Local Communities

Orangutan Foundation celebrating International Orangutan Day in Central Kalimantan

International Orangutan Day (19th August) aims to increase global awareness about orangutans and their tropical forest habitat. This weekend, Orangutan Foundation, in Central Kalimantan, orangutan capital of the world, have a festival of activities arranged for hundreds of people. Members of the youth groups, Kalteng Indonesian Conservation Cadre Communication Forum (FK3I) and the Student Nature Lovers, throughout Kowaringin Barat Regency will join in. We’ll be celebrating orangutans and conservation with overnight camping and art activities. Five local kindergartens are taking part in a colouring contest. We’ve also organised a car-free day in the town of Pangkalan Bun to highlight this global day celebrating orangutans. Ensuring awareness is achieved here, means that a real difference can be made.

The overall aim is to increase community awareness about the environment and the presence of wild orangutans in the surrounding forests. Leaflets will be distributed informing people how to avoid human-orangutan conflicts.

This action is needed more now, than ever before.

Watch this space for news and images of how the festivities went.

Protecting orangutan habitat

We only send out appeals when there is a real need for help – and right now, we urgently need funds to strengthen the protection of the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, habitat of the critically endangered orangutan.  In January and February, our forest patrol staff detected and tackled fires, deliberately lit to clear land, next to the reserve. They prevented the fires from spreading and saved thousands of acres of peat swamp forest from going up in smoke. In March, we met with the provincial government to push for those responsible for starting the fires, to be held to account.

The Lamandau Wildlife Reserve totals 158,144 acres of tropical forest. The Foundation's staff put themselves at risk as they battled to protect the forests, home to a population of 500 orangutans. Half of these were reintroduced or translocated by the Orangutan Foundation and given a second chance of survival in the wild. We must make sure they are safe. 

It costs a quarter of a million pounds a year to protect the reserve and the wildlife. A significant commitment for a small charity, but a relatively small amount considering the invaluable riches and services the forests contain and provide.

The Orangutan Foundation runs and staffs eight guard posts in and around Lamandau to deter and prevent access to the forests. Our staff, all committed local Indonesian conservationists, patrol on foot or by boat. We use conservation drones and GIS to map and document illegal activities.

The map below shows the guard posts (red triangle on blue).

In 2017, we stopped illegal mining inside the reserve and since the beginning of 2018, our forest patrols have detected and stopped two cases of illegal logging.

Yet, despite years of investment in successful community awareness, there remain a small few who want to exploit the forest for their own interests.  As pressure for land increases our fight to protect standing forest, to stop it being logged or converted to oil palm, will only become more difficult. Protecting Lamandau is an ongoing commitment: we cannot temporarily close a guard post due to insufficient funds, in the hope that we might start up again next year. If we stop protecting the reserve, we know that we will lose it: the forest and its precious wildlife could be gone in an instant.

Bangkal is one of the orangutans at risk. Originally released into the neighbouring Tanjung Puting National Park, Bangkal was severely injured in 2000 when illegal loggers attacked him with boiling-hot oil. Following a long period of recovery, he was released into Lamandau, at Camp Gemini, one of our five release camps in the reserve. Bangkal, now strong, healthy and independent, has since become the dominant male.Aan, an adult female, was shot and permanently blinded in an oil-palm plantation. Foundation staff moved Aan to the Lamandau Reserve, where she now lives with round-the-clock monitoring by our staff and vet.

We also care for ten orphaned infant orangutans at our release camps - plus many dozens of reintroduced and translocated adults that are thriving in the wild under our protection. We owe it to these orangutans to keep their forest home safe.

Please DONATE SECURELY THROUGH OUR WEBSITE, by calling 020 7724 2912, or by sending a cheque payable to ‘Orangutan Foundation’ to Orangutan Foundation, 7 Kent Terrace, London, NW1 4RP. If you are unable to donate immediately but want to make funding pledge, whether through fundraising or a delayed donation, please contact us to discuss options – we will work with you however we can.

