Entries Tagged ‘Rainforest’:

Spotlight Sumatra-The Final Chapter

Filed in Places Of Interest, Wildlife on Nov.04, 2012

In this my third and last blog from my trip to Sumatra I will show you and go through a day I will never forget for as long as I walk this earth. These images have been held back until now due to national coverage over the last several days. The company that is tearing up this forest landscape is a member of the round table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), an industry group which regulates certified sustainable palm oil according to a set of principles developed by palm oil companies.

These dramatic images have been released as evidence in time for the RSPO annual three-day conference in Singapore. Some of my images formed the evidence to support the case against this company. The following links will show you the full story-  The Sun and the Daily Mail.

Orangutans are found exclusively in the forests of Sumatra and Borneo and are one of the most loved animals in the world. Yet at the hands of humans they have and are been slaughtered, reduced to a few thousand individuals, trapped and encircled by palm oil plantations. Orangutans are afforded the highest protection in law but sadly due to hunting and the pet trade along with habitat destruction many meet sad and horrific ends to their lives.

With their habitat being eroded weekly they often are seen moving at the edge of their forest, close to plantations and large open areas. In turn they become easy prey to poachers who can make huge earnings from the black market pet trade.

One of the shocking and direct consequences of this poaching is the death of the mother who is killed in the process of poaching a younger Orangutan. Shock for the baby is devastating and those that survive have a marked existence with so many crucial skills missing. Their lives of forests swapped for a life chained to a post or a cage that’s too small as they grow. Even writing this makes me sad for those Orangutans you see reduced to this life in books and on TV.

This situation is tolerated and considered normal in Sumatra and Borneo, keeping one of these guardians of the forest can elevate the social status of the person.

When they are rescued the road back to the wild is hard without their mother, this makes their independent survival almost impossible. I witnessed many rescued Orangutans during my time in Sumatra, my guide Darma knew everyone of them. Most have forgotten the pain they went through and forgiven their jailers but just hearing their individual stories sent shivers down my spine and filled me with such sadness.

From the moment we received the rescue call, the days plans changed instantly.  I really didn’t know what was waiting for me, as we drove north to the providence of Ache.  All I knew was that a mother and her baby were trapped, and we were heading in that direction as fast as will could. When we arrived all I saw was mile upon mile of this horrific landscape. Walking through a tattered landscape of barren red earth and alien palm oil trees, where once one of the finest rain forests in the world stood, is just impossible for me to describe.  They take the best rain forest in the world and change it into a sole less landscape of palm oil within a matter of weeks, with brutal efficiency. Anything in its way gets crushed, killed and discarded.

It wasn’t until I arrived the following day that I witnessed such a shocking and inhospitable place. The wasted landscape surrounding me looked like something from a film set, it wasn’t real I said to myself. Surely humanity couldn’t do this to something so beautiful I asked myself. The colours of the palm oil crop tinted with the Orangutans blood within its deep red colours as shown in this image above.

Every way I faced and looked this landscape was looking back at me, somewhere at the base of this god forsaken land there was a tiny pocket of primary forest left. Inside were Sumatran Orangutans desperately clinging to life, encircled and cut off by palm trees. It was a site I just could’nt believe I was seeing.

There was little time for my thoughts as the HOCRU – (Human Orangutan Conflict Rescue Unit) team kicked in, led by a kind hearted man called Krishna who the night before we had all shared jokes and laughed over our evening meal. We all slept on the floor as the vet got his equipment ready for the following day.

Once we arrived the kit was checked and the vet loaded up the tranquilizers just before setting off to find the mother and baby Sumatran Orangutan. Looking around though it was unbelievable anything was living in this sad looking place.

Desperately they started searching for the mother and her baby Orangutan.  HOCRU was created by Panut Hadisiswoyo, the Director of the Orangutan Information Centre –OIC. It was set up as a direct response to the Orangutans that get stranded along the east and northeast areas of Sumatra.

The team go through their well practiced drills and I’m desperate to help in anyway.  I stand back and admire these young guys going off into this hostile landscape, with soaring heat and humidity which seems worse here with little or no tree cover to shelter in.

The landscape was tough, with vast steep sides where once forest grew, now just bare orange coloured mud, making our searching for these Orangutans torturous. A well worn track, in and out, curling like a corkscrew, visually showing you the path they took when they bled this land of its riches. A muddy, toxic-looking stream replacing the fresh water that had once flowed here.

