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Orangutan Diaries – Featuring Stories of Hope on DVD by PBS {Guest Post}

Guest Post By: Life as Leels – Leila

I am truly fascinated by monkeys – primarily chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas. I am amazed how similar they are to humans and they remind me of human children! So when I was asked to guest review Orangutan Diaries for Passport to Frugal, I couldn’t resist!

Orangutan Diaries is a 2 disc, 250 minute program about the Borneo Orangutan Foundation. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-3 which are approximately 40 minutes in length. Disc 2 contains episodes 4 and 5. Available at Amazon.com and PBS.org.

Deep in the Borneo rainforest, a dedicated team of vets and caregivers have a massive and emotional task ahead of them: to rescue and nurse back to health the jungle’s most appealing – and most vulnerable – animals.

There are currently 600 orangutans being cared for, day and night, at the Borneo Orangutan Foundations. Most have had traumatic lives, clinging to survival as rainforests are burned around them, or snatched from the wild to be sold as pets. For the team of vets and caregivers, everyday is a challenge – not only nursing the orphans, but also dealing with everyday human crises of life in a rainforest hospital.

Present by Steven Leonard and Michaela Strachan, this is an emotional rollercoaster ride through the lives of both the human caregivers, and animals of the orangutan orphanage.

I have to admit, with the movie Chimpanzee still be fresh in my mind, I was hoping for something similar, but this was nothing like the movie Chimpanzee. This was what I would classify more as a documentary. I wasn’t sure I would actually like it and sit through 4 hours, none the less my family sit through it.

I was wrong.

My 4-year-old was not into it. He did watch bits and pieces of the baby orangutans in the nursery, but for the most part, he ignored the movie altogether.

Hubby missed the first two episodes due to cooking, but he was captivated by the remainder of the show.

My nearly 7-year-old daughter and I? Glued to the television!

The orphaned baby orangutans would be cared for by “babysitters” in the nursery. They wore diapers, were played with and were fed baby bottles. After “graduating” from the nursery, they would join Forest School where they were taught the necessary skills they would need to survive in the jungle. Upon “graduation” from jungle school, they would be relocated back into the jungle. Unfortunately, most areas where they were relocated to were pieces of land owned for research. They would house multiple orangutans on that piece of land and every day, the workers would bring the orangutans food.

We learned that because of the food orangutans eat, they generally live solitary lives rather than groups because there usually is not enough food for them all to eat in one location so they have to be spread out far from one another.

The Borneo Orangutan Foundation also rescued orangutans that either were babies captured by humans or were adults in danger of being harmed by humans.

The Foundation is set up to home 150 orangutans, but in the program, they were housing over 600 orangutans at one time!

It really is amazing what these people do! They have a general practitioner on site that cares for the sick and wounded orangutans. He isn’t a vet, he is a human general practitioner (doctor), but he stated that because orangutans and humans are so similar, it’s easy to treat them.

My daughter and I have decided we want to travel to Borneo to help work at the Borneo Orangutan Foundation!

I really enjoyed watching the program and learning more about orangutans and it was not only excellent education for my daughter, but great awareness for my daughter to understand why some of the orangutans are dying, or why they need care from humans in a center. It really was a great educational and awareness program that I am sure we will watch again!

Disclosure: The author of this post received the video free of charge in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% the author’s own.

Life as Leels is a married mommy to two with #3 on the way. She is a mommy, wife, part time out of home worker, full time college student, and family blogger who shares personal stories and experiences; parenting suggestions; recipes; and reviews.

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Thank you for visiting and sharing. Bonnie~ aka LeahSay (LeeSay one word).

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