Some days are just better than others and April 14 was one of those days. I got an email from Colleen Reed, a primate keeper at the Oregon Zoo, asking for assistance spreading the word about Outpace Extinction: Race for the Redheads, a 5K, 10K, and Kids Fun Run to raise support and awareness for the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP). This family-friendly fundraiser takes place on May 15 at Blue Lake Park in Fairview, Oregon, just east of Portland.
I’m a huge animal lover and conservationist so I immediately jumped at the chance to help promote this important running event. During our call Colleen shared orangutans, one of the most intelligent of the great apes, are on the brink of extinction due to ongoing destruction of their habitat.
The Portland chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers and the Oregon Road Runners Club have joined forces to establish this inaugural race, but your help is needed to make it a success and raise awareness and support for orangutans.
It was an honor connecting with Colleen who has worked at the Oregon Zoo for the past three years and has been involved in several outreach programs to educate the public on issues facing wild orangutans and chimpanzees. When I asked her what she liked most about her job, she didn’t hesitate to respond, “I get to work with passionate people, as well as some of the most intelligent creatures on the planet!” And then she went on to share more about orangutans and the race.
What was the inspiration for Race for the Redheads?
My friend and co-worker Scott and I are primate keepers at the Oregon Zoo. We love the animals we work with and are passionate about helping them thrive in the wild. I wanted to combine my love for running with a fun, family-friendly event that would educate the public on palm oil and how it affects endangered orangutans throughout Indonesia and Malaysia. This is where Outpace Extinction: Race for the Redheads was born. [Continue Reading]