At the base of this valley was the tattered remains of the original forest, supporting life in its minimal form. I stayed at the top as the team and their spotters had located the Orangutans.  The shooter also stayed up high, hoping to get a clean shot with the tranquilizing dart. They communicated with each other well and soon word came back they had found another Orangutan there too. “It is a male” they shouted. He had joined the mother and baby here.  There was just one problem!  We only had one cage.

The next several hours I watched and listened to the guys making noises, mimicking the Orangutan to hopefully get her into a place where the shooter could get a clean hit. Its hard to explain as I write, I don’t really know the words to write and express how I felt watching this event unfold before me. I knew they were going to be cared for and moved but watching and hearing the Orangutans call and become so stressed that their fur stood on end is perhaps the most upsetting and emotional moment I’ve ever witnessed in nature. At times when I saw them I’d shout out loud “go down please, just let them dart you”.  It was so upsetting it is beyond words.

Then from nowhere the mum and her baby came level with me. The image above shows her standing up on the highest branch, with the encircling palm oil trees seen as her backdrop, imprisoning them in this most shocking man made landscape.  Mum and her baby were right in front of me.  After a few fleeting looks at me she moved back into the remaining trees.

Then to my right another Orangutan stopped on a branch level with me. This must be the male I thought, he looked at me, his eyes going straight through me as he called and called. Heart breaking, so heartbreaking to see these peaceful animals so highly stressed, not understanding that we were there to rescue them, so that they could be in a better, safer place.

Putting the Orangutans through this is the very last resort for the HOCRU team and they try every other options before this.  The male kept coming level with me as I was on higher ground, and he climbed to the highest point, surrounded by this broken landscape, each time giving me a distrusting look I’ll never forget. He was calling the female, as they had separated, looking out for each other even in tough testing times like this, putting a real human edge to the proceedings.

The male Orangutan disappeared and would be stressed from the event.  It is believed that he is still in the area and hopefully the team will be able to track him so that he can be rescued also.

Soon the noises stopped and word had come back that they’d managed to dart the female. I managed to locate the team and when I arrived I could see them with the net spread out below her. Incredibly she was hanging on, I could see the dart in her body, her eyes looked over at us all and I could just sense she was hanging on to save her baby that was clinging to her. As it’s a mum’s most basic of instincts to protect their child.

That basic instinct a mum has to protect her child, fueling her to just hang on and not give into the tranquilizer. Heartbreaking is a word I’ll use a lot in this story but no other word really conveys what I witnessed. I was praying she’d just let go so they could receive help. But her will went on for around fifteen minutes. By this time it was almost too hard to watch, the team all the time moving and watching them  just to make sure the net was in the right place, as she could fall at any time.

By now though you could see she was becoming slightly clumsy, missing branches that she was trying to hold onto. Then she went to just one arm, and then she just fell into the waiting net below.

The team scrambled up the steep hillside. Separation is a term these guys give when they take the baby away from the unconscious mother at the first available chance. I managed to capture that incredibly moving moment with this image, as the mother is carried off in the net she fell into, while one of the team give the signal to where they have to go.

I followed the team back to the top of this tough and testing landscape, by now my eyes were stinging and full of sweat dripping from my brow, the heat was just so intense and the humidity so bad I couldn’t cool down. By running behind the team up hill I created a little cold air on my face. It was just that hot.

Once at the top of the hill, the vet took over in a well drilled, well planned execution of their skills and also great passion to help and get the job done. They had around 40 minutes before the sedative wore off and good percentage of that the Orangutan had fought, hanging in the tree. Time was tight and the vet took blood, checked her teeth, bum area and general health. It was so sad to see but I knew these guys were helping her.

While I took this images the baby was being held by one of the team so that they can check over the mother.  This is the safest way.  All the time they were apart the baby struggled, trying to bite his handler and screaming. That scream I can here now, the tone went through you, the pitch could have broken a glass it was so high and shocking to hear.

I carried on taking images so that I could tell and capture this story no matter what. I had the mother looking straight at me with an indescribable emotional stare, and in the background the little baby screaming.  The mother was slightly under weight but she was fine otherwise. The vet gave her the antidote which brings the Orangutan around by counter-acting the tranquilizer.

At that point fresh leaves were put in the cage we’d brought for her. She was placed inside the cage and the baby was reunited with his mother. I didn’t really truly take on broad what I’d just witnessed and been part of until after. At the time I was just on auto pilot.

