Biruté Galdikas was twenty-five when she left for the heart of Borneo’s hot and humid rain forest. She had been chosen by the famous British anthropologist Louis Leaky, to study the Orang-outang living in their only natural environment in Indonesia. This discreet and solitary animal in 1971 was the most unknown of the monkey species. She was sent to collect research material never before acquired by the scientific world about the ‘man of the woods’ as referred to by the Indonesians.
Her battle proved difficult as she was constantly faced with illegal deforestation, poachers, government, economic interests of the copper mining industry and multiple infectious diseases. For 31 years she battled against the odds to save the species from becoming yet another statistic on the extinct animals list. The direct effects of deforestation and poachers alone had brought the species to a population of less than 20 000. She created a foundation, a sanctuary, a nursery and a clinic with one sole objective………… to one day release these ex-captives into a safe natural environment.
The confiscation of the Orang-outangs from the poachers, the release of the ex-captives, the nursery for the baby monkeys are all incredible scenes that illustrate the different stages of Biruté’s commitment and determination to win what would appear to be 'a lost battle’!