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Orangutan Caring Week is Here

Orangutan Caring Week 2021

Organizations working to save orangutans and their rainforest homes

Art fun by children in Sumatran village as part of the 2020 Orangutan Caring Week activities

“Respecting nature to save orangutans, biodiversity & our collective future.”

Financially supporting nonprofit organizations , visiting orangutan viewing areas as ecotourists, and making smart choices as everyday shoppers are some of the actions we can take.”
— Dr. Gary Shapiro
SANTA MONICA, CA, USA, November 6, 2021 / -- Orangutans are only found in the wild on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra in the countries of Indonesia and Malaysia (N. Borneo). Fewer than 14,600 individuals remain in Sumatra. Their population continues to decline due to the conversion of forest to agriculture, the illegal pet trade, being killed as pests or hunted, as well as habitat degradation from natural and human-caused activities, i.e., fires, mining, logging, palm oil, and major infrastructure projects.
In an effort to bring attention to critically endangered species, the idea of a special week for orangutans was created.

Orangutan Caring Week is a global event held every November. It began in 2004 as Orangutan Awareness Week but it soon became apparent that just being aware of the plight of orangutans was not enough. If we teach the world to CARE about orangutans it would lead to people demanding more be done to save the species. Therefore each year a different theme is selected to bring attention to the challenges faced by the critically endangered orangutan and their rainforest home. This year's theme is “Respecting nature to save orangutans, biodiversity & our collective future.”

All life on earth depends on a healthy planet! Rainforests and related ecosystems provide important services from climate moderation, to water quality and erosion control, to storehouses of genetic, species, and ecological biodiversity. Rainforests need to be sustainably managed to maintain these services. Orangutan Caring Week helps to inform citizens in their own communities of this connection and continues to enlighten and inspire local people in areas near orangutan habitats.

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. All living creatures need other creatures and plants in one way or another - even if the connection is not so clear.”
(Young People’s Trust for the Environment, “Why do we need to conserve biodiversity?”

Orangutans live in total harmony with nature - people do not - but we need nature for our very existence. We are already facing a climate crisis and a mass extinction threatening the very existence of thousands of animals and plant species, as well as threatening human populations, and the urgency of action has never been more important. These intelligent, sentient beings have lived in perfect harmony with nature for millions of years, yet due to human activity their populations have declined by more than half over the past 60 years, and their habitat has been reduced by at least 55% over just the past 20 years. If we do not collectively act now the threat of extinction will become a reality.

By saving orangutans, we save ourselves and our life-sustaining environment. If we can protect and save these close evolutionary cousins and their rainforest homes, it would mean we are making the necessary changes to possibly protect all life on earth. We see hope in this week's COP26 conference which is uniting the world to tackle climate change.

What is being done? There are over 65 hardworking, dedicated organizations, conservation groups, rescue, and rehabilitation centers all working to save these incredible great apes that are supportive of Orangutan Caring Week. Respecting the rights of orangutans to co-exist with humans is essential if we are to save them for the long term. While orangutans are unable to speak out to defend themselves, orangutan advocacy groups will continue to give voices to orangutans and their rights as critically endangered species and as individual sentient beings.

Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) President Dr. Gary Shapiro, encourages everyone to participate in ways that are achievable and meaningful. "It is important that we enroll the public to better understand the challenges facing one of our closest primate cousins and to give them ways to participate in sustainable actions while there still is time," said Shapiro. "Financially supporting nonprofit organizations working on the frontlines, visiting orangutan viewing areas as ecotourists, and making smart choices as everyday shoppers to avoid conflict commodities are some of the actions we can take that will positively contribute to a sustainable future for the orangutan."

You too can make a difference! Show you care by joining in this truly special campaign. Help spread the word on social media. Talk to people you know and encourage them to learn more. Hold a fundraiser or bake sale for your favorite orangutan organization. Find more ways to help at:

During the last day of Orangutan Caring Week, the Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF), who is commemorating its 17th year of educating people about the plight of the orangutan, and with the support of the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia, will present the 8th Annual Pongo Environmental Awards and Benefit at the Indonesian Consulate in Los Angeles. The November 13th event will be an opportunity for OURF supporters and guests to learn more about the work of the Foundation and the beautiful country of Indonesia as well as enjoy music and entertainment as we honor individuals and organizations who have made significant environmental achievements as recognized by OURF. Attendees will be able to enjoy Indonesian cuisine and bid on items and experiences offered on our online Silent Auction. The online Silent Auction will start on November 6th and will close during the Gala event. The auction is open to the public in the United States at The presentation portion of the evening will be Livestreamed so others can watch and enjoy the Pongo Awards globally. Details can be found here

Together We Can Make a Difference

About Orang Utan Republik Foundation
The Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) ( is a 501(c)(3) publicly supported charity with a mission to save wild orangutans through education initiatives and innovative, collaborative projects. It also serves as the US chapter of The Orangutan Project expanding its reach and support to over a dozen orangutan support organizations in Indonesia and Malaysia (

Gary L Shapiro
Orang Utan Republik Foundation, Inc.
+1 310-401-6602
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