It's the most recognised holiday on the global calendar for celebrating the grandeur of love. But have you ever noticed how it's romantic love that tends to get the lion's share of airtime every February 14?
When you think about it, there are few relationships that can compare with those formed by family. Especially the connection between a mother and child. Surely that's one of the most formative and profound relationships any of us ever experience, and it’s particularly tender between mother and child orangutans.
So when young Cupcake and his Mum Sam needed extra help to transition to their new life in the wild, we figured Valentine's Day would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate love in all its manifestations, while also contributing to a very important cause.
Love - and life - always find a way...
In 2013, Sam was rescued from appalling conditions in a Malaysian zoo. She was welcomed into the orangutan care centre and soon entered the Bukit Tigapuluh (BTP) rehabilitation and release program.
Despite her tough start in life, we wanted to give Sam every chance to have a successful release.
Then in 2015, we were surprised (and excited) to discover she was pregnant! Even in her timid state Sam had pushed past her insecurities to follow the instinctive drive to contribute to her species and attracted a wild orangutan named Rocky to her cage.
But Sam's pregnancy changed everything. Despite her excellent progress through Jungle School she was too vulnerable to return to the wild while pregnant and for some time after the baby’s birth.
We had to find a way to help them transition into the wild together. It was a unique situation and one we’d urgently need to raise funds for – not just to ensure their successful joint release, but also to provide intensive follow up and monitoring.
In June 2015, beautiful Cupcake was born and as expected, the pair have been inseparable. The team has worked hard to teach Sam and Cupcake the skills they'll need for independence and survival in the wild.
Freedom is now so close..
It's vital that we raise the necessary funds to release Cupcake and Sam together. We also need funding to provide the intensive monitoring they'll need post release, to ensure they're both safe and thriving, well into the future.
This is why we urgently need your help