July 17, 2012
Having known Orangutan Outreach since its inception, I can say without hesitation that this is an organisation led by integrity and passion. The support they have given orangutans has changed the lives of many of these creatures, whether in captive situations or in the wild. Negative reviews here seem to come from disgruntled donors to a questionable initiative that compels schoolchildren and young people to donate to support the promises of a man who has let down the orangutan conservation effort dramatically in recent years. Because Richard Zimmerman who directs Orangutan Outreach did due diligence on this initiative (as have my organisation, Orangutan Land Trust) and found it lacking in transparency, he has spoken out to warn donors to consider this before handing over their money. This so-called "orangutan conservation group" that he has been accused of attacking has a total of 2 orangutans in a zoo setting (having lost one and had 11 others confiscated by the authorities due to negligence). I know of no reputable orangutan conservation organisation that would either work with or endorse this group. Singling out Orangutan Outreach for having the integrity to condemn this group for failure to provide sufficient care to orangutans in their facility is nothing more than a personal attack from misguided people.
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MY ROLE:Professional with expertise in this field