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Happy Birthday Menyaru!

So it was Menyaru’s 9th Birthday on Sunday! Happy Birthday Malu!!!! I hope they gave you some extra special treats on your special day!

Courtesy of Zoos Victoria

Not only is Menyaru one of Melbourne Zoo’s gorgeous orangutans, he’s also one of the orangs born in the zoo as part of our captive breeding program! The success of this program is a critical part of replenishing the drastically low numbers of wild Sumatran Orangutans, and since then there have been a number of births, including the newest addition (and cutest baby ever!), Dewi. Seriously, if you can you should go and see her now, she’s learning to climb ropes and slowly gaining independence from mum and dad. So cute!

As well as all the extra attention and fruity treats, Zoos Victoria also gave a gift to the orangutans of the Tripa Peatland Forest, on behalf of Menyaru. They donated funding for two motor bikes to enable conservationists there to seek out and assist injured or orphaned orang-utans. How great is that? Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside doesn’t it?

Well, I really do hate to bring you down, but there sure are a lot of orangs out there that aren’t as safe and secure as dear Malu, or Dewi, or any of our other Sumatran orangs. Those who call the Tripa Peat Reserve home have to deal with assaults on many fronts; n the past six months, approximately 15% of the remaining 10,000 hectares has been illegally cleared, almost definitely for palm oil plantations, and more than 20 fires are raging in the reserve (Zoos Victoria).

When reading these dark truths, it almost seems like their fates have been decided. However, there are things we can do to help! You can join me in my boycott of palm oil in packaged foods, join the Zoos Victoria Don’t Palm Us Off campaign, and you can also visit the website of and donating to the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, which focuses on the problems in the Tripa region.

In 22 years, over 70% of the Tripas’s peat swamp forest has been cleared and burned for oil palm plantations. The remainder is being drained, cleared and burned illegally if nothing is done, wiping out the 200 surviving orangutans, and causing massive carbon emissions. We are fighting a battle against ignorance, greed and vested interests to uphold the Indonesia’s laws that protect these vitally important peatland forests, save the orangutans, and stop carbon emissions.

Good work guys! Together we can make a difference *cue obnoxious inspirational powerballad*

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