We’re really delighted to be collaborating with Orangutan Appeal UK. We’ll be giving the proceeds of our ebook ‘Monkeyboy and Gogobird’ towards this excellent charity which is dedicated to the rehabilitation and preservation of orangutans and the conservation of their habitat.
One of the main projects the Orangutan Appeak UK supports is the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. This site is in Sandakan, Malaysia – Geoff’s hometown – making this collaboration extra special to us. Geoff used to visit the centre during weekends when he was little. He remembers holding hands with the orangutans and how they would play with his hair!
There are 39 species of birds of paradise native to Papua New Guinea
The only birds of paradise brought back to Europe from trading expeditions in the early sixteenth century were dead. Native traders prepared them by removing their wings and feet so that they could be used as decorations. This led to the belief that the birds never landed but were literally birds who’d come from paradise and were being kept aloft by their plumes. Hence the name ‘bird of paradise’.
Briefly they were also thought to be the mythical phoenix.
For ‘Monkeyboy and Gogobird’ we have created a hybrid – King bird of paradise + Parotia = Gogobird
King Bird of Paradise
Orangutans share 97% of their DNA with humans! They are among the most intelligent of the primates.
They’re also real tree dwellers, sleeping nightly in elaborate nests they make out of branches and foliage.
They can use a variety of tools – up to 54 types for extracting insects or honey, and as many as 20 types for opening or preparing fruits.
They can imitate human behaviour, communicate with us using sign language and are sometimes DIY enthusiasts! Watch David Attenborough’s exceptional documentary.
Today orangutans are an endangered species. Their habitat is being destroyed by palm oil cultivation and forest fires. They’re also threatened by poachers – babies are sold as pets and adults are killed for their meat.
Once wide-spread throughout Sotheast Asia, they can now only be found in Borneo and Sumatra.
I grew up loving David Attenborough. For me and many other Brits he is the most charismatic of wildlife broadcasters. His incredible voice and delivery make his enthusiasm contagious. I watched his Attenborough’s Paradise Birds a few months ago. Aged 90, he’s still making these compelling documentaries and is still totally inspiring.
Birds of paradise are one of David Attenborough’s lifelong passions. He was the first to film many of their beautiful and often bizarre displays, and over his lifetime he has tracked them all over the jungles of New Guinea. In this very personal film, he uncovers the remarkable story of how these ‘birds from paradise’ have captivated explorers, naturalists, artists, film-makers and even royalty.
‘For me birds of paradise are the most romantic and glamorous birds in the world. And this is a film I have wanted to make for 40 years.’ – Sir David Attenborough, BBC 2
See him repeatedly upstaged by an excited Greater Bird of Paradise while filming his show!