M.O.M. – Missing Orangutan Mothers

This year's M.O.M. banner features lovely Rika and her adopted son, Aben. Little Aben was rescued and brought into the care of International Animal Rescue (IAR) in December of 2019. At that time, the IAR team was having success pairing orphans with older female orangutans at the center. (See the story of Monti and baby Anggun here) They felt Aben would benefit greatly from having an orangutan mother. In the Fall of 2020 the IAR team decided on Rika to be the adoptive mother for Aben. The two were put together and the bonding process was very promising. Aben and Rika were often seen hugging affectionately. Aben cried if separated from Rika, and Rika would be angry if Aben was taken from her. It seemed to be love at first sight! This newly formed mother/baby pair moved to a pre-release island on the grounds of the IAR orangutan center. With joy the team observed as Rika became an excellent mother to Aben. Rika will protect Aben and teach him important survival skills. The plan is for the two to be released back into the wild together.

Please make a donation in honor of orangutan mothers like Rika!

*All donations made from this page will be allocated to IAR to continue their ongoing orangutan conservation work in West Kalimantan, Borneo.


Or donate via Paypal below:

What is the M.O.M. Campaign?

Mother's Day is the perfect day to celebrate and pay tribute to orangutan mothers. The M.O.M. – Missing Orangutan Mothers Campaign is our way of doing precisely that! The M.O.M. Campaign is a positive way to bring attention to the crisis facing these beautiful red apes by encouraging people to help protect them.

Orangutan mothers and babies have an incredibly close relationship. Baby orangutans don't have a support network around to give them the many lessons of finding food, building nests and other survival skills. Their mothers teach them everything about survival in the forest before they set out on their own. Because of the growing demand for palm oil, though, more and more orangutan mothers are being killed every year on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.

The orangutans' rainforest home is literally being wiped out to make way for oil palm plantations— leaving hundreds of helpless orangutans with nowhere to go. Some of the lucky ones end up at rescue and rehabilitation centers and are cared for by a trained, professional staff. Orangutan Outreach works with professional organizations such as the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation, the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) and International Animal Rescue (IAR) to care for nearly 1,000 orphaned and displaced orangutans until they can be returned to the forest! That's a lot of missing orangutan mothers!

This Mother's Day, we are asking zoos, sanctuaries, animal facilities, groups and individuals all around the world to participate in our M.O.M. Campaign and hold their own virtual events to raise awareness of the increasing number of orphaned orangutans in need of support.

Join the M.O.M. Campaign!

We realize that in-person events still may not be possible this year, so we are asking everyone to participate virtually! If you'd like to join the campaign, please let us know. We will do our best to help you in every way possible.

We want to stress that this is not specifically a fundraising campaign. The goal is to raise awareness that orangutans have been pushed to the brink of extinction in the wild and that if we don't act now to save them, they will be extinct in less than a decade. HOWEVER, if you choose to include a fundraiser in order to make a donation or adopt an orphaned orangutan through Orangutan Outreach, we would, of course, be thrilled. (We are a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. EIN: 26-0521285)

Why not raise funds to adopt an orangutan for your own institution or group? This is a great way to follow the life of an orangutan & stay involved with the tireless work being carried out at the rescue centers! You can adopt an orangutan here.

Guidelines - If you have a M.O.M. event, we ask that you please mention Orangutan Outreach and encourage your visitors to go to our website to learn more about orangutans and what can be done to help them.

Ways to Participate

  1. Spread awareness
    • Create social media posts in the week prior to Mother's Day, and blanket social media with posts on the weekend of May 9th!
    • Hold a FaceBook Live event!
    • Feel free to download and post our MOM2021 Graphics
    • Include these hashtags: #MOM #MOM2021 #MissingOrangutanMothers
    • PLEASE direct people to redapes.org/mom to learn more or make a donation if they wish
  2. Fundraise
  3. Information to share in posts or fundraiser
    • Orangutans are solitary except for mothers with their offspring
    • The orangutan mother-child relationship is very special and important
    • Orangutan babies stay with their mother 8-10 years to learn all necessary survival skills
    • Orangutan mothers are killed so that babies can be taken to be sold as illegal pets
    • There are thousands of orphaned orangutans who have been rescued from the illegal pet trade
    • The centers caring for the orphaned orangutans need support!
    • Please mention Orangutan Outreach
    • Please direct people to redapes.org/mom for more information
    • Use hashtags: #MOM #MOM2021 #MissingOrangutanMothers

Share the MOM Campaign Banners on Social Media

Please feel free to download the MOM banner and add it to your social media pages. All we ask in return is that you link back to our M.O.M. campaign page in your posts so viewers can learn more about the campaign. If you would like the images in higher resolution or different sizes, please contact us.

Questions or Comments?

If you have any questions about the M.O.M. Campaign, please email our Outreach Coordinator Debbie Clemens.

Reach Out

Orangutan Outreach Facebook Page
Orangutan Outreach Facebook Group
Orangutan Outreach Social Media

Orangutan Action Packs (Free Downloadable Materials!)

Great for home schooling! We have photos, flyers, info sheets, posters, games, quizzes, pictures and adoption leaflets all at your disposal. The pictures alone will tell the whole story! Everything is yours to use as you see fit! All of these full color documents and banners are yours to download and use to help raise awareness of the crisis facing wild orangutans. We will be constantly updating this section, so keep checking back. Check out the ORANGUTAN ACTION PACKS

MOM Tattoos

These amazing drawings by our artist-in-residence Alina Bachmann are designed to be tattoos.
They can be temporary or permanent. Contact us if you'd like high resolution files.

M.O.M. Archive

Check out the M.O.M. archive to see all our previous banners and read about the faces of our M.O.M. campaign over the years...

Classic MOM Campaign Video: Baby Orangutan Bonanza!


Thank you to all our past participants!

MOM 2016 Logos