Trip of a lifetime for Suffolk woman

ORANGUTANS have always been special to Sharon Blomfield – and so she jumped at the chance to spend time with them in Borneo.Mrs Blomfield, 42, of Bucklesham Road in Kirton, almost two weeks travelling to and visiting Tanjung Puting National Park, on the south coast of Borneo.

ORANGUTANS have always been special to Sharon Blomfield – and so she jumped at the chance to spend time with them in Borneo.

Mrs Blomfield, 42, of Bucklesham Road in Kirton, almost two weeks travelling to and visiting Tanjung Puting National Park, on the south coast of Borneo.

For her, it was a dream come true to see orangutans in the wild – and even today she is still missing the experience.

She said: "I have always had a thing about apes – and orangutans in particular. I just find them fascinating. They are just so docile and laid back.


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Mrs Blomfield decided to take part in the Red Ape Challenge for her 41st birthday.

This involved raising almost £3,000 and then spending seven days with orangutans in the forest.

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The challenge is organised by the Orangutan Foundation UK – which works to help study and conserve the species – together with Discovery Initiatives.

Mrs Blomfield said: "I started fundraising on my 40th birthday, when I asked for donations instead of presents. I also did a sponsored walk and did stalls at fetes and car boot sales.

"I raised £2,740 – at least half of that goes to the Orangutan Foundation."

"I saw conservation in action. I was part of a small team researching and following a wild orangutan and observing its lifestyle.

" We also visited the orangutan care facility, where they care for the sick, orphaned or rescued. They rehabilitate them into the wild.

"There was one sick orangutan that had been beaten up by a farmer after it had broken into rice fields looking for food."

Orangutans are an endangered species only found in Sumatra and Borneo – and there are probably no more than 15,000.

They are threatened as their sole habitat – the tropical rainforest – is depleted through gold, diamond and coal mining, illegal logging and the conversion of forests into palm oil plantations.

Mrs Blomfield, who returned this month, would like to thank those who helped her raise the money, including John Pearson of Otley College, Jewells of Martlesham Heath, Easton Farm Park, Crown Pools and Sainsbury.

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