Sponsor the protection of Lamandau Wildlife Reserve

  • £15 protects 10 acres of forest for one year
  • £37.50 protects 25 acres of forest for one year
  • £75 protects 50 acres of forest for one year
  • £150 protects 100 acres of forest for one year

We must act today to secure the future for orangutans, forests and people.

With sincere thanks,

Ashley Leiman OBE Founder & Director/Trustee

The future of conservation is in our hands

The survival of the critically endangered orangutan and its forest habitat lies in the hands of Indonesia's youth. Their opinions, decisions and actions will determine its future existence in the wild. This is why awareness and capacity building is vital to the long-term conservation of this threatened great ape.

This month the Orangutan Foundation, and other local organisations, delivered a series of lessons to senior school, SMAN 3 Pangkalan Bun (Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo). Our Research Manager, Arie, talked about the importance of research and our work at Pondok Ambung Research Station in Tanjung Puting National Park. The Orangutan Foundation's Forest Patrols Manager, Jakir, led an inspiring session about photojournalism.

Why is Pondok Ambung Research Station important? 

Every few months our staff move camera traps to a different location within the research study site. Just some of the wildlife documented so far includes clouded leopards, sun bears, muntjac, crested fireback (forest pheasant), mouse deer, tree mouse, frogs and pig tailed macaques.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They also monitor tree phenology, recording which species of tree are in flower or fruiting and which consumer species are feeding from them and how often.

Our research station was renovated by last year’s volunteer team and is now much better equipped to hosted  visitors. In January, 65 students visited. The students participated in wildlife observations, learnt field skills, watched and discussed a wildlife trade documentary and planted 500 tree seedlings, at Pondok Ambung’s forest restoration site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The success of the event was due to the collaborative efforts of Orangutan Foundation staff and other organisations including; Bagas the Traffic / IUCN Redlist Ambassador for Kalimantan; Fajar from OFI, the FNPF, BTNTP and FK3I. The event was supported by the National Park’s tour operators and guides who provided a free klotok (longboat) as did FNPF.

Please donate to support our work - it is needed to secure a future for oranguans, forests and people. DONATE HERE

Vet's first orangutan rescue

The Orangutan Foundation is delighted to welcome Dimas Yuzrifar as its new vet, replacing Dr Steven, who has now returned to Bali. Being "thrown in at the deep end" is certainly how the first week has been for Dr Dimas!  Last weekend we received reports of a wild orangutan in village forest. This was passed onto the government agency for wildlife, BKSDA SKW II Pangkalan Bun.

The orangutan was found close to oil palm, banana and rubber plantations owned by local residents. The villagers feared the orangutan would damage their crops and so BKSDA decided, in this case, to capture and move (translocate) the orangutan, to avoid any conflict arising. Dr Dimas managed to anesthetize the orangutan. After being caught the orangutan was identified as female with an estimated weight of around 25 kg.  The next day after checking the orangutan was well and active she was released into the safety of the protected Lamandau Willdife Reserve.

Watch this clip to see how quickly the orangutan leaves the transport cage and disappears into the forest.

After the busy weekend with the translocation, Dr Dimas also spent time meeting and checking up on the young orangutans in our release camps.  Here's a clip of young Satria playing in his night-time enclosure.

Wonder what the next week will have in store?

Thank you for supporting our work.

Donate to help us keep the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve and its precious orangutans and wildlife protected. Click here to donate - thank you. 

 

An interview with Jakir - Patrol Manager, Orangutan Foundation

To finish off Orangutan Awareness Week, our final blog post is about Jakir, who oversees the protection of the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve and its precious inhabitants. He has been in this role for 10 years. Jakir is also a talented photographer and many of his images have been included in our new photobook, The Orangutan's World. Our committed Indonesian staff are the bedrock of all we do. Please donate to support our vital work, keeping forests standing and orangutans in the wild.

