Two of the leaders of a landmark orangutan rehabilitation program in Borneo will give a public lecture in Bryon Bay on October 12.
Two of the leaders of a landmark orangutan rehabilitation program in Borneo will give a public lecture in Bryon Bay on October 12. Contributed

Pottsville students stand together for sake of apes

POTTSVILLE Public School year 1 student Jamelia Barnes is an inspirational young lady who has motivated her fellow students, school staff, friends and family to support her efforts to save the big apes of Borneo, the orangutans.

Jamelia's mum Jen said when Jamelia saw a television program earlier this year about the apes and their disappearing habitat, her seven year old daughter wanted to do something to help.

"I thought it was one of these things kids get all excited about for a day or so and then forget about," Mrs Barnes said.

"But, Jamelia didn't give up on the subject and continued to talk about what could be done to save the orangutans.

Jamelia said "I saw all the orangutans' trees were cut down and asked mum how we can save them.

"The TV show showed how you could adopt a baby orangutan and I decided to adopt one."

Jamelia adopted Miko, an orphaned baby orangutan that had been sold as a pet after its parents were shot by poachers.

"I choose Miko because it was the youngest one," Jamelia said.

Jamelia wasn't satisfied with this achievement and continued with her quest to save the apes.

Today, her entire school was turned into a sea of red when all the students and staff dressed up in red t-shirts and donated a gold coin for the privilege.

Mrs Barnes said Jamelia had raised $600 all by herself so far and hoped to raise another $4000 to $5000 which she aimed to donate to a care centre in Borneo.

Jamelia intends to visit the care centre next year and plans are afoot to make a short documentary about her trip.

Mrs Barnes said she held high hopes the documentary would be shown on the kids cable TV channel Nickelodeon.

Jamelia said she was very excited about visiting Miko and once she was done with saving the great apes of Borneo she would direct her attention towards saving tigers.

"Once we've saved the orangutans, I will try and save white tigers because I love white tigers," Jamelia said.



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