UK NGO donates RM1mil to help protect orangutan
Published on: Friday, September 28, 2018
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Kota Kinabalu: Orangutan Appeal UK, a United Kingdom-based NGO, has contributed RM1 million for the purchase of three fully modified 4-wheel-drive vehicles for the sole use of the Sabah Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU).Susan Sheward, the founder of the Orangutan Appeal UK, handed a mock cheque for the amount Thursday to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who received it on behalf of the WRU, a unit under the Sabah Wildlife Department.

Reading out a statement later, Sheward said she believed that the new Government would make an excellent contribution to saving Sabah's wildlife, pointing out that the State Government had introduced a logging ban and regulated timber felling.

She said Sabah had some beautiful wildlife which people would be happy to pay to come and see from across the world and it would be devastating if the wildlife was allowed to become extinct.

"I told the Chief Minister that over the last 18 years Orangutan Appeal UK had invested RM11.5 million and I gave him a summary of the work that had been done, which included a complete refurbishment of the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (in Sandakan) and provision of nine local staff to work there," she added.

She also said Orangutan Appeal UK was seriously worried about the problems with the Bornean pygmy elephants and would like to assist in any way possible, perhaps by way of rehabilitation programmes and funding a team from Orangutan Appeal UK and the Sabah Wildlife Department to study the work done in India and Sri Lanka.

Sheward said a male Orangutan called Tiger would be relocated by helicopter from Sepilok to the Tabin Forest Reserve on Oct 4 and she intended to invite Sabah Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Christina Liew to be with them during the translocation process.

Mohd Shafie, when welcoming the initiative taken by Orangutan Appeal UK, said:

"On behalf of the people of Sabah, I would like to convey to you our heartfelt gratitude for your invaluable assistance and passion in helping Sabah save its iconic wildlife - the Bornean Orangutan.

"We are further indebted to you for your proposal to come and assist Sabah again, but this time to help save the Bornean elephant.


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