The Orangutan Appeal UK is a registered charity based in the south of England, dedicated to the rehabilitation and preservation of orangutans and the conservation of their habitat. My painting of 'Bery' one of the orphaned orangutans being cared for by Sepilok Rehabilitaiton Centre in Borneo was sold to raised funds for OAUK, along with the sale of limited edition prints of the image.
I am currently an Ambassador for Orangutan Appeal UK. The Appeal strives to protect remaining wild populations of orangutans by providing support and funding for projects across Malaysian and Indonesian Borneo; and by raising awareness of the plight of this great ape across the globe. The Appeal is also authorised to work on behalf of the famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in the Malaysian Sabah District of North Borneo was founded in 1964, to rehabilitate orphan orangutans. The site is 43 sq km of protected land at the edge of Kabili Sepilok Forest Reserve. Today around 60 to 80 orangutans are living free in the reserve.
The facility provides medical care for orphaned and confiscated orangutans as well as dozens of other wildlife species. Some of the other animals which have been treated at the centre include; sun bears, gibbons, Sumatran rhinos and elephants.
Recently rehabilitated individuals have their diet supplemented by daily feedings of milk and bananas. The additional food supplied by the centre is purposefully designed to be monotonous and boring so as to encourage the apes to start to forage for themselves.
Sepilok is considered by the Wildlife Department to be a useful educational tool with which to educate both the locals and visitors alike, but they are adamant that the education must not interfere with the rehabilitation process. Visitors are restricted to walkways and are not allowed to approach or handle the apes.