Gold Coast woman tells how she beat depression

A Gold Coast woman has revealed how an Orangutan helped her claw her way back from deep depression after she lost her precious daughter.

Kobe Steele’s only child was killed eight years ago, but a trip to Borneo through the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) changed her life.

She said she found herself in “complete shock, absolute shock and grieving and was stuck there I couldn’t get out”.


“I was an absolute basket case and through a friend I went to Borneo, not expecting anything except some peace and solace in the jungle and I went to the OFI care centre and I met the most beautiful little Orangutan” she said.

Ms Steele added that “he’s now a big grown up adult Orangutan and dear friend, but probably then he was only about three or four years old and our interaction changed my life, I spent time with him and he gave me back my happiness”.

She went on to say that the creatures are “so intuitive, they’re so gentle, they’re so full of love which is extraordinary because us humans have treated them so badly for so many years that they still trust and love us”.

After losing her precious daughter Kobe said the Orangutans are her children.

She also said because humans and Orangutans are so closely related we could quite possibly receive a blood transfusion from them and they from us.

Later she co-founded the Orangutan Foundation Australia and these days takes groups of people to Borneo twice a year, but she says the trips sell out in minutes.

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