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This page was created in support of Sumatran Wildlife Sanctuary - Click here to join this cause


Give the greatest gift in the world by conserving critically endangered orangutan, tiger, rhino and elephant habitat!

In November 2017 I traveled to Sumatra with Photographers Without Borders (PWB) to learn about being a photodocumentarian and document the palm oil conflict, which is threatening the home of the critically endangered Sumatran orangutan. There, we not only had an opportunity to see the devastation firsthand, but also learn about the incredible work that Orangutan Information Centre (OIC) is doing to combat deforestation and habitat destruction. 

Over 50% of the forest cover on the island has already disappeared, and OIC receives calls about human-wildlife conflict on a regular basis. North Sumatra’s Leuser ecosystem is the last place on earth where critically endangered elephants, rhinos, tigers, and orangutans live together – and it exists under the threat of illegal deforestation and development every day.

Photo by Jessica Barrett

The animals that inhabit these forest ecosystems often become victims of the conflict and development, and the Medan Zoo is currently the only place on the island for rescued animals to be taken. The zoo as a whole is in a state of disrepair and almost appears abandoned. The animal enclosures are barren concrete, full of garbage, and have nothing in the way of enrichment for the creatures that must live there.

Photo by Jessica Barrett

But it doesn't have to be this way. Conservationist and OIC founder Panut Hadisiswoyo and his team are working to change the paradigm. In addition to carrying out rescues and educating local communities about how to handle conflict with the animals, they are working in partnership with PWB to establish the Sumatran Wildlife Sanctuary and reforest land that has been cleared. This sanctuary would provide a place for rescued animals to be taken, cared for, and re-released – a much-needed alternative to the Medan Zoo

Photo by Jessica Barrett

Of course, to establish a sanctuary requires land, and right now we've acquired just 5 hectares of it. The land sits in the buffer zone – the area bordering Gunung Leuser National Park. It offers some protection against illegal encroachment into the park and will create a safe corridor for wildlife like orangutans, rhinos, elephants, tigers, and thousands of other species. 

But the community that owns the remaining 45 acres wants to sell the land immediately, and this means that time is running out for us. 

Please join me in reaching my personal goal of $10,000 USD to help the Sumatran Wildlife Sanctuary purchase this land.

More about us:

**Note that all donations are in USD.

Photo by Jessica Barrett

Dan Barrett $500.00
Murray Barrett $100.00
J. Boni $25.00
Mike Nastuny $75.00
Anonymous $125.00
Keep of the wonderful work, we are all so inspired by your adventures!
Great work Jessica! Good luck with reaching your goal.
Hi Jessica, Excellent work, and thanks for detailing out the story from your personal visit. I wish you all the best.
C Barrett
Thank you for trying to help make a difference.
Dianne Morrison-Wyllie
Thank you for bringing such a worthy cause to light...
You hear about this problem, but knowing someone that has seen and experienced it first-hand makes it real.
NeoMam Studios
So proud to have you as part of our team, Jess. Thank you for opening our eyes to such a great cause. Best of luck!

February 1, 2018 2:46 PM

Happy to note that we've been able to purchase another 3 hectares, so we're now at 8 in total! Thank you to everyone who donated to my campaign so far!

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