I had a photograph taken with the team just before we left, an amazing bunch of young men, the last line of defence for the Sumatran Orangutans.

We loaded the mother and baby into the back of our vehicle then drove to the release site which is part of the national park. The cage is taken down a slope and tied off with rope and the slide door is slowly opened by the vet.  It was amazing to see them both slowly appear, the mother climbed up with her baby and within a few minutes they had vanished into the dense forest. The team named the baby “Craig” after me which was a great honor and very touching. I hope he keeps that fight in his belly that he displayed when he was separated from his mother as this will stand him in good stead for the uncertain future that awaits these Sumatran Orangutans.

These guys do this week in, week out, rescuing stranded Sumatran Orangutans before they are either killed by the plantation staff or die through being cut off from the forests. It’s a shocking job but so important. The team at the moment know of around sixty other Sumatran Orangutans in this same position. Getting access, the correct paperwork and permission takes time.

The male they couldn’t rescue has not been seen yet. He is in my thoughts a lot as he came level with me in the tree canopy so many times, as you can see from the images I have shown above. I hope the team can find him.  He saw the female and baby removed from this area which may have caused him so much anxiety that he may have moved on further putting himself at risk of being killed.

I have relived my two week trip to Sumatra extensively since my return within these blogs.  Over the last few weeks I have visited this place in my dreams, through my images and talks I’ve presented. I wanted to get the whole story out into the public domain and now this last blog has been finished I feel better within myself. I wanted to give these Sumatran Orangutans a voice through my photographs and I hope I have achieved this. I’m only the photographer it’s the experts that need to save and change things in this part of the world.

I witnessed so much in Sumatra, it has been an emotional roller coaster with so many ups and downs, looking into an Orangutans eyes and seeing yourself in parts has filled me with so much joy at the same time sorrow. I have loved these enduring animals since childhood and now as an adult helping them is a blessing for me.

I have met locals, poachers, so many people just trying to survive with no help from the Indonesian government. I’ve listened, I’ve watched and had amazing behind the scenes access.  One of the main things I kept hearing was that the government fails to protect the national parks, these areas that contain so many endangered flagship species of wildlife. The same government that hands out licensees to palm oil companies letting them play god with some of the richest forests on earth.

I visited schools, villages and watched with great delight the OIC team give out free books and presents films in order to educate them all into looking after, caring and keeping safe the wildlife of their country.

My Closing Thoughts

Long term initiatives like reducing corruption, massive changes in management regimes and actions, long-term institutional change, as well as monitoring trade and prosecuting criminal behaviour will take to long to develop to an effective level to halt the immediate crisis. Without direct intervention in the national parks the Orangutans along with other forest-dependant wildlife- like the Sumatran Tigers and Elephants will become progressively scarcer until their populations are no longer viable.

Given the rate of deforestation in the past several years, and the recent widespread investment in oil palm plantation’s and bio diesel refineries, calculations suggest that 98% of lowland forest maybe destroyed by 2022. The incentive to log the protected areas will grow as timber companies run out of supplies outside of the parks, in turn they will start to degrade the national parks. These areas have to be protected and many times during my visit to Sumatra I heard and was told by locals that the government is letting everyone down by the lack of enforcement here.

There are some 2155 field rangers at the last count that patrol an area of 108,000km square. They have no access to helicopters, aeroplanes and necessary arms or military patrolling skills that would enable them to prevent illegal activity. Logging companies use bribes and are better armed and equipped than most rangers. If the rangers had the necessary training, communication, transport and arms then they’d be better placed to protect and prevent these illegal acts against the protected forests. They Indonesian government does have such a small force in the shape of their SPORC -rapid response ranger units. However their impact and presence is too small and they lack the mandate, training and equipment to prevent illegal loggers from operating inside the protected areas.

The removal of illegally grown plantations such as the one above, with mining and agricultural development inside the national parks is another major thing that needs to be implemented.

Reducing the rate of deforestation over Indonesia as a whole will also have a dramatic impact on the regional carbon dioxide emissions and thus help to prevent dangerous levels of global climate change. If the logging of national parks continues unchallenged it could under-mine the protected area concept worldwide. The Indonesian initiatives to strengthen the protection of their parks therefore urgently need substantial support from the international community if the Orangutan habitats and national parks are to be rescued from this growing state of emergency that’s happening there now.

