Reaseheath students go orange for orangutans

Reaseheath College animal management students went orange to help save one of the world’s most endangered apes.

The students dressed in orange and asked others to do the same during fund raising activities for the ‘Go Orange for Orangutans’ campaign. Their efforts raised over £300 for the campaign, which was run by Chester Zoo as part of its “Act for Wildlife” initiative to raise money for conservation projects worldwide.

Two groups of students took part. Seventeen Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care ‘Group B’ students raised £227 after being sponsored by family and friends to dress up in orange while members of Reaseheath’s Conservation Society raised £76 by holding a social event in the student bar. This included the free services of DJ Sam Walton, courtesy of Moo Media UK. As well as raising funds, the students  also took the opportunity to talk about the plight faced by orangutans due to habitat loss.

The Level 2 Diploma students presented their cheque to Penny Rudd, Chester Zoo’s Registrar and Internships Co-ordinator, when she visited the campus last week. The Conservation Society members handed over their donation during a recent trip to the zoo.

Level 2 animal care group b students l-r Penny Rudd Chester Zoo students ashleigh goldstraw and robbie kelly

Chester Zoo’s Penny Rudd receives the donation from Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care students Ashleigh Goldstraw and Robbie Kelly.

Chester Zoo’s appeal has raised over £13,000 to be used to provide specialist camera traps in Borneo, the last stronghold of the wild orangutan.

Penny Rudd, who is a former Reaseheath governor and has strong links with the animal management department, said: “It has been wonderful to meet students who are so keen to become involved in a real conservation project.

“Orangutans face a very uncertain future owing to habitat destruction, mainly caused by the widescale production of unsustainably farmed palm oil. Along with Reaseheath, Chester Zoo aims to actively encourage and educate young people who will have the power to influence the future. In this case we need to encourage shoppers to buy only the products which contain responsibly sourced palm oil (look for the RSPO signs on packaging!) This could have a major impact in saving what little habitat is left for the orangutans.”

Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care Course Manager Holly Berry said: “Our students were particularly keen to help as they had learned about the plight of wild orang-utans during their lectures. Both the students and I were very proud to have raised money for such a worthy cause”

For further details see www.actforwildlife.org.uk and for more details about Reaseheath’s animal management courses see http://www.reaseheath.ac.uk/subjects/animal-management/