Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' & 'Melbourne for Dogs' (with RSPCA). Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
Get your orange on, grab your pooch and get down to President's Park in Werribee on Sunday 1st March for the 2014 Orangutan Walk around the park. It's a fun day out for people and their furry orangutan-substitute dogs, aimed at raising money for the Orangutan project. These guys are all about supporting the conservation of orangutans in Borneo (Malaysia) and Sumatra (Indonesia), who are under threat of extinction thanks to the rapid logging on the rainforests there.
Even your pet can get involved in supporting the cause, by joining with you in the walk, or even by sponsoring a baby orangutan. There will also be facepainting, BBQs, stalls, local bands from 1:30pm onwards, and most importantly, a mobile dog wash to ensure your buddy is looking their best for the event.
The Orangutan Project is a very active group, with regular fundraising and education events all over Australia. You can get involved further by volunteering, or 'adopting' an orphaned orangutan. I was lucky enough to visit an Orangutan conservation sanctuary years ago in Sarawak, Borneo, and when you look into an orangutan's eyes, there is a real recognition there - no surprise as they share 97% of our DNA. As one of the world's precious few remaining great apes, this is a great cause for all animal lovers to get behind.