Orangutan Island to Premiere on Animal Planet

May 22, 2008 by  
Filed under News

Orangutan IslandDid you know that orangutans share 97% of our DNA? But unlike humans, the red-haired forest apes don’t live in groups and have little social interaction with one another. In a bid to save our endangered relations, Animal Planet is launching a new docudrama following the lives of a group of orphaned orangutans.

The forests of Borneo are the last home of the orangutan species, and illegal logging is putting this habitat at risk. One woman is determined that the orangutans will not die out. Her name is Lone Dröscher-Nielsen, founder of the largest primate rescue project in the world. Thanks to the efforts of Lone and her team at Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, thirty five orphaned orangutans will get the chance to live wild on a protected 100-acre island. Here they will learn the survival skills necessary to return to their natural habitat one day.

Marjorie Kaplan, President of Animal Planet says “Orangutan Island opens viewers’ eyes to these amazing creatures, their distinct personalities, the overwhelming challenges they face and, most importantly, what people can do to help. They are as different in personality and needs as humans are, and I have no doubt that after spending some time watching these orangutans our audience is going to fall in love.”

Lone Dröscher-Nielsen comments “It is my hope that through this series, people will become more aware of the plight of the orangutans and will be inspired to help these incredible animals which are heading for extinction. I look forward to a day when we can release these orphans back into the wild without fear that they will perish due to lack of habitat and the resources necessary for survival.”

Unlike wild orangutans who lead mostly solitary lives, this group will have to learn to live together in a community until they can be released – something they would never experience in the wild. Each week the series follows the young orphans as they deal with the power struggles and social issues that their fledgling society must overcome to survive.

Orangutan Island premieres on Monday 26th May at 9 pm.

Visit AnimalPlanet.co.uk to view clips, meet the orangutans, read expert views and learn about wildlife conservation.

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  1. To find out more about the orangutans on Orangutan Island, and also to help, visit the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation at http://www.savetheorangutan.co.uk