E y e s   o n  t h e   F o r e s t 
N O V E M B E R   &   D E C E M B E R    2 0 1 4 

eyes in the forest

Orangutan Awareness Week!



In 1996, Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas and Orangutan Foundation International  instituted Orangutan Awareness Week during the first week of November, marking the 25th birthday of Camp Leakey.  


The inaugural Orangutan Awareness Week kicked off with a media blitz and fundraisers through out the world attended by Dr. Galdikas. She hoped that by sharing her then 25 years of experience she could, "help people to understand orangutans and their tropical rain forest world, a world which is in grave danger of vanishing forever."


Today, almost two decades later, we are still fighting to save the orangutans and their forests.  


The increasing demand for palm oil over the last few decades has continued to take its toll on the Indonesian rain forest and the orangutans through loss of habitat, increasing access to remote areas and increasing human-orangutan conflict and poaching.  


However, every year more and more organizations and individuals are participating in Orangutan Awareness Week and are taking action to save the orangutans and protect their forest home. (While many organizations recognized the second week of November, OFI continued its tradition and celebrated Orangutan Awareness Week the first week of November. As a result there are two full weeks of Orangutan Awareness for everyone to focus on raising awareness for the plight of the orangutans and their rain forest home.)  



The highlight of this year's Orangutan Awareness Week was our "Wear Orange" contest - we got to see our supporter's faces and get to know them!

Participants showed their love for orangutans and their support of OFI by wearing as much orange as possible and then we posted their pictures with the hashtag, #OrangutanWeek. The response was heart-warming! Supporters joined in from across the world - some from Indonesia, some from Europe and South America, and many from North America.

We got a wedding photo, a picture of Dr Galdikas herself sent straight from Borneo, a classroom of students in Java, and from the youngest contestant, a baby picture! Some of our field staff at the Care Center in Borneo even joined in the fun!)
To see all of our amazing "Wear Orange Contest" participants  check out our Wear Orange photo Album on Facebook.

We were able to reach more people than ever before to spread the word and encourage people to take action through various means such as raising awareness, boycotting palm oil, fostering an orangutan through OFI, or making a donation to help purchase land to expand the Orangutan Legacy Forest.



Feature Article: 
Orangutan Awareness Week

Orangutan of the Month: Sweet Sally

News from the Field:
Happily Announcing Hockey's New Cart

News from the Field:
Helping Gibbons: The Story of Dea

Holiday Shopping? It's not too late!

Like any true socialite, Sally can easily make friends with any orangutan she meets. She has that rare ability of getting along with just about anyone.

When she walks into the OFI forest for her daily release, it is like the star has arrived at the red carpet! There are always one to two orangutans who immediately come over to greet Sally and make her acquaintance (ask her for her autograph, etc.). 

It seems that she is never finished making new friends. We never know who Sally will bond with next. She has many admirers at the OCCQ, but can you blame them? Who can resist this big ball of love! 

Summer 2015 Construction Teams!

We are excited to announce the dates for the Summer 2015 Construction teams!  Project TBA.

Team 1: July 5th- 25th

Team 2: August 2nd- 22nd

Volunteer Positions


Want to spend the next year or more in the jungle? Like to get your hands (and feet, and everything else) dirty? Maybe it's you we're looking for! 



At Orangutan Foundation International's OCCQ, we have a policy of accepting and providing safe sanctuary and medical care to any animal in need. We work primarily with orangutans but at times are called upon to help other Borneo wildlife. This is how I came to meet Dea, the baby gibbon.

Dea arrived at the OCCQ still wearing the urine and feces soaked baby clothes with which her owners had dressed her. She was small, fragile, and weak. She seemed to have no feeling in her mutilated hand. I sat with her holding her small body as OFI veterinarians amputated the two fingers, which had been partially chewed off. Upon further examination it was apparent that Dea's arm was badly broken. The bones had long since healed in their shattered position, leaving her with a strangely twisted arm. Our veterinarians suspected that this might have been the cause for the numbness in her hand, although we don't know for certain. Either way it became clear that Dea would only have one working hand.


There was something horribly tragic in Dea's loss, a gibbon without the use of her hand. How could she survive? If orangutans are the "people of the forest," than gibbons are surely the acrobats of the forest...


Click here to read the whole story!

WARNING: link includes graphic image of the injury


Due to a stroke she suffered before she came to the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine, and possibly as a result of her initial capture when her mother was killed, Hockey is completely paralyzed on the right side of her body and is still plagued by regular seizures. But her disability doesn't stop her from enjoying her releases! 


We are excited to share the news that a current long term volunteer has designed and donated a brand new spacious cart just for Hockey! Hockey's new cart, or "gerobak" as they call it in Indonesian, is specifically designed to accommodate her limitations.  


Thank you, Volunteer Allison Leach for Hockey's new cart!

It is gestures like yours that indicate how thoughtful actions can generate big dividends in ex-captive orangutan lives.




When you purchase gifts from OFI, you are not only giving something unique and meaningful to an environmentalist or primate enthusiast in your life, but you are also supporting OFI's conservation and orangutan rehabilitation efforts in the rainforests of Borneo. 






Orangutans need you!

Thank you very much for  following "Eyes on the Forest - Bulletin from Borneo". 
Want to know more about OFI? You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our official website: www.orangutan.org 
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