Jakir, Patrol Manager Orangutan Foundation

Jakir - Patrol Manager, Orangutan Foundation

My role as Patrol Manager is to supervise the 12 staff who occupy our eight guard posts, ensuring that they are well maintained and operated, so that the wildlife reserves are protected from illegal activities, such as logging, mining, hunting and fishing.

It’s a very important role and I most of all I love the interaction with the local community in the field. Sometimes ignorance is the reason for illegal activities, and we tell people what we are doing so they also understand why we are protecting the forest.

But the biggest challenge is facing people who deliberately do illegal activities. We have faced threats and bribes, but some people who were previously involved in illegal forestry now give us information on illegal activities they encounter.

It’s very special to see some of the animals that we have saved roaming free in the forest in Lamandau.

Changeable hawk eagle released into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. Image© Orangutan Foundation.

When I first met Ashley, the Director of the Orangutan Foundation, I didn’t understand why she talked so much about protecting the forest and sacrificed so much of her own time for this. But a long time afterwards I saw some villages submerged by flooding and I realised why protecting the forest is so important.

Jakir - Patrol Manager, with Ashley Leiman OBE - Director, Orangutan Foundation

My hope is that the forest will always be alive and awake, so that my grandchildren can see and feel the coolness of this forest.

Written by Anna Levin, this interview was featured in our latest member's newsletter, Red Ape, Autumn 2017.

By donating £16.50 a month you can become a Guardian of the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve and support the protection of over 150,000 acres of tropical forest habitat. Click here to find out more.

 

Freedom in the wild

If you want something done, ask a busy person. This expression is especially true for Orangutan Foundation Director, Ashley Leiman OBE, who has just returned from a field visit to our programmes in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. One of the highlights was a tree planting ceremony to celebrate the planting out of over 22,000 seedlings in degraded forest habitat in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. The most memorable day though involved the return to the wild of seven different species. Captured from the wild and kept as pets, these animals had been confiscated by the Wildlife Department of Central Kalimantan (BKSDA Kalteng). The day was also a chance for Ashley to meet Bapak Adib Gunawan, the new Head of Wildlife for Central Kalimantan, who was overseeing the releases.

Staff from two of the guard posts in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve with Ashley Leiman OBE, Director of the Orangutan Foundation and Bapak Adib Gunawan, Head of BKSDA Kalteng. Image© Orangutan Foundation.

The animals due for release included two changeable hawk eagles, a hornbill, a pangolin, a slow loris, two reticulated pythons, a sun bear and a young orangutan.

OF Director Ashley Leiman OBE with Pak Adib, Head of Wildlife, about to release a Changeable Hawk Eagle

The orangutan, a handsome young male of around one-and-a-half years old, had been kept as a pet in a nearby town. He was named Adib, after the new Head of Wildlife, and has joined our Soft-Release Programme at Camp JL, in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, where he’ll learn the skills to survive in the forests.

Adib the orangutan, named after the new Head of Wildlife

Adib the orangutan, a handsome male of around 2 years old.

Paddington the sun bear helping himself to a light refreshment. Credit Ian Wood

A playful sun bear, named Paddington (also a pet), was taken to Camp Siswoyo, where Orangutan Foundation staff will care for him until he is old enough to live independently. The slow loris, being a nocturnal primate, was released after nightfall.

The hornbill has a nibble pre-release. Image ©Ian Wood.

The changeable hawk eagles and hornbill were released from a guard post in the reserve, and Ashley opened the slide door to the crate of the pythons.

Changeable Hawk Eagle, post release. Image ©Ian Wood.

Close up of a Changeable Hawk Eagle. Image© Ian Wood.

One of the animals released was a large reticulated python. Image© Orangutan Foundation.

Over 3 meters in length, Ashley questioned why anyone would want to keep the snakes as a pet! We’ll post a separate blog on the pangolin, so watch this space.

Python released into the wild. Image ©Ian Wood.

Ashley pointed out that our work for these animals has only just begun. Through our habitat protection work we must ensure that the forests stay standing, so the wildlife stays in the wild.

OF Director Ashley Leiman OBE with Pak Adib, Head of Wildlife, Central Kalimantan. Image© Ian Wood.