I have really enjoyed my time in Sumatra and I would like to thank Helen from SOS, Panut from OIC and the rest of the people involved in helping me on this trip. I am returning next year to live and work alongside the Sumatran Orangutans again. I am also putting together an 8-9 day trip there for nature lovers and wildlife photographers. Where a percentage of your money from this trip will go directly to the Orangutan charities SOS and OIC. The trip will visit some of the projects and work I have mentioned in my previous blog posts.

This trip will show you what these guys are doing on the ground in Sumatra to save this special place. I will have more details for you shortly. The images I have donated to SOS will be available in their online shop soon. There will also be some limited edition prints coming out also, all the money raised going to this charity to help this beautiful creature survive.

One magical day I spent with the Sumatran Orangutans is covered in this slideshow below. I used a ION Air Pro Wi-Fi camera attached to my head to film some of the trekking scenes. The camera was kindly donated to SOS by Wex Photography. A massive thank you to them and soon I will be doing a blog covering this peace of kit and showing the stuff I captured in Sumatra with it.

Make sure you watch both slideshows in full HD for the best results.

I hope you all have enjoyed my Spotlight Sumatra blogs, the talks and the images. For me as a person it has been a dream come true to see these amazing animals in their own habitat. I will now build on the work, the images and continue to help the Sumatran Orangutan Society to highlight the plight of these animals.

After everything I’ve seen during my time in Sumatra there is still hope, a lot of great work is being done on the ground there by these two charities. I’d like to finish off my amazing journey on a real positive note with this short slideshow.

It seems strange I am leaving this place now through my blog, but I hope I have done these Orangutans proud, many thanks.

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Spotlight Sumatra-Hope For The Future

Filed in Articles, Places Of Interest on Oct.18, 2012

The Orangutan is one of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom, sharing 96.4% of our DNA. Indigenous people of Indonesia and Malaysia call this ape “Orang Hutan” which literally translates as “Person of the Forest”.  They are intelligent, friendly, and very gentle and spending time with these animals gave me so many wonderful memories which I will treasure. These animals are native to Indonesia and Malaysia, and their survival is seriously endangered by illegal logging, forest fires including those associated with the rapid spread of palm oil. Over the last few years timber companies have increasingly entered the last stronghold of the Orangutans, the protected national parks. I’ve seen this first hand travelling around Sumatra.

The situation is now so acute for both the Borneo Orangutan and the Sumatran Orangutan, both of these species are classed as endangered and critically endangered respectively by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and are listed on Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

After my first week in the jungles of Sumatra I was sad to leave Darma, but equally I was very sad to leave the Orangutans that I had seen and spent some wonderful moments with, watching and capturing with my camera. It felt like I’d lost someone as during the intensity of those days trekking through the dense jungles looking for these guardians of the forest I became very close to these Orangutans. I hope they will remain safe, I will be returning to these amazing jungles next year. Here are some images of the Orangutans I saw and left behind in Sumatra,  these moments were special.

I have named the image above “Hope”.  Hope is a great thing, without it you can become crushed, you should always have and believe in hope. The Sumatran Orangutans are in a fight for their lives and need every bit of help.  This image, of a baby Sumatran Orangutan playing with her mum sung out that word to me. Her mum is called Sepi and again she was rescued from a vile world you couldn’t even imagine, many years ago and has been given a second chance in life. The baby is called Casa and is a year and a half in age. Born in the rainforests of Gunung Leuser National park, she represents the future. Watching her cling to her mum here, acting shy just like a human baby. She saw me and tried to hide behind her mum’s fur.

After I left Darma we drove north to the providence of Ache where I spent two days with the HOCRU team– (Human Orangutan Conflict Rescue Unit).  I will be telling you this story in my next blog and not here for reasons I will explain in good time.  After two tough and exhausting days I spent the rest of the second week with the OIC team, witnessing the wonderful work they do in the community and the re-forestation areas with replanting programmes in order to give the land back its rain forests.  I spent two days at the Re-forestation site, which is on the edge of the Gunung Leuser National Park.  Its a small, self contained house where workers spend time replanting the forest in different areas in the neighbouring areas.

