• Gary
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About Me
School
Mira Loma High, California State University, Fresno, California State University, Fresno, University of Oklahoma
Work
DTSC
Languages
Bahasa Indonesia, English
Hey, I'm Gary!
Santa Monica, California, United States · Member since March 2012

That is a picture of me with my adopted, free-ranging orangutan daughter, Princess. She was an ex-captive, orphan orangutan who was brought to Camp Leakey, Tanjung Puting (Central Kalimantan, Indonesia) to be rehabilitated and released to live in the wild. I taught Princess sign language in the late 1970s as part of my doctoral dissertation project, which was the first and only such project where great apes were taught sign language in their natural habitat and returned to the wild. Princess’s ability to sign can be seen in various documentaries (such as BBC Nature’s “Kusasi: from Orphan to King”) and on Youtube (by searching for "Princess orangutan").

My initial two years of living in the forests of Borneo and my special connection to Princess promoted my commitment to saving wild orangutans. With my Indonesian wife, Inggriani, in 2004, we co-founded the Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF). The mission of OURF is saving wild orangutans through education programs that we sponsor and co-sponsor. Our goal is to enroll and inspire local Indonesians to care about and take action in saving the wild orangutan and their natural habitat, the rain forests of Borneo and Sumatra. You can learn more about OURF by Googling "orangutanrepublik" on the web.

I am also passionate about Bali, durian, and diving. It is what keeps me coming back to this beautiful country. It was always in my dream to retire in Bali where I could be close to orangutans and exploring Indonesia’s magnificent archipelago with its abundant and diverse fauna and flora. To promote and in honor of Asia’s only great ape, the orangutan, we named our second home, Red Ape Retreat and made it available for others to rent. We provide a collection of books on orangutans at the villa where our guests can learn more about this majestic species. A portion of the rent will help support the education programs we sponsor and administer. Our goal is to provide our guests with the comfort of a "home away from home" while visiting Bali. We hope you will come as our guest, enjoy Bali living, learn about orangutans, and leave as one of our friends.

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