Please support our work, donate now.

Thank you.

VIDEO - Orangutan Foundation's Rescue and Release of a Male Orangutan

We have received this footage from our field staff, of the rescue and release of an adult male orangutan, victim of habitat loss, found stranded in a narrow strip of forest between a village and oil-palm plantation.

Fantastic teamwork by everyone involved meant that this rescue was carried out safely, and the male orangutan was able to be released in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve just two days later, in an area of protected forest habitat.

Help us to protect this forest reserve and ensure a future for orangutans, forests and people. Click here for more information.

Thank you.

Community Outreach in Tanjung Puting National Park

On the 22nd May, Orangutan Foundation field staff teamed up with Orangutan Green Teams and conservation cadets FK31 to run awareness activities with Sekonyer Village, within Tanjung Puting National Park. The primary aim of the activities was to educate and support the villagers activities to help protect the critically endangered orangutan and its threatened forest habitat. Community outreach is a cornerstone of the Orangutan Foundation’s work in Indonesian Borneo.

A variety of activities ensued, which included painting the village library and distributing books, as well as games for the children. The aim was to encourage members of the village to support ecotourism in the area as an alternative to habitat destruction.

As OF Research Manager Arie reports “We need more…to keep these activities running…support the people of Sekonyer Village! We stand together…”

It is vital we reach out to local communities around areas of protected tropical forest habitat in order to ensure a future for orangutans, forests and people.

Please donate today to support the Orangutan Foundation’s community work in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.

Orangutan, Bumi, Rescued With Bullet Wounds

On 19th June 2017, BKSDA informed our field staff that they had just confiscated an orangutan from people who had been keeping it as a pet in a nearby village. This orangutan was entrusted into the care of the Orangutan Foundation.

The male orangutan was named Bumi (which means Earth in English) and was estimated to be about 3 and a half years old.

Our vet checked Bumi’s health and overall condition, which proved quite difficult as he wouldn’t stay still! He was anesthetized as it was vital that he was looked over thoroughly for any injuries or illness.

During the assessment, bullets were discovered in Bumi’s body. We are uncertain of the origin of the bullets, but it is likely a result of people attempting to shoot the mother to obtain the infant.

This, tragically, is how most orangutans enter our Soft-Release Programme.

In total, 7 bullets were removed from Bumi’s body. Bumi was given health supplements, and once he’d recovered from the operation, he was ready to join our Soft-Release Programme.

Bumi was taken to Camp Rasak in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Indonesian Borneo. Here he will be cared for alongside Endut, an orangutan of a similar age also rescued from being kept as a pet last March.

Staff report that since settling in Bumi appears to have a good appetite and has already displayed nest-making skills.

Watch this clip to see Bumi showing off his skills:

Please DONATE today to support the progress of Bumi and the other orangutans currently in our Soft-Release Programme.

 

Momong - Sun Bear Rescue

On Thursday, 26 January 2017, Orangutan Foundation field staff responded to a call about a sun bear being kept as a pet in a local town. Upon arrival, field staff met with the owner of the sun bear, which had been named Momong, to carry out the rescue. Momong turned out to be a young female sun bear of around 2 years old. Momong had been kept as a pet for just under a year, but despite being deprived of natural sources of food, the Foundation’s vet determined that she was in reasonably healthy condition.

Momong was taken to Camp JL in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Indonesian Borneo - where after careful monitoring and assessment to check she was ready, she was released. As proven with previous translocations, sun bears can wreak havoc around camp, and Momong was no different! The following week after release Momong kept trying to return to Camp JL, damaging camp facilities in the process.

The decision was made to recapture Momong and to release her 1km away from camp to prevent her returning, and encourage Momong to integrate back into the forest where she belongs.

Field staff are pleased to report the second release has been successful.

Watch footage of Momong’s release:

You can support our Animal Rescue and Release Programme here.

Thank you.

