Yesterday was a pretty special day here at OuTrop HQ. The day began with a special guest visitor to camp, Russ Mittermeier. Russ, for those of you who haven’t heard of him, is the President of Conservation International.
He has worked and visited countless places and is regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on primates. In fact, he has discovered several new species himself – six species of primate and three of turtle. He is also something of a ‘primate twitcher’ – he likes to see new species of primate (something that I, as a birdwatcher, can relate to). He had never seen the Southern Bornean gibbon before and so took a very early morning trip out to our forest to watch Karate group of gibbons.
Russ has been called the Indiana Jones of conservation. So it was rather fitting that later that evening we met someone Russ is out here working with.
Most of our group were oddly struck by how soft Harrison Ford’s hands were when he shook hands with us. Although he was only able to stop to chat with us briefly he was very polite and charming.
He’s out here working on a new project focussed on deforestation and climate change. Ford has been recognised over the years for his dedication to conservation causes and the contributions he has made to them. It’s refreshing and invigorating to see someone putting the status and celebrity they have earned (as well as the money) to good use for a cause they are passionate about.
But you don’t need to be famous to do this. In a way there’s nothing special about Harrison Ford. His actions perhaps have more exposure, but his commitment to conservation is the same as mine, or Russ’s or that of anyone who works in the conservation sector or cares about wildlife.
So remember that you too can become part of the intrepid group of Indiana Joneses, taking action in many different ways to preserve the world’s special places and their wildlife. Why not begin by supporting OuTrop by donating to us, volunteering with us or simply telling your friends and family about our work?