International Lifestyle Magazine Australian Lifestyle Magazine 1 - Page 36

Cornelia Frances is a renowned Australian actress who has appeared on several Australian TV shows including, The Box, The Young Doctors, Sons and Daughters and her most memorable role as Morag Bellingham in Home and Away, which she has starred in for over 20 years. She also hosted the Australia version of the quiz show, The Weakest Link. Travelling with the AOP and tour group, Orangutan Odysseys, &RUQHOLD ZDV DEOH WR VHH UVWKDQG the plight of the orangutan and that reality of the situation facing the species due to deforestation. )UDQFHV DQG WKH WHDP HZ LQWR Pangkalan Bun in Kalimantan, Borneo via Jakarta, where she began her expedition. , YLVLWHG D UHVFXH FHQWUH LQ 3DQJNDODQ %XQ WR VHH UVW KDQG the effect of the widespread deforestation of orangutan habitat, and how orangutans are being rehabilitated and cared for. There are over 300 orphaned infants there all without a mother to care IRU WKHP LWV KHDUWEUHDNLQJ VDLG Francis. :H ZHUH WDNHQ WR WKH SOD\JURXQG where the teenagers spend a few hours swinging on ropes and tyres, releasing timeless energy and being very cheeky, snatching caps or any other removable items and almost laughing with glee ZKHQ WKH\ ZHUH VXFFHVVIXO , VXGGHQO\ QRWLFHG RQH \RXQJ person just staring at me. He held out a chunk of pineapple to me, took a bite and offered it again! I JULQQHG DW KLP DQG VDLG ,V WKDW IRU PH" 'URSSLQJ LW KH VORZO\ ZDONHG to me and sat within an inch of my face when he stared right into my eyes, sniffed me and promptly snatched my cap off and started to SXOO P\ KDLU +H WKHQ QX]]OHG FXGGOHG DQG SXW his long arms around me and I fell LQVWDQWO\ LQ ORYH ZLWK /HVOLH Infant orangutans are often left orphaned as their mothers are killed by poachers, or as they wander into a farmers plantation in search of food once their forest home is destroyed. The Palm Oil industry has become the orangutans greatest threat, as the establishment of mass plantations across Borneo and Sumatra has lead to over 90% of the species habitat destroyed in the last 20 years. Frances continued her journey and travelled in a Klotok boat up the Sekonyer River to a camp set up for orphaned orangutans and visited Tanjung Puting National Park. Here, Frances spent several days observing wild orangutans feeding at various feeding stations within the park and interacting in their natural environment. $IWHU D WUHN LQWR MXQJOH SODWIRUPV suddenly hoards of orangutans ran wild right in front of us, mothers and babies, big and little literally surrounded us. The park rangers call out twice a day, leaving bananas on the platform and waiting for them to swing from the trees and sit and feed before they leap away. It is and extraordinary thing to watch, and an awful this to think that their habitat is being WDNHQ DZD\ IURP WKHP Frances also spent time at a reforestation project to help plant trees and regenerate the dwindling forests that are under constant threat from illegal logging and constantly encroaching palm oil plantations. , SODQWHG WUHHV WR KHOS UHSODQW WKH reforestation area which is hoped to increase viable orangutan habitat in the area, and also viewed the incredible orangutans in the wild. It was such an eye opener and a once in a lifetime DGYHQWXUH The Orangutan Odysseys tour took Cornelia on a whirlwind adventure where she was able to see the plight of the Endangered RUDQJXWDQ UVW KDQG 7KURXJK Australian Lifestyle Magazine