Kirsty Choy 11D – Taiping, Malaysia (Animal Welfare)
Every year, 2000-3000 orangutans are killed, and it is estimated that there are only around 50000 – 65000 orangutans left in the wild. Bukit Merah Orang Utan Island was established in 2000 and has slowly developed into a conservation centre. BMOUIF is an organisation formed in 2008 and aims to help the government to carry out research, as well as conserve and rehabilitate orangutans, to prevent their extinction. As of now, there are 16 orangutans on the island, 4 which have returned to the wild. The sanctuary is open to visitors and volunteers, from which they wish to raise awareness about the plight of orangutans.
During our volunteering experience at BMOUIF, we got to help by cleaning the cages that the orangutans stay in at night, prepare food for them, as well as feed them. We witnessed the sedation of one of the orangutans, which was a very memorable experience for me. We also did fecal, urine, and pregnancy tests on the orangutans, which provided me with more insight into the veterinary field.
After going on this CAS trip, I was able to understand how a conservation foundation works and runs, as well as how much awareness needs to be raised, and the financial support which they need to be able to successfully save these critically endangered species. After the trip, I would like to help raise more public awareness, by sharing my experiences, in hopes of helping foundations, like the BMOUIF, to make a difference.