Orangutan Foundation

 

The Story of Rawit

Rawit was found bound tightly to a tree. Once again we are seeing what happens to orangutans when they are stranded in pockets of forest with oil-palm on one side and villages on the other. On 18th October, a female orangutan of around 5 years of age was rescued in Central Kalimantan. This is the story of Rawit, as sent by our vet just a few days ago.

BKSDA (Indonesian Nature Conservation Agency) staff received news from local police that villagers had a young orangutan in their possession that they wished to surrender.

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When the team arrived to confiscate Rawit, it was noticed immediately that her limbs were very swollen, especially her left wrist, as a result of being tied up.

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Shortly after the rescue, Rawit was placed in the Foundation’s care. After a couple of days of being cared for by our staff, the swelling was significantly reduced and Rawit was able to grasp the side of her cage which she couldn’t before.

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Rawit has now joined our soft-release programme within the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve where staff will continue to monitor and support her progress until she is considered ready for release.

To help us provide Rawit and other orangutans on our soft-release programme with the very best care, please consider adopting an orangutan. All proceeds go directly towards supporting the Foundation’s soft-release programme.

Orangutans Are Not Pets

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At the Orangutan Foundation, we experience first-hand the consequences of people keeping orangutans as pets through many of our rescues. Keeping an orangutan as a pet has been illegal since 1931 under Indonesian and international law. Orangutans are also protected by international trading laws (CITES), where they are listed as Appendix I, prohibiting all unlicensed trade. In Central Kalimantan we are often finding cases where infants are simply being kept as pets after being found near community land with no mother. We don't see evidence of illegal pet trade in Central Kalimantan, however, as habitat destruction increases, orangutans are more commonly being found in and around villages and towns.

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Orangutan infants are entirely dependent on their mother until 5 years of age, and most commonly stay with them until they are around 8 or 9 years old. This time together is crucial for the mother to teach them where in the forest to find food and shelter. It is important to learn where the fruiting trees are, as well as the best time of year to find them! If an orangutan isn't given the opportunity to learn these skills, their chances of survival in the forest are slim without the help of our soft-release programme, where they have a chance to practice skills such as climbing and nest building before being released in the wild.

2 People keeping orangutans as pets generally do not feed them the right kinds of food, and because of this many orangutans we rescue are severely malnourished. This can lead to serious health problems. Mental health can also be a problem. Primates in particular can suffer emotional and psychological trauma just as we do. For example, many orangutans rescued as pets are said to show signs of depression through lack of appetite. They need the opportunity to learn from their mother, to explore their environment and develop naturally in order to live a fulfilling life.

Of course, it is also important to note that as primates are wild animals (not domesticated, like a dog or a cat), this makes their actions unpredictable. Orangutans are very strong, and have to be, or else they would not be able to move around with such ease high up in the canopy. They can inflict serious damage, and are known to bite to defend themselves.

At the Orangutan Foundation, we believe it is wrong for people to keep orangutans as pets, and hope to future eliminate this issue through improved education and awareness. In Central Kalimantan it is becoming a more and more noticeable problem, which we believe may be related to habitat loss as a result of forest fires. This will continue to be a problem in future unless action is taken. We hope that through publicising our rescues and working closely with local communities, people will better understand the plight of orangutans, and learn that they are best left in the forest.

Show your support!  #PrimatesAreNotPets #PrimatesNotPlaymates

 

 

I Love Pangkalan Bun without Smoke

(Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia) i love PKB

Due to the globally dramatic effects of El Niño, Indonesia is having a longer dry season than usual. Some areas are beginning to run dangerously low in water supply. Indonesia faces the very serious threat of rice crop failure. Fire is now a daily threat. With forest fires and open land fires becoming difficult to extinguish in peat land areas like orangutan habitat, they are easily spread to neighbouring areas. This is a problem so frequently faced by the majority of Central Kalimantan, but sadly it has now become a worry for the Foundation’s protected region, the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. If orangutans aren’t safe in protected forest, where can they be?

