Well, this is a coincidence.
I am working on a new Choose Your Own Ever After story. In The Call of the Wild, Phoebe, the nature-loving main character, has to choose between going to a save-the-orangutan fund raiser or heading off to a party with her best friends.
Then yesterday, as I’m getting the kids ready for school, an interview on the radio catches my attention. Orangutan rescuer and campaigner, Lone Dröscher Nielsen, is in Australia to promote her rehabilitation work in Borneo. Lone quit her job as a flight attendant in 1999 and moved to Borneo to help save wild orangutans from extinction. Since then she has established the world’s biggest reserve for these incredible animals.
When I check out the Save the Orangutan website, I discover that the foundation is looking for supporters to adopt a baby orangutan called ‘Julie’. Julie. It’s a surprise, not just because we share a first name, but also because people don’t call their babies Julie anymore. (It sure was big in the 60s, but now – not so much.)
Is it just a coincidence, a sign, or is it synchronicity? I don’t know, but I am sure that I have to do something. And here’s why:
Thousands of orangutans are lost each year as their rainforest habitat is destroyed by logging, forest fires, plantations and mining. This could lead to the extinction of one of the world’s four species of great apes – one of our most intelligent and peaceful relatives. (Save the Orangutan website)
Seeing orangutans in the wild was definitely my most amazing wildlife encounter. I was in Sabah (on the Malaysian side of Borneo) in 1992. At the time, visitors could wander into the jungle at the Sepilok Sanctuary. Orangutans would appear out of nowhere when rangers arrived with a bucket of fruit. The young ones were incredibly cute, but there were also cheeky teenagers. One came down from a tree, unzipped my friend’s money belt and started eating her cash!
I hope I can get back to Borneo some time soon to see them again.
If you want to know more about orangutans or how to help them survive, you can find out more here.