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20 May 2014

Zoos Victoria has welcomed the Federal Government’s Budget announcement of a $300,000 donation to the Nyaru Menteng orang-utan reintroduction project in central Kalimantan in Indonesia.

Every year, hundreds of orang-utans are either killed or left orphaned due to loss of habitat caused by the unsustainable production of palm oil, an oil found in nearly half of all packaged items at your supermarket.

The funding will be provided through Melbourne Zoo and will allow the sanctuary to release 60 rehabilitated orang-utans back into the rainforest. 

This is a lengthy process, as sanctuary staff need to provide the care that an orang-utan mother would give her baby, and they are not ready to be independent until they are a minimum of seven years old.

Melbourne Zoo senior primate keeper Fleur Butcher said the money would go a long way in Indonesia, where habitats are being cleared so oil palm trees can be planted, and where female orang-utans  are often killed so their babies can be kept  as pets or sold illegally.

“When you head out to the forest and see them in the wild, they are the most beautiful things moving through the trees,” Ms Butcher said. “Every day I’m reminded how close they are to us.

“Everything they do, there is something very human in it.”

You can too can take action to help save wild orang-utans right now!

Visit Zoos Victoria’s Zoopermarket and let manufacturers know you deserve the right to choose products that don’t drive deforestation. 

For more information on the funding, see Channel Nine News report: http://news.ninemsn.com.au/melbourne?videoid=3583417361001&src=widget:list

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