Since 2005 they have been involved in the reforestation of degraded land through tree nursery and replanting projects, and have planted over half million trees to date.  This project involves the regeneration of illegally cleared forest land in the Besitang region of the Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP). The programme is the first of its kind in Sumatra, with OIC being the first and only NGO granted permission to conduct restoration work within the national park. Working in close collaboration with the national park government authorities and local communities, the project aims to undo damage caused through illegal large-scale conversion of forest into oil palm plantation agriculture.

I helped the team out during my time there, often they spend three to four weeks at a time here away from their families doing this work. It was amazing what they have achieved in just a few years through hard work, passion and a belief that things can change running through all the team members.  I also planted some trees that fingers crossed will become put of a new rain forest in the future, another wonderful moment for me on a personal front.

In addition to the forest rehabilitation, the project also provides sustainable alternative livelihood schemes for local people living adjacent to the park. They benefit from the restoration of natural ecological services, having previously suffered droughts as a result of high water uptake from the illegal planting of oil palms, and also receive business development training. There is a strong educational element to the project too, with training and skills development on tree nursery management and replanting seedlings. Indigenous tree species are planted to hopefully put back what was taken with the illegal actively conducted in these areas before these projects were set up.

I also visited some of the offices the team has, where classroom based education and training goes on within the communities. All building awareness of the plight of the Orangutans and their habitats which in turn are the homes of those people that they try to educate about what’s happening to Sumatra.

After a wonderful few days seeing this brilliant and committed work that is going on I headed North to Ketambe, an area within the province of Ache. I was going to be staying with the Ketambe Reforestation and Ecotourism Development Initiative team (KREDI) which is part of OIC/SOS. The organisation works at the grassroots level in northern Sumatra to raise awareness of the critical importance of the sustainable use of natural resources and ecosystem conservation.

For the first few days I was invited to a two day workshop put on by OIC. The local communities turn up along with Ministry for National Park delegates in the region. Regional commanders from the police and military. They are invited to voice their concerns about the problems in the area mainly caused by the large scale de-forestation. Slideshows, talks are put on and everyone is encouraged to talk about their issues while still trying to help and save the forests and the Orangutans.  However, people have to make a living and people there were saying and in the absence of any real help from the government, people are left to just do whatever thay have to in order to survive and feed their families.

Travelling around this area of Aceh I witnessed many areas of the Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP) cleared bare and the fringes of this protected rain forest habitat slowly being eroded away with small to large de-forestation and illegal logging and forest clearance. At times the smoke from the fires would block out the suns rays and fill the air with that heavy smoke smell you get from burning. Seeing this on such a large scale was truly shocking and nobody was doing anything to stop it. It goes unchecked. Panut the founder of OIC told me around 1.5% of the GLNP is lost each year this way and is shrinking at an alarming rate.

On the surface the country is driving itself into a brick wall as fast as is humanly possible, because the carbon emissions, the green houses gasses the air population is everywhere in Sumatra. The whole area of Indonesia produces so much green houses gases from burning, it now has such a major role in the global weather patterns and the fast changing weather we are all seeing.

Through translators I heard many members of the public who had turned up for this two day workshop say the government of Indonesia does not protect the forest, they allow large scale illegal logging to go on unchallenged . Sitting at the back and hovering around with my camera I was met with a little suspicion at first, until I was introduced as a friend from England just on holiday, that was my remit and I said nothing.

It was clear to see and hear from local people that it is those that you have to work with if you’re ever going to safeguard the rainforest and then in turn the amazing array of wildlife they support. They feel helpless with a government that does not firstly protect their forests and secondly hand out licences to palm oil companies that come in and turn the whole place into a foreign landscape so far removed from the wonderful rainforest they rip up so violently.

With no safeguards in place the critically endanged Sumatran Orangutans are a flagship species, along with the Tigers, Elephants and Rhinoceros and have little chance of survival. That’s the cold and hard truth from what I heard and saw during my time there. Flying in the face of that, with passion, hope and drive are the guys from OIC/SOS that work tirelessly with the communities, schools, and local people in order to just keep that hope alive, hoping the animals that live on this island Sumatra and neighbouring island Borneo may just have some kind of future.

After being around for those two days, watching and listening to the proceedings and trying to blend in as much as possible the head guys seem to accept me and wanted to talk to me through a translator. I had to remember though I was on holiday so I didn’t really say too much just listened. At the end of the day I asked for a group photo of them all and I took the chairs out for the officials, told people where to stand and even had the front row straightening their arms out, they all took it in good faith and here everyone is.

