A Very Sick Orangutan

Two weeks ago we were all very shocked when Zidane (pronounced Gee – dan) was brought back from Camp Buluh in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve to the Orangutan Care Centre & Quarantine. Not only did he have rampant diarrhoea, was emaciated, running a fever but, more worryingly, he had 16 air rifle pellets under his skin. We have never seen this before and therefore we knew we had to act immediately and sort out what had happened in Lamandau. Zidane at OCCQ September 2008

Zidane Sept 08

A very sick Zidane at the OCCQ

A Forestry Police patrol went out for three days to interview all the rubber-tappers working along the river. Yesterday, the Lamandau Camps Manager, Tigor organised a community meeting to which he brought along district Government representatives, the police and a doctor from the Health Department. We want everyone who lives or works inside the Reserve to take worming medicines to prevent more infections. However, as this is the holy month of Ramadan, when people are fasting, yesterday’s meeting was a socialisation exercise. Once Ramadan is over we will have another meeting when the doctor will distribute the medicine.

14 days on and Zidane’s condition is stable. For the first few days we did not think he would pull through. He was given two blood transfusions, from another orangutan at the Care Centre, was on a constant drip to keep his fluids up, and as far as his body would take it, was given worming and anti-dysentery medication. But every day that he manages to hold on gives us slightly more hope.

Having the individual feeding tyres for the orangutans will help us distribute their medicines more easily and will stop orangutans congregating on a feeding platform, therefore reducing the chance of infection – thank you very much to everyone who has donated so far. Please do consider donating so that we can implement this new feeding system throughout Lamandau.

New Feeding 2

New Tyre Feeding System.

Camp Buluh

Camp Buluh

We will also build another Guard Post on the western side of the Reserve, which will prevent access to the headwaters of the Buluh River.

Although I can’t promise Zidane will pull through, I will give our word that we will do everything possible to find out what happened and to prevent another orangutan suffering in the same way.

Thank you,