Though the flames that overwhelmed Kalimantan for months are now out, it seems the damage may have already been done. Since September, the Orangutan Foundation rescue team has rescued an orangutan from burnt and desolate forest on a weekly basis. Now, the fires may have come to an end but this rise in rescue activity has not.
Orangutans are elusive creatures, and provided they live in optimum habitat, are relatively difficult to spot (much to the grievance of orangutan researchers!). Yet this morning our teams rescued a young juvenile orangutan who could be seen at a distance, clambering the topmost point of an isolated tree just 500m from a main road. The proximity of this rescue to a public road is evidence of the devastation that wild orangutans will continue to face thanks to three months’ worth of wildfire.
As you can see in the images below, the habitat where this young orangutan was found has been very badly affected by the fires. Thankfully, the orangutan himself appeared to be in good health and will be released into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve right away!