Sunday July 28, 2013
Producer: Alex Hodgkinson
Neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo spends his days in hospital undertaking delicate and highly skilled brain surgery. Now, he’s engaged on a different kind of lifesaving mission.
It was a week-long family holiday in Borneo with his wife Genevieve and four teenage girls that sparked this passion. In the wilds of the Borneo jungle, the Teo family couldn’t relax – Charlie’s daughters squabbled with each other and their father lost his cool. Only a chance encounter with a Zen-like orangutan cut through their fighting and made the whole family realize the wonders of their surroundings.
But as Teo soon discovered, time is running out for these peaceful creatures. Greed is driving a terrible environmental disaster, as the orangutans’ habitat is destroyed to make way for palm oil plantations.
Now, Teo returns to Borneo to visit with Birute Galdikas, a conservationist who has been living side by side with orangutans in the jungle for over 40 years. Galdikas runs an orangutan sanctuary, rescuing animals that have been left homeless or orphaned by Borneo’s rainforest destruction. The sanctuary is a paradise for the animals – and humans too, as Teo discovers when he gets to push a wheelbarrow full of adorable baby orangutan babies to their play date at the sanctuary’s jungle gym.
And there is fresh hope for these animals on the brink of extinction – Sunday Night’s cameras are there as Galdikas and her team successfully release a batch of orangutans back into the wild.
To donate or for further information, visit the Orangutan Foundation International Australia. For phone donations to Orangutan Foundation International Australia, call 08 8366-0200.
Visit the Orangutan Foundation International Australia Facebook page.
Orangutan Foundation International Australia Ambassador Senator Nick Xenophon is fighting for mandatory palm oil labelling in Australia:
"We need to legislate for accurate and truthful labelling of country of origin, palm oil and products containing genetically modified ingredients."
Visit the Palm oil products in Australia Facebook site.
The Zoos Zictoria Zoopermarket site is a place where people can go to find out what their favourite brands are doing about palm oil and to encourage them to switch to 100% CSPO by 2015.
PALM OIL FACT SHEETS (click each link to download a pdf)
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