Incredible rain forest trek to highlight plight of orangutan

Wonderful: An inspiring visit convinced Carly Stairs to get more involved

Wonderful: An inspiring visit convinced Carly Stairs to get more involved

Wonderful: An inspiring visit convinced Carly Stairs to get more involved

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A trek 900km across Malaysian Borneo this summer will raise funds and awareness about the plight of the orangutan.

Carly Stairs, 34, who works at Sony in Weybridge, will start the challenge in Balikpapan on August 21 before finishing in Ketapang 24 days later.

Ms Stairs’ fascination with orangutans began as a child and in 2011 her dream to help save the mammals came true as she took a sabbatical from work to spend two months at a rehabilitation centre in Borneo.

It was there she learned the true extent of how their rainforest habitat is disappearing, which could mean the orangutan would become extinct in just 10 years.

Ms Stairs, who lives in Walton, said: “I returned home from Borneo knowing that I needed and wanted to do more to help. I couldn’t just walk away thinking I’d done all I can.”

Upon her return, Ms Stairs became an ambassador for the Orangutan Appeal UK and has since signed up for the 900km trek.

Ms Stairs said: “I can’t wait to go back and see orangutan in the wild again and visit new parts of Borneo that, as a tourist, I would probably not get to see.

“After the trek, I'm also going to go back to Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre so I’m really looking forward to seeing the orangutans that I helped to look after three years ago.

“I can’t deny I’m a bit anxious about sleeping in the jungle at night and not particularly looking forward to the leeches again. Luckily though, I don’t really have any insect, snake or spider phobias, but that may change.

“It will be emotionally, mentally and physically very tough but I’m ready for the challenge.”

To complete the trek, Ms Stairs needs to raise about £1,600 and will hold a charity dinner dance with an auction and raffle at Imber Court Sports Ground on July 19.

To buy tickets or make a donation, visit carlysborneochallenge.co.uk.

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