MELVILLE resident Leif Cocks is fundraising to provide a safe space for rescued orang-utans in the hope of releasing them into their natural habitat.
He established international charity The Orangutan Project in 1998 and has published Orangutans, My Cousins, My Friends, available on the project’s website.
Mr Cocks said orang-utan Cupcake – born last year – may be able to live independently when she is eight, but his mother Sam may never live independently because she was living in poor conditions in a Malaysian Zoo when rescued in 2013.
Cupcake, who lives with Sam in Sumatra, is the face of a bid to raise $20,000 for The Orangutan Project. This Valentine’s Day, people are encouraged to host Cupcakes for Cupcake fundraisers.
“We are hoping to raise $20,000, which will fund all their medical, food and housing costs to date, as well as their Jungle School life skills training and rehabilitation,” Mr Cocks said.
People can hold their morning tea any time during February or March. To register, visit www.orangutan.|org.au/cupcake.
Participants will be sent a free registration kit to help plan, promote and hold their fundraiser.
In 2015-16, 3500 orang-utans were in protection and 47 were released, with a 70 per cent survival rate.