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29 October 2014
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It's a jungle out there!

Eight UK kids brave the jungles of Borneo to save orang-utans with CBBC and BBC Talent

Eight kids from across the UK are the stars of Serious Jungle this Christmas on CBBC on BBC ONE.

A joint initiative with BBC Talent, the octet flew to the jungles of Borneo to undertake a project to save the life of endangered orang-utans in the area.

Working with Trekforce Expeditions, long-time organisers of tough rainforest conservation expeditions, the intrepid team of boys and girls, with ages ranging from 12 to 15, set off on their three-week adventure in August of this year.

The expedition was led by veteran Trekforce leader Bruce Parry together with a team of experts including two medics.

After an initial period of training and acclimatisation the team spent the main part of the expedition living and working at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Reserve in East Sabah, building an impressive feeding platform for use by the orang-utans at the centre.

The feeding platform, situated 20 feet up an enormous dipterocarp tree, was successfully completed, with the young volunteers having to learn carpentry at the same time as basic safety rope work.

This all at the same time as living in the forest, having to deal with surviving in primary rainforest and being filmed.

The expedition was supported by the Sepilok Orangutan Appeal, a UK charity which sponsored the release of an orang-utan into the wild while the expedition was running.

One of the young team members, Laura Baker, 15, from Hertfordshire, was able to accompany the animal by helicopter to its release point deep in the Tabin Reserve in East Sabah.

"This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these kids who were shortlisted and selected from over 500 initial interviews," comments Nigel Pickard, Controller, CBBC.

"Not only will their involvement in this project make a difference and give these incredible creatures a greater chance of survival but along the way they learnt some incredible skills and gained some invaluable experiences."

The expedition had the full backing of the Sabah Ministry of Wildlife and Forestry.

Serious Jungle starts on CBBC on BBC ONE on 23 December 2002.

The eight children were:
Laura Baker (14) from Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire
Hannah Davis (14) from Sidcup, Kent
Larry Downing (15) from Robertsbridge, East Sussex
Imogen Forbes (13) from London
Luke Gibson (14) from Basildon, Essex
Daniel Harrison (12) fro St Helens, Merseyside
JC Lee (14) from Nantwich, Cheshire
Susan Wokoma (14) from London



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