Celebrating world wildlife day

3 March 2022


Join Born Free as we mark this international day of celebration, of the world’s wild animals and plants. 

It’s World Wildlife Day and, thanks to our supporters, Born Free has a lot to celebrate. This year, the special United Nations’ day has the theme ‘Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration’ – a wonderful opportunity to focus on uplifting news about orangutans. 

With their distinctive red hair, orangutans are the only great ape to live outside of Africa. Feasting on fruit, they spend nearly their entire lives in trees, and are vital for healthy forests. “Orangutans are intelligent, self-aware beings worthy of our respect,” said our Policy Advocate Ian Redmond OBE, an orangutan expert. “A keystone species, as they feed they prune trees, disperse seeds and fertilise soil with their droppings.”

You might be surprised to learn that orangutan conservation has a global implication which impacts on each of us, as Ian explains. “Trees growing from seeds in orangutan poo take in carbon dioxide, store carbon (helping prevent climate change) and release oxygen. Rainforests of southeast Asia pump water vapour into the atmosphere forming weather systems that deliver rain thousands of miles away. So, in saving orangutans and their habitat, we save countless other species. Save apes to save forests to save the world!”

Now you can celebrate the awesome orange ape by adopting Timtom, Born Free’s adopted orangutan. Timtom was taken from her wild mother as a baby and kept illegally as a pet but, fortunately, was rescued by our Orangutan Foundation colleagues. Aged just nine months, she was the youngest orphan to enter their soft release programme. Today, Timtom is making good progress as she gradually prepares for life in the wild at a special release camp in Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, in Borneo. 

You can support Timtom’s care as she learns to climb trees, forage for fruit and build a nest – which naturally she would have learned from her mother. A confident climber, Timtom is also adept at finding food. But, so far she shows little interest in making a nest. Instead Timtom comes down from the tree and rolls on the ground, throwing leaves over herself – what a performer! 

Lamandau Wildlife Reserve’s tropical forest provides a protected environment for over 600 critically endangered Bornean orangutans and reintroduction really works! The reserve has seen a baby boom including several born to ex-captive orangutans returned to the wild. Now you can support orangutan rescue, rehabilitation and conservation when you adopt today. 

Image © Orangutan Foundation