Construction has begun on a much-needed orangutan rescue centre in Ketapang, Western Borneo after generous donations from readers of UK paper The Daily Mail. An anonymous donation was received after the paper ran an article on Mely, a female orangutan who was stolen from her mother sixteen years ago and chained to a veranda as a pet. The investor was so touched by the story that they donated £500,000 to the cause which enabled global charity International Animal Rescue to purchase 24 hectares of land to create an emergency rescue and rehabilitation centre.
Additional donations from the newspaper’s readers reached £100,000 which has enabled work on Build Phase 1 of the project to begin onsite. On completion the complex will include large quarantine pens for new arrivals, a fully-equipped veterinary clinic, an education centre, indoor accommodation and an outdoor play area. There are also plans for a forested enclosure so that the orangutans can learn the skills necessary to be released back into the wild.