This post illustrates the important work of the Indonesian Government’s Agency for the Conservation of Natural Resources and the Orangutan Foundation but it highlights the chronic problem that Indonesia is facing: increasing numbers of wild orangutans that are being encountered and needing rescue as their habitat continues to be destroyed and fragmented.
One quick and simple way to support our work, that won’t cost you anything, is to vote for us in the Animal Friends Pet Insurance Facebook Challenge – if Orangutan Foundation gets the most votes we will win £5,000. We urgently need these funds to support our work in Indonesian Borneo.
Last month, after coordination with BKSDA SKW II we visited the village of Natai Raya, close to the Port of Kumai. We had heard there was an isolated female orangutan that was eating fruit from the villager’s backyards. Capturing and moving wild orangutans is always a last resort as it is risky for both the apes and humans and it is also very expensive. However, it was clear that in this case the orangutan needed to be removed from the village. There was a small swampy area with a few small trees but no fruit trees and on the other side of the swamp was an oil palm plantation.
The next day the rescue team made up from BKSDA SKW II staff and the Orangutan Foundation vet Dr Fikri, Uduk (Assistant Orangutan Release Manager) and Pak Tigor headed to the village to capture and trans-locate the orangutan. After 7 failed attempts to catch the orangutan she fled into the swamp and climbed a tree.
The team decided to leave the village and return a few days later with more Orangutan Foundation staff to help. Finally, after a co-ordinated effort by all, the orangutan was isolated in one tree and was darted and safely rescued.
DrFikri immediately performed the necessary health checks and the orangutan was taken to the BKSDA SKW II office in Pangkalan Bun.
The next day the orangutan was transported by klotok (longboat) to the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.
She was released at Camp Mangkung, a site established specifically for trans-located orangutans.
Orangutan Foundation staff followed the orangutan for 14 days to ensure she was fit and well ans that there were no problems arising because of the trans-location.
Thank you to BKSDA SKW II and to Colchester Zoo Action for the Wild for the support of our Veterinary Programme and for funding the blow pipes and darts.
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