Friday 13th is a day infamously associated with bad luck, but fortunately in our case, the day brought us good fortune! After two earlier rescue attempts, the Foundation staff were finally able to safely and successfully release another orangutan left stranded by habitat destruction into a protected release camp.
The remnant forest near Pangkalan Bun where teams found the stranded orangutan
Orangutan Foundation staff, alongside the BKSDA rescue team, responded to a report that an orangutan was destroying the oil-palm trees on a farmer’s plantation near Pangkalan Bun.
Foundation staff sharing our newsletters with the local people
Foundation staff quickly established that this plantation was within an area of now fragmented secondary peat swamp forest, the remnants of what would have been an orangutan’s preferred habitat. Such sites are proof that suitable orangutan habitats continue to shrink.
The orangutan’s handiwork on an oil-palm plant
The treetop nest where the rescue team found the orangutan
It took the effort of the whole team to get the large orangutan safely down from his nest.
Yet although Foundation staff were able to assess the site, it wasn’t until the third time our rescue teams were contacted on Friday 13th that they were able to track down the orangutan.
Once they had found him, our rescue team then had to work particularly hard to manoeuvre the moist peat and scrubland habitat, as well as to anaesthetise the orangutan. With a large, strong and cheek- padded male, this was no easy feat!
A full physical health examination showed that the wild orangutan was healthy and aged +- 25 years, making him a perfect candidate for immediate release into one of the Foundation’s release camp sites, all within 48 hours of capture.
Our Foundation vet giving a full health examination with the help of the staff
The large cheek-padded male awaiting his release
Once the anaesthetic had worn off, our team, alongside staff from Camp Siswoyo, opened the adult male’s cage doors and watched as he quickly assessed his new environment before disappearing into the tall tree-tops. The Foundation is excited to welcome a mature and healthy male into a protected reserve, and has decided to name him Raja! Good luck Raja!
OF staff releasing Raja into Camp Siswoyo
Raja quickly ascending into tree-tops to explore his new habitat