Toward Tomorrow with the Orangutan Conservancy

Join the Orangutan Conservancy on Earth Day 2016

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There’s more than one way to celebrate Earth Day 2016 with the Orangutan Conservancy.

If you happen to be in Southern California we hope you’ll stop by our booth at this year’s Los Angeles County Earth Day Fair in Whittier.  We’ll have displays, orangutan information and games and giveaways too!  And you’ll learn all about Bornean and Sumatran orangutans from our on-site team.  Stop by and say Hi!

Can’t make it to the fair or live a thousand miles away?

Well, we then invite you to join us online at Facebook to post your photos from your favorite Earth Day activity in your area.  We’ll choose five of our favorite photos for a free “Save the Orangutan” wristband.

Take this special day to think of our planet and the animals on it that are threatened like the amazing orangutan

And tell your friends and family to join OC in 2016 by doing their part to stand up for orangutans on Earth Day and every day of the year.


posted by: Tom


Environmental News: Leonardo DiCaprio Visits Endangered Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia in Effort to Protect Rainforest



Actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio has just left Sumatra after a two day trip to the Leuser Ecosystem in Indonesia, where he met with and gave his support to local groups working to save this critical landscape from destruction by palm oil plantations, mining, logging, new roads and other development threats. The Hollywood actor travelled with fellow actors, Adrien Brody and Fisher Stevens.

DiCaprio posted this on his personal Instagram Tuesday morning Indonesian time: “The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is supporting local partners to establish a mega-fauna sanctuary in the Leuser Ecosystem, the last place on Earth where Sumatran orangutans, tigers, rhinos and elephants coexist in the wild.”

The 2.6 million hectare (6.5 million acre) Leuser Ecosystem, located on the island of Sumatra, is a global biodiversity hotspot and a high priority landscape for conservation. The iconic wildlife species that call it home are likely to be pushed to extinction forever if this last habitat stronghold is lost.

The Leuser Ecosystem plays a critical role in helping regulate the Earth’s climate by absorbing carbon pollution and storing massive amounts of carbon in its lowland rainforests and peatlands. Millions of local people depend directly on the Leuser Ecosystem for their livelihoods and as the central source of their clean water supply. Continue reading »

posted by: Tom


Sumatra’s Orangutans: Chocolate’s Road to Freedom

Chocolate leaves the cage for the last time. Photo: Paul Hilton for Wildlife Asia

Chocolate leaves the cage for the last time. Photo: Paul Hilton for Wildlife Asia

by Paul Hilton for National Geographic

I’m on assignment for Wildlife Asia, heading to one of the release sites in Sumatra to free a critically endangered Sumatran orangutan, named Chocolate.

Our 4 x 4 slides into another ditch as mud flies in all directions. The road into Jantho makes all my previous 4 x 4 experience pale into insignificance. Winching from vehicle to vehicle and then between the trees, the vehicle crawls up another hill.  The journey sends my mind back to the 2012 assignment when we found Chocolate. I was part of an investigation team looking into the illegal palm oil expansion in the Tripa peat swamp, located in the Leuser Ecosystem, home to the largest surviving population of Sumatran orang-utan. I can recall at one point, I asked a group of villagers if they had seen any orang-utans, or knew where I could see one. That was all it took, as minutes later, I was asked to follow a guy on a motorbike down a narrow alleyway, before another motorbike rider appeared and asked us to follow him down a backstreet and into to a nondescript house. As my eyes adjusted to the light, I made out out a small figure sitting on the cement floor at the back of the house. The traders placed the baby orangutan on the floor in front of us.

This excerpt from an article appeared in and is courtesy of National Geographic.  It can be read in its entirety here.

The Orangutan Conservancy helps to support the work of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme.

posted by: Tom


Orangutan Conservancy at Los Angeles Environmental Education Fair


This weekend the Orangutan Conservancy was pleased to be one of the presenters at the 37th annual Los Angeles Environmental Fair at the beautiful Aboretum in Arcadia California.

OC’s Board member Juanita Kempe joined by volunteer Dillu Ashby spent the day educating and entertaining those who stopped by our booth.  Of course, Juanita’s orangutan puzzle game was a big hit with the fair’s younger visitors as you can see in the video. 

The all-day event had interactive exhibits, live performances, art stations, workshops, healthy food options and over sixty environmentally-aligned exhibits and experts.

We were thrilled to be part of this continuing tradition and to be able to share information about orangutans in the wild and those being cared for in rescue and rehabilitation centers in Indonesia.

Enjoy some video highlights from the event.


posted by: Tom