HOW TO GET AHEAD: WORKING ABROAD ... SUMATRA - In this jungle idyll it helps if you have experience of working with wild primates

It’s not often that a casual conversation leads to finding yourself in the middle of a jungle surrounded by large, orange primates. But that’s more or less what happened to Kate Mackenzie, now advertisement manager of IPC Connect, when she fancied a change from the monkey business at The Express and went to Sumatra, Indonesia.

It’s not often that a casual conversation leads to finding yourself

in the middle of a jungle surrounded by large, orange primates. But

that’s more or less what happened to Kate Mackenzie, now advertisement

manager of IPC Connect, when she fancied a change from the monkey

business at The Express and went to Sumatra, Indonesia.



’I took 12 months off to go travelling around Asia, Australia and New

Zealand. Before I left, friends had told me about working with

orang-utans in Borneo.



I knew there was a similar sanctuary in Sumatra so I thought I might

check it out.



’When I got to the island, I met a guy in a bar who offered me a job at

the sanctuary rehabilitating orang-utans back into the wild. They were

babies from eight weeks to four months old.



’I would walk two miles into the forest carrying three of them on my

back and teach them how to climb trees and forage for food. The jungle

stretched for around 900 square kilometres with a river running through

it. It was just idyllic - a real break from civilisation.



’The orang-utans were almost like humans - very affectionate and very

loyal. Feeding time was a scream - a real chimps’ tea party. They would

trash everything and pour milk over their heads.



’I eventually left to go diving in Malaysia, but I certainly learned a

lot about orang-utans ... and climbing trees.’



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