fire damage aug 2015

To prevent the spread of forest fires, we need the cooperation of local people. For this reason, the Orangutan Foundation, in cooperation with the BKSDA (Agency of Natural Resources Conservation) and Yayorin (Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia), have campaigned to raise awareness throughout the local town of Pangkalan Bun this month. Noting that August 9th was the town’s ‘Car Free Day’, Foundation staff toured the town with signage reading ‘Stop Forest Fires’ while orangutan mascots handed out brochures to the local people. Car Free Day is a weekly event in Pangkalan Bun, supporting the reduction of pollution and smoke in the local communities. With Indonesian communities making environmentally conscious steps like these, we are confident that we can harness their support to keep orangutan habitats safe.

car free day car free day 2

Capitalising on the extra foot traffic, and thanks to the hard work of Foundation staff, this campaign attracted a lot of attention, with people of the younger generation proudly taking photographs with our orangutan mascots and campaign posters which read ‘I Love Pangkalan Bun without Smoke’.

car free day 3

A huge thank you to everyone involved!

Protection begins with education

This Tuesday a wild orangutan was found dead in an oil-palm plantation. The Foundation vet, Dr Wawan, performed the necropsy, from which it was clear that the orangutan had been lying dead on the ground for three days before plantation staff found her. The review also showed that she had died from two severe puncture wounds. As a result, this case is now under investigation by our partners at the BKSDA. Even with all the work we do to towards education and human-orangutan conflict mitigation, there continue to be cases like these. The plantation where the orangutan was found is located within the Lamandau district where the Foundation does the bulk of its orangutan reintroduction work. In such close proximity to an area that we strive to protect and make safe for the orangutans we release, it is always alarming to find such animosity.

penemuan orangutan IMG_7354Our work to raise awareness and to educate local communities about endangered orangutans is more important than ever.

Help us to protect wild orangutans from fates such as these.

 

Friday the 13th brings good luck for our rescue teams!

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. oil palm plantation with arrow

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.

staff raja rescue

 

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.

 

siswoyo rescue palm oil

raja nest

raja anaesthetised

 

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.

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raja cage

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!

raja release

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"Us and not us" by Ashley Leiman - Director of the Orangutan Foundation

Ashley Leiman OBE, director of the Orangutan Foundation, explores the complex relationship between man and our closest relatives – the great apes

Please see here : The Biologist Vol 61(2) p12-16 , for the full article.

" The great apes are often perceived differently to other animals. In many cases, it's the simple physical resemblance – we look alike – that's enough to affect how people think and feel about them. No other group of animal has the same attributes that strike a chord with people: hands with nails, eyes that mirror our own, and rich social and emotional lives. Despite this, the 21st century may see the extinction of one of mankind's closest living relatives...

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[ ]...But there are two sides to our perception of apes. While one side emphasises the similarities, the other side emphasises the differences, how the apes are almost but not quite human. This duality occurs across the world, but is perhaps strongest in the west.

Joson, 4 year0ld  rescued orangutan

 

 

 

[ ]...No one is deliberately trying to wipe out the great apes. The present situation shows little more than a lack of care, both nationally and internationally. This is the point where western and indigenous attitudes to the great apes intersect. The fate of the apes rests finally with the inhabitants of ape-habitat countries, be they individuals, communities or governments. However, the west or developed world has a duty of care, for it's the western world order (and its demand for products and raw materials from ape habitats) that has given rise to so many of the problems the apes face.

Bornean orangutan by Ian Wood

"As long as they [apes] are able to roam the earth, hooting, leaping, munching, breaking branches, beating their chests, or simply sitting gazing quietly into the sunset, they will act as a perpetual and vital reminder that we are, after all, little more than brainy, naked apes." (Morris & Morris, 1966). "

 

Please consider donating to the Foundation here... You can contact us - Ashley and the team - on info@orangutan.org.uk

And still more orangutans to be rescued....

