As the last strange and long year has come to an end we want to thank you Canada and let you know the real and very tangible positive impacts that you made for orangutans in 2020.
The ongoing support of Canadians to OFI Canada despite global uncertainties in the past twelve months has ensured that the over 300 orphaned orangutans at the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ) in Indonesia were well cared for, well-fed, and healthy. In 2020, OFI Canada was able to send $100,850 CAD to support the care of orphaned orangutans and protect their rainforest homes, so Thank You Canada! For a larger context the cost of running the entire OFI operations in Indonesia, including the OCCQ and all release camps, is $1.5 million USD per year, so the contribution of Canadians is important and significant.
Among the most positive news of last year, we must celebrate again the release of three orangutans back into the wild which took place before the COVID pandemic took hold in the early part of the year. These three, Natalie, Cantik, and Rimut, continue to live wild and well and are being monitored by OFI staff at the newest OFI release station near Tanjung Puting National Park. Also in 2020 we were spared the terrible forest fire seasons that we have had the past five years, with minimal fires and lifesaving rain coming even in the dry months. We are taking this opportunity to prepare for the inevitable return of fires by investing in equipment and additional monitoring for the 2021 dry season, with the help of your donations towards our Land Purchase and Protection Program.
Natalie and Cantik, in one of the OFI Haha forest enclosures before their release into the wild in early 2020
It is no news that the Covid-19 global pandemic brought challenges to all of us last year. Due to the risk of the disease being transferred to the orangutans, our dedicated staff have gone above and beyond to adhere to very strict health protocols at the OCCQ and in all our activities in our protected forests where there are wild orangutans. Because of the strict adherence to these protocols we have not had any exposure of COVID-19 to any of our staff or the orangutans. Our Canadian donors helped to support these strict health guidelines, as OFI Canada sent funds to specifically support the purchase of important disinfectant and cleaning supplies for the OCCQ.
Importantly, Canadian donations were also sent to ensure the orangutans had the nutrition and care they require despite our staff being limited for a period of months and being on tight lockdown. Donations purchased hundreds of tonnes of rambutan, durian, bananas, and a multitude of other local fruits and vegetables (That’s A LOT of bananas!). Still more OFIC donations helped pay the salaries of the local Dayak caregivers who care for the orphaned orangutans every need each day.
As we look ahead into 2021, with a COVID vaccine on the horizon, we continue to be grateful to you and all our caring Canadian donors who have thought of the orangutans despite all of the other worries to be had. We have hope that in 2021 we will all be able to breathe a little easier while continuing the ongoing battle to save orangutan lives and return them to protected and safe forests.
We wish you and your family and loved ones a cautiously glad Goodbye to 2020 and a Happy New Year 2021!