Twenty-five bucks buys you a ticket to run in Orangutan Foundation International's upcoming fundraiser Save the Orangutans 5K Run for Survival on September 26.
I know it takes a lot for us to get off our asses and do something truly good and meaningful in this society. I know it's hard to care for a creature that lives half a globe away in a forest you've never seen nor are likely to see in your lifetime, what with all the problems in your own backyard.
But we are connected to all living creatures in complex ways we can't even begin to imagine. If orangutans disappear--and there's a very big possibility that we won't have any left in ten years--who knows what the repercussions will be.
These guys are dying. They could use your help.
After the race, the world's foremost expert on the orangutan, Dr. Birute Galdikas, will be present to talk about the situation in Borneo, Indonesia.
You can also get people to sponsor you. Or, if you happen to have some extra cash you don't know what to do with--say $250 to $10,000--you can be a sponsor yourself.
If you think twenty-five bucks is expensive, keep this in mind: caring for a single orphaned baby orangutan costs around $2,000 for one year. This covers food, medicines, and veterinary care. The people who take care of the orangutans (and make sure we don't drive them into extinction) also need money to fund patrols to keep the forests safe. The patrols ward off poachers and prevent illegal logging. Dr. Galdikas' Orangutan Foundation International pays the Borneo police a stipend to do this work. It's essentially hardship pay.
Money also goes into buying up forest land that would otherwise be razed and turned into palm oil plantations. Land costs $550 a hectare. Not including the taxes.
Next spring, you can watch an IMAX 3D documentary Born to Be Wild 3D featuring Dr. Galdikas and OFI. Warner Bros. Pictures will be releasing that exclusively in IMAX theaters on April 8, 2011. Until then, how about a nice little 5K run around the lake? Get some sun. Save some primates.