Picture9 The Foundation is always asked 'How is the situation - facing the orangutans?'. We answer 'The Foundation is making progress', in one way by working closely with villagers and oil palm companies to mitigate human-wildlife conflict'. This strategy is working, as the Foundation is called upon to rescue stranded orangutans, rather than the individuals being harmed. Within one week in April, the Field staff were called upon to translocate four orangutans that had entered villager's farm land. One orangutan was found in a chicken farm and had eaten bananas and coconuts from the orchard on her way! These situations must be extremely frustrating for the farmers and yet rather than injure the marauding orangutan, the local people now know that there is an alternative, and that is to call upon the Rescue Team (OF and BKSDA).

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That same week, a female orangutan with two offspring was found in a farm of maize and bean crops. Again the land owner did the right thing by requesting that the orangutan be translocated. All these orangutans were given comprehensive health checks (see above), and when found to be healthy were re-introduced into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. Without protected areas such as Lamandau, the fate of these orangutans would be unknown. The reserve is a haven not only for orangutans. Recently a gibbon and a salt water crocodile were released (in fact in that very same week!). It is worrying that the loss of habitat is not decreasing, but through the Foundation's work on the ground and your support, we are able to give wildlife a protected future. Have a friend or an offspring of your own to read this story? Please do share on facebook(click here) or twitter(click here). Helping these individuals to be protected, you can read more and donate easily, supporting the Foundation. Thank you for reading!

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The captive but safe orangutan; a rescue and immediate release

On September the 24th, the Orangutan Foundation staff experience yet another new situation calling for the orangutan to be rescued. Through donations from World Orangutan Day, the Orangutan Foundation (one of six charities receiving funds from the day) is now able to carry out more rescues with this contribution. The story that unfolded shows that despite urban and agricultural development, there is still local compassion for this species.

One day in mid 2013, the residents of Sukamara were burning land in the area. Burning like this is used to clear land for agriculture and is incredibly common in Indonesia. Whilst burning though some vegetation, they heard noises and saw movement. They had found a wild young female orangutan. She was weak from inhaling smoke from the burning land and the residents could not see her mother anywhere. People who came from a local farm, owned by a Mr. Suriansyah, decided to take the orangutan to the owner’s house, away from the danger of this land conversion.

The orangutan was tied to the mango tree at Mr. Suriansyah’s house and allowed to get comfortable. Feeding her bananas and papaya – healthy enough, but not what she would receive in a wild diet – he reported that he had an orangutan in the police. He knew these mammals were protected and hoped the animal would be collected by groups with authority and ability to give her the best next stage in life.

After two months, Mr. Suriansyah was still feeding the female her fruit, and whilst she was safe in her tree, she was not free. All wild species deserve to live in their natural habitat. Since the police had not responded, he finally reported to the Forestry and plantation department. That’s when the Indonesian Government’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency of Central Kalimantan (BKSDA) and the Orangutan Foundation were called to help.

So on the 24th – a Tuesday - the female orangutan, named Adela, was released from her chain and taken in safety to facilities to check her health and age with the vets of each team. Adela is now about 5 years old and was very healthy after her two months on bananas and papaya, especially considering her restricted movement. She was immediately released at the reserve protected by the Orangutan Foundation.

With each donation, more forest is protected and more orangutans able to live the natural life they - and all species – deserve. Thank you to everyone who donated on World Orangutan Day and to you for reading this. Please find out more here and follow for daily forest news here.

Here is Adela in her previous mango-tree-home...

 

 

What is Kampung Konservasi and why did we fund them?


Education continues to be highly important to Orangutan Foundation which is why we are exceptionally proud to be supporting an innovative project that appeals to both children and adults on the outskirts of Pangkalan Bun. Here, Yayorin (our long term Indonesian partners) have established their Conservation Village or Kampung Konservasi, a large, dynamic environmental education complex. There is a covered outdoor learning centre (made from coconut trees), alternative agricultural demonstration plots, fish ponds, a nursery, medicinal plant garden, a small children’s camping ground and composting facility.

