Sponsored Project

Orangutan Mama

Patricia Harris Seeley and Anne Pick
Margot McMaster

The orangutan is on the verge of extinction due to poaching and habitat loss. Now deep in the heart of Borneo orangutans and Dayaks, the local aboriginal people, have come together in a unique program. Dayak women have become surrogate mothers to hundreds of orphaned orangutans. How will these Dayak women teach their orangutan youngsters to survive alone in the forest? Why is their culture so dependent on the survival of the orangutan? And what are the social consequences when these women choose the ‘people of the forest’, over the people of other villages? This is a story of sacrifice and salvation, tragedy and hope as mothers from simple backgrounds join together with international scientists to save the vanishing orangutan.