She belongs in the forest,
not in a cardboard box.
A Special Message From Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas
Dear OFI Friend,
On March 5, 2013, two tiny, orphaned orangutan babies were brought to our Care Center & Quarantine in Pasir Panjang. Maue-Kay was delivered in a cardboard box and Jackat arrived wrapped in a towel and white, plastic bag.
Maue-Kay was surrendered to OFI in a cardboard box by the Forestry Department, which had confiscated her from owners who could no longer care for her.
While we are unsure of the exact details of their past, we know for certain both babies were illegally kept as pets. As is the case with so many orphaned orangutans at our Care Center, Maue-Kay and Jackat's mothers were most likely killed by palm oil workers as the rainforests around them were cut and cleared to make room for palm oil agriculture. Sadly, Indonesia holds the Guinness Book of World Records as the country with the highest rate of deforestation, with nearly 7 million acres of rainforest habitat lost each year.
The impact on endangered orangutans is simply devastating. On average 6 to 12 orangutans die each day for palm oil alone. Babies are left to fend for themselves until they perish. Or, like Jackat, they are sold as pets--often locked away in small sheds or boxes, or chained to buildings or trees for years on end.
The man who had kept Jackat as a pet bought him from a palm oil worker for the equivalent of $35. It breaks my heart to know this was the value placed on Jackat's freedom...and on his mother's life.
When he arrived at the Care Center, Jackat was filthy, dehydrated, over-heated, and suffering from diarrhea. He had wounds on his body and was covered in crusty tree sap, dried blood, and feces. Based on his size and weight, our veterinarians first thought he was just three to four months of age. In reality, Jackat was at least one year old. Poor nutrition and inadequate care had severely stunted his growth and development. Jackat was too weak to stand or walk. His sad eyes told us he had suffered terribly for a very long time. He looked at us as if to say, 'please help me.'
Tiny Jackat was rescued and brought to the Care Center for emergency medical treatment; he was covered in dried blood and feces, severely malnourished, and unable to walk or stand alone. He desperately needed our help.
Before March 5,2013, Jackat's young life had been filled with tragedy and pain. But thanks to your generous financial support over the years, he's been given a second chance.
Today, Jackat is eating well and is strong enough to walk on his own. He sleeps in a basket filled with soft blankets, stuffed animals, and his best friend, Maue-Kay (who is also doing very well). Our caregivers stay with Jackat through all hours of the day and night, just as his mother would have done in the wild. I often wonder if Jackat still remembers her soft breath and gentle touch.
Washing away the painful past. Jackat gets a fresh, new start with help from his friends at the Care Center.
We need your generous financial support today.
Please help us give Jackat, Maue-Kay, and more than 320 orphaned and displaced orangutans currently in our Care Center & Quarantine all they deserve: a fresh start to a healthy life and happy ending.
With deep and abiding gratitude,
Biruté Mary Galdikas
P.S. It costs $2,600 to feed and care for one orangutan for one year. We desperately need your most generous financial support today.
Or send your check today to:
Orangutan Foundation International
824 S. Wellesley Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90049 USA
(Indicate: "For Care Center" on your check)
Any donation amount--large or small--will help!
For more information, or to learn how you can support OFI in other ways, please contact
Hollis Burbank-Hammarlund , Director of Development, at OFInewengland@gmail.com