Help Needed with Orangutan’s New Feeding Sites

Last week I asked for your help to buy a solar power set for Pondok Ambung, our research station, well I'd like to ask for it again. New feeding 6 -mother & infant

In May I wrote about how we had changed the feeding system at Camp Siswoyo in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve (Feeding Orangutans - A New Approach). Instead of using a feeding platform as is done at all the other release camps, at Siswoyo we have hung cut-up and inside-out car tyres from trees. The orangutans’ food is then dropped into these heavy-duty “buckets”; the one tyre per orangutan system reduces competition, allows us to give an extra large portion to hungry or pregnant orangutans, or those with infants and the tyres eliminate the risk of disease transfer from the orangutans walking across a dirty feeding platform.

New feeding 1

In May, I said the system was not 100% perfect. We have tried tweaking it: some of the tyres have been lowered so the field assistants can get the food out quicker; and the tyres are now in more of a circular arrangement, rather than in a line, so the orangutans do not all congregate at the start. This week Tigor, the Lamandau Camps Manager and I reviewed the system. Our conclusion was that we should do it in the other five camps!

And that is why I am asking for your help.

We need an extra 80 tyres; for efficiency we will buy an angle grinder so we can cut up the tyres ourselves and a bore to make the drainage holes; we need steel cable to attach the tyres to the trees and step ladders. The total cost will be just over $500 (5 million Indonesian rupiah)

Thank you Mary H. for your donation of $15 on September 1st and Brigitta for your donation $20 on the 5th September- we really appreciate your support.

On a final note, I would encourage all of you to do as Sheryl suggested and sign the petition to end the use of great apes by the entertainment industry. In addition to the obvious welfare issues surrounding performing animals, I read recently “A survey conducted of visitors to Great Ape Trust and cited in Science magazine (March 14, 2008) showed that the appearance of apes in advertising and entertainment negatively influenced the general public’s perception of the conservation status of apes in the wild.”I hope you can help.

As always, I will update you as we progress and thank you in advance.