A to Z of Destinations
Australia, NZ and South Pacific
A to Z of Experiences
Walking and trekking
Diving and snorkelling
Wildlife and safaris
Meet the locals
Frontier and expedition
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Visiting the Poles
Career breaks and BIG trips
Body and soul
Volunteer and conservation
Australia, East Coast
Everest Base Camp
Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail
Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian railway
Cruising the Nile, Egypt
Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights
27th October 2011
Plans to make four new islands in northern Sumatra to accommodate orang-utans that are unable to be reintroduced into the wild have been announced
Dr Singleton – a UK conservationist who is behind the plans – believes the islands would free the sick or injured orang-utans from the life-long confinements of a cage. The islands will be specially designed to imitate the animal's natural habitat, with plenty of grass, shrubs and trees, and would allow the orang-utans to roam independently.
The procedure of securing the land is currently under-way. Local contractors will be employed to operate diggers carving up the ground in order to create moats thereby surrounding the land in water.
"Depending on the site, it shouldn't take us too long to create the islands, as long as the moats don't leak," Singleton told the Guardian. "The biggest challenge is finding the right land that has the right security and a water supply that isn't full of effluent."
Based in Sumatra since 2001, Singleton leads the country's Orangutan Conservation Programme and is funded by a Swiss NGO, PanEco. With the help of his team, he has successfully reintroduced more than 150 orang-utans into the wild over the past decade.
The project's principal aim is to protect and rehabilitate the captive orang-utans, although Singleton also hopes an education centre and guided walks will help improve the local population's understanding of these shy creatures.
The most serious threat to orang-utans is deforestation. In the last 20 years an estimated 80% of their habitat has disappeared, and only around 2% of what remains is legally protected. Listed as endangered, it is thought that approximately 65,000 orang-utans remain in the wild, limited to rainforests in Borneo and Sumatra.
"I fluctuate between cautiously optimistic (and) very pessimistic," Singleton added.
"One minute the government will say that it wants to protect the forest and then they will grant a permit to clear 15,000 hectares of forest. Very few people are prosecuted for keeping an orangutan as a pet."
Lake Toba and orang-utans in Sumatra | Destinations... More
Exploring Malaysian Borneo | Destinations... More
West Indonesia: Bali and beyond | Destinations... More
Volunteer on your career break | Advice... More
Don't miss our Borneo travel guide for advice on where and how to see orang-utans | Plan a trip... More
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login or get more from Wanderlust - register today!
Volunteer and conservation travel guide, including info on voluntourism, how to give back on your travels, how to get started with travel volunteering and more
Wildlife and safaris travel guide, including wildlife and safaris travel advice, where to go on safari in the world
Paraguay might lack the well-known sights of South America’s big hitters. However, Chris Moss finds an unmissable and forgotten world amid Chaco's wetlands and wildlife
Serbia’s west is the forgotten gem of the Balkans, rich in history, folk tales and wildlife. James Stewart sets out to rediscover a long misunderstood land
Obstinate animals, terrible flatulence and death-defying crossings; author Adrian Hall goes in search of musk ox in Greenland, in the world's largest fjord - and it doesn't go to plan
England's new mountain, a unique solar eclipse, Kenya's new elephant sanctuary and more... in our October round-up of Adventure Travel News. Plus, the latest new airline routes.
Wanderlust is keen to hear from travel bloggers currently on (or about to start) extraordinary, original adventures. Get in touch...
The elusive nomadic community have lived in isolation for thousands of years on the island of Java, Indonesia
Simply select the destination you’re interested in or the activities you’re looking
for and we’ll send your request to a select panel of tour operators.
Each operator will respond to your request individually. Your details remain private
and are not disclosed to any partners unless you decide to proceed with a booking.
10% OFF at Powertraveller
Golden Triangle & Brahmaputra River Cruise
Incredible Journey to the Jaguars with Tell Tale Travel
Wanderlust sends out regular email newsletters – be the first to know about web
exclusives, competitions, hot offers and travel jobs. Register today!
I have read and agree to the Terms &
Where in the world are you? Add
#wanderlustmag to your tweets and share your latest travel adventures with
fellow Wanderlusters on wanderlust.co.uk
Get to know Wanderlust on facebook and bring all your travel-minded friends, too