my adoptees through Orangutan Outreach: Papa, Monita, Kukur, Gatot (shown below), Gunung (featured above, now released back into the wild), Monyo, Brenda (shown below), Topan.

Brenda is now over four years old. She arrived at SOCP’s Quarantine and Rehabilitation CentER on 12 March 2019. She was about four months old when she was brought to the center. A few days after her arrival, she underwent surgery for a closed fracture of her right forearm. Learn more about her here.

Gatot is currently 7 years old and continues to live on Data Island, which he shares with Kukur and 5 other young orangutans. One of Gatot’s most significant developments in the past few months was his ability to make good nests. In a typical day he can make up to three new nests to sleep and take a rest! Learn more about him here.

Please help me in honoring these beautiful red beings. The Orangutan Project has a list of ways to make a difference for them today ranging from donating to adopting to tree planting to eco-tourism. Here’s also ideas to help raise awareness for them via Borneo Orangutan Survival. Check out Orangutan Jungle School. Contribute to reforestation efforts.

Thanks for helping spread compassion to these gorgeous creatures!

PS Here’s my podcast interview with the founder of Orangutan Outreach, Richard Zimmerman.