The backdrop being that special place everyone is fighting to keep, the Gunung Leuser National Park, which I found would be the perfect background when putting together this image. I learned a lot over those two days, I had amazing access to locals, their politics, their unhappiness and their total bewilderment at a government that is failing them at each time of asking. At times I felt like I was on an undercover mission, sailing under the radar and trying to become a local if that makes sense?  I applaud the whole team for their work over those two days, amazing and very inspiring seeing how doing something is better than doing nothing. These workshops are put on as often as OIC can manage and afford and from my point of view are invaluable in building trust and respect.

Over the next couple of days we visited the local schools in the area in the ‘OranguVan’, a mobile environmental library.  They present conservation films hoping to raise awareness about issues such as illegal logging, the pet trade, and the dangers of disturbing the rainforest ecosystem. The van travels around North Sumatra and Aceh, visiting local communities and schools. They provide free access to books, hold discussions and debates, show environmental films and give presentations on Orangutans and the importance of conserving their habitat.

They have a cycle-powered cinema that shows a wide range of education films.  A team member cycles to produce the power needed for the projector. When we drove in to the schools the kids went mad, running out of their classrooms and mobbing the van which was great to see. Staff told me they use to do this once a week but now with funding being low they only manage it once a month, sometimes more if possible which I found really sad.  The classrooms were very basic compared to ours in the UK but everyone was so polite and kind, the teachers came to say hello and introduced me to the children. Through a translator I said hello and why I was there which met with cries of “ohhh and Ahhh”.

Many of the children were shaking my hand and then placing my hand on their foreheads which I found out later is something to do with their religion, it was a wonderful time.

We visited three different schools as well as visiting locals communities in the evening, presenting these films and giving away books as presents for the children, which in turn sent out a strong message to look after your environment and its animals.

Each time the children would gather round the van and the team would hand out books that contain information about the Orangutans but in a funny way, as a story, to make it easy to remember. Once the books have been given out the children then settle down to read them, either standing up or sitting down.

Some absolutely brilliant work going on and happening in this area from the OIC/SOS team. I really enjoyed my time here and the whole team looked after me during my time there.  All the children posed for this final farewell photo.

The day before I was due to head back to the capital of Sumatra, Medan, I was told about a place that had recently been illegally cut down. Work had stopped as locals had seen the burning and reported this to the relevant people. However, the people that did this, cleaned many hectors of primary rainforest from the GLNP which is protected and should not be cut down by law. Below I am standing on a once proud tree now flat on the ground.

Beautiful trees littered the ground, their roots sticking up into the air where they were violently cut and felled. I was told this happened recently and to try and get rid of the trees they set fire to the whole area. A lot of the fires had gone out but a few remained.  As I stood there I just couldn’t make sense of why anyone would do this.

Majestic 300 year old trees just thrown over like they were nothing surrounded by primary forests.  It greatly moved me standing there, the silence only broken every so often with a single bang that echoed down this valley. A lone logger was cutting down a tree in the distance even as we stood there. I was speechless. I sat and looked around alone, plants still clinging to the tree trunks, fruits on the ground, roots sticking up into the air. This is happening everywhere on Sumatra and Borneo.

It was such a scene of devastation, and it was a really sad end to a great week.  However, I witnessed lots of positive stuff and real hope for the future. The next day I travelled back to Medan which took nearly all day, my guide dropped me off at my over night hotel, only the second time in two weeks that I’d had a bed as all the other times it was the floor, the car seat or the ground that was my bed, so I was looking forward to a shower and the bed.  The following day I flew back to the UK and at this stage everything I’d seen and witnessed just seemed like a blur in my mind.

On my third blog I will cover the rescue, a day that moved me with what I witnessed!

Just before I go I’d just like to remind you of a couple of talks coming up towards the end of October.  I will be presenting a number of presentations and talks alongside Panut who I had the pleasure of spending time with in Sumatra. He has worked in Orangutan Conservation for over a decade and has a dedicated team in Sumatra all doing their best for this great apes survival. For more details of these talks then please click here. I will also be doing this presentation on Thursday 25th October at the Natural History Museum in London as part of their Nature Live talks.

You can see this by clicking here. I hope you’ve enjoyed my two Sumatra blog posts so far.  If you’d like to help SOS with anything you can think of then please click here to be taken to their website, many thanks and I look forward to seeing you on my talks.

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