A true friend of the Orangutan

New Straits Times, Kota Kinabalu - Sue Sheward, who founded The Orangutan Appeal UK in 2001 to help fund the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah, never dreamt that one day she would be receiving an MBE from Queen Elizabeth II.

Sue Receiving Mbe 2

MBE is the third highest ranking award which is bestowed on a person who has made a positive impact in his or her line of work.

There were between 40 and 50 award recipients at Windsor Castle that day and they were taught the protocol for the ceremony.

The Queen spoke to Sue about her charity work during the ceremony.

You have been doing some really good work. I have been reading that you just moved some orangutans into the forest.

Sue was so surprised that she answered 'Yes, ma’am' instead of 'Your Highness' as protocol suggests. The Queen was speaking about an orangutan translocation which was made by helicopter. Recalling the release, Sue spoke about the moment these amazing animals made their move into the forest.

When we released the apes into the jungle, we were overcome with emotion as the primates turned and looked at us, as if to say ‘thank you’ to us.

Sue Orangutan 2

Sheward’s endless contributions and the state government’s commitment to have more forest reserves have helped boost conservation of the species.

The centre, which used to receive between 10 and 12 orphaned orangutan annually, received none last year.

We have done so much for the orangutan and we are happy to see positive changes taking place. We are also looking at elephant conservation that is affected by the human-elephant conflict, as well as the pangolins which are prey to wildlife traffickers.

Find the full article in the Malaysian Press here:

A true friend of the orangutan