A NOOSA business woman has lost her heart in the wilds of the Sumatran jungle to a young orangutan called Dora and is now dedicating her spare time to saving the species.
Anne Paterson, who runs a successful consulting and training business, has been galvanised into action by The Orangutan Project, an Australian organisation that is leading the way in saving the primates.
And now Anne has gone beyond securing baby orangutan fundraising "adoptions” as gifts.
"I was attracted to The Orangutan Project's adoption program as all of the money goes directly to the field for conservation work,” she said.
"It is a wonderful way to engage people to learn about these incredible animals and rainforest conservation, and it is a gift that keeps on giving as the recipients receive updates on their baby orangutan.”
In September Anne decided to leave her Noosa comfort zone and travel with the president of The Orangutan Project, Leif Cocks, to see orangutans in their natural environment in Sumatra.
"It was the most amazing holiday full of new experiences and best of all, up close with orangutans in their natural environment,” Anne said.
Anne was particularly smitten with Dora, a former baby in the adoption program who had been raised as an illegal pet. Dora was about to graduate from "Jungle School” after three years of learning natural orangutan behaviour in preparation for her freedom.
"Dora is a very sweet young orangutan who was one of the lucky ones,” Anne said.
"Thanks to generous people adopting Dora there were enough funds for The Orangutan Project to be able to rescue and rehabilitate Dora and give her her freedom in the jungle.
"The Orangutan Project is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help the cause. It is amazing to see the difference each and every one of us can make.”
Ann said orangutans are at a crisis point. "We need all the help we can get.”
Go to online to www.orangutan.org.au.
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