Orangutan Haven is the first orangutan conservation education centre of its kind in the world, designed to accommodate orangutans that can never be released back into Sumatra’s rainforests. There are a number of Sumatran orangutans residing long term at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme’s (SOCP) quarantine centre that for reasons of health or disability caused by humans, cannot be released. Orangutans can live to be up to 60 years old and it is not acceptable to SOCP that these orangutans live out their lives in cages designed for short term housing. The Orangutan Haven resident orangutans will live on man-made islands, while being cared for in the manner they require and becoming much needed conservation ambassadors for their critically endangered wild counterparts. The primary goal is to share information and awareness with visitors, many of whom will never have seen an orangutan. Visitors will learn about orangutans and the environment, the reasons they can’t be released and the issues facing wild orangutans and how we can all make daily choices that impact on the long term future of orangutans. The Haven is a 48 hectare site and will also be home to other species found locally, such as Fruit bats and Slow loris. The site is in the process of being developed into “a unique and comprehensive education resource for the entire region, promoting animal welfare, species and ecosystem conservation, and sustainable development” (SOCP). A major focus of Orangutan Haven will be to educate visitors about the importance of the natural environment to themselves and how they too can partake in sustainable development and living. There will be an organic farming and eco-centre, a micro-hydro power plant, education centres including accommodation and teaching spaces, a veterinary clinic as well as nine orangutan islands and adjoining houses, and the very impressive bamboo structures that have already been constructed. Orangutan Haven is ambitious and innovative. Not only will it vastly improve the welfare of the non-releasable orangutans but provide a vital education resource for the 4 million residents of Medan, Indonesia’s fourth largest city, many of whom make decisions that affect the fate of orangutans and their habitat.
Fundraising team: Orangutan Haven Adventure Team (8)