About Orangutan Appeal UK

Founded in 2000, Orangutan Appeal UK has grown rapidly from just a commitment to help, to have been awarded official charity status.

Orangutan Appeal UK works tirelessly to help the critically endangered orangutan. We are dedicated to providing a sustainable future for the species through rehabilitation and conservation of their rainforest habitat; and by raising awareness of the plight of this great ape across the world. The Appeal identifies specific needs and then adopts them as projects. Each project is funded and managed by the Appeal with goods, services and labour sourced locally wherever possible

Sue Sheward MBE the Appeal’s Chairwoman and Founder, became involved with the plight of the orangutans in Borneo while on holiday there. Having seen the work of the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre initially as a tourist, and then having shown great interest, she was allowed further access and more information about the project and returned to the UK with the conviction that she would do something to help.

Sue got straight to work on her return from Borneo raising money from raffles, jumble sales and a charity racing car track day. Sue tirelessly dug at the pockets of countless people, and thanks to their generosity, managed to raise enough money to fund her first project - a new nursery!

After delicate negotiations with the Malaysian Government, the project was approved, and, we are proud to be the first Non Government Organisation (NGO) to have been accepted by them.

With her first project well and truly under her belt, and interest in the Appeal growing fast, plans were started for the next “project” and the journey began.



Here are just some of our key achievements in Malaysian and Indonesian Borneo:

  • Funding of numerous enclosure constructions, refurbishments and new equipment
  • Construction of intensive care unit and sick bay
  • World’s first inside helicopter translocation
  • 9 utility vehicles donated to aid wildlife rescues and conservation
  • Sponsorship of specialist local staff
  • Employment of 8 local members of staff at Sepilok and provision of 2 experienced UK veterinarians
  • Sponsorship of a local veterinarian
  • 6 orangutan helicopter translocations
  • 20 orangutan translocations by road
  • Placement of a Liaison Officer at Sepilok for visitor education and raising awareness
  • Keeper exchange programme
  • Worldwide television coverage through documentaries and national press coverage
  • Pioneering Post Release Monitoring Project with 100% birth rate success in the Tabin Reserve
  • Pre-Release Project in the Kabili Reserve
  • Construction of a Research Camp in the Tabin Reserve
  • Collaboration with Wildlife Rescue Unit
  • Emergency funding for the Bornean elephants
  • Education and awareness events across the UK as well as local community outreach programmes

You can read further information about the work of the Appeal on our projects pages.