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NMSU colloquium speaker to address orangutans in Indonesian rainforests

World-renowned primatologist and conservationist Birute Galdikas will speak at NMSU at 4 p.m. on Monday, March 30, in Hardman 106 as part of the Arts and Sciences Colloquium series.



World-renowned primatologist and conservationist Birute Galdikas will speak at NMSU on Monday, March 30, from 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. in Hardman 106, as part of the Arts and Sciences Colloquium series.

Her talk, "Pongo in Peril: Saving the Orangutans and Rain Forest of Indonesia," will highlight her four decades of field work in Borneo where she helped establish the Tanjung Putting National Park at Tanjung Putting and rehabilitated and returned to the wild many orphaned and injured orangutans.

Together with Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, Galdikas is one of three women who helped pioneer the study of ape behavior in the wild. She studied the Bornean Orangutans in 1971, and was sent to Indonesia by Louis Leaky who also sent Goodall to study chimps and Fossey to study gorillas. Leaky was the one of the first to study extinct members of the genus Homo sapiens. All three women are known as "Leakey's Angels."

The talk is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

"We want to get support for her foundation Orangutan Foundational International which is doing great work protecting the national park in Indonesia that Birute founded. The foundation is funding the rehabilitation center for orphaned orangutans that are later returned to the wild. It is a great honor to have her speak here in Las Cruces," said Brenda Benefit, NMSU professor of anthropology.

A book signing will follow the talk. Contact Benefit at (575) 646-5940 for further information.