The fantastic news is that having funded Kampung Konservasi from it's inception in 2006, through to 2012, the project is now sustainable. Funding the Foundation receives can go on to develop Yayorin's work based outside of Kampung Konservasi. This sustainability shows how much the local communities needed and now highly value Yoyorin's resources and outreach.

Yayorin run three integrated programmes based around Kampung Konservasi: Conservation Education, Alternative Agriculture and Sustainable Fish Farming. The Conservation Education Programme incorporates the library, puppet shows, theatre, field trips, school partnerships and extra curricular activities. There have been many visits from local schools where they grasp concepts such as rubbish recycling and they are encouraged to decorate the theatre with “hope leaves” with well wishes to the surrounding environment.

The Alternative Agriculture programme has introduced concepts such as basic agriculture using the demonstration plots reflecting Yayorin’s commitment to finding alternatives to current traditional farming methods which are still essentially based around slash and burn agriculture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small-scale vegetable production (their tomatoes have proved incredibly popular!) and full-scale sustainable agriculture have been developed. There is also an Aquaponic Demonstration Plot introduced following a visit to a Sumatran NGO project. Two fishponds pump nutrient-rich fish water from the fishponds into an organic plant bed where plants/vegetables extract the nutrients from the water. Then the water, cleared from excessive nutrients and freshly oxygenated, drains back into the fishpond. Some claimed fish could not be farmed in acidic peat-swamp water, however, these fish are growing fast. As Kampung Konservasi’s manager, Sally Tirtadihardja, says, “One of our biggest successes has been proving people wrong!”

Funded by various groups, Kampung Konservasi support the implementation of educational activities and facilitate the provision of learning activities and the environment and sustainable agriculture. In the period from January to May 2012, Kampung Konservasi created strategies to optimize the learning environment as an arena so that more people receive the benefits of this project. Relationships with local universities in  Pangkalan Bun, a forum and invite students from schools assisted or not to discuss and address many areas of conservation, to enable more regular classes with a fresh approach to learning methods, as a speaker at one of the agencies local government, as in activities of the cadre West Kotawaringin Environment Body and Adiwiyata School (School-based environment) held West Kotawaringin Environment Body.

We can't wait to hear what Yayorin get up to next at Kampung Konservasi !

 

Orangutan rescued

Our vet, Dr Wawan, has written this post about the rescue of a female Bornean orangutan, who had been seen in a village rubber plantation and a nearby oil palm plantation. "We had received information from Bapak Haji Arun and villagers that orangutans have often being seen in Arun’s rubber plantation, eating rubber seeds and bark and also in forest near PT GAP oil plam plantation area.

Our rescue team comprised; PT GAP Oil Palm Plantation (Darman, Erik etc); BKSDA SKW II Kalteng (Muda, As Blek) - Agency for Conservation of Natural Resources; and Orangutan Foundation (Wawan, Tigor, Sariamat, Uduk, Udin).

We arrived on location at 27 june 4.30pm. Based on Pak Erik (PT GAP) information, this place was often passed by orangutans. Sometimes they in rubber plantation at left side of road or sometimes in the forest on the right side. Pak Erik did monitoring for almost two months and he said at least five orangutans often seen there, he also took pictures.

Our team then went to the rubber plantation where we found some nests but no orangutans. We took some photos of the orangutan nests and then as dusk fell, at 6pm, we go to PT. GAP mess to rest.

The next day we arrived on location at 6am, three people had already seen an orangutan in the high branch of tree at the forest area right side of road.

After seeing the orangutan I prepare some darts with anesthetic ‘ketamine hcl’ for estimated 30 Kg body weight.

The deep trench between the road and forest blocked our path. Pak Sariamat, Uduk and I tried to find way around to penetrate the thick bush of forest in order that we could approach the orangutan from behind.

As Blek (from BKSDA) and Tigor stayed on the road to keep watching the orangutan.  After a while we came up close to the female orangutan but she see us as well. She begins to intimidate us with her voice and by throwing branches at us.

As Blek and Uduk blew the pipe for several times but all missed because she keep moving all the time, sometime sit on very high tree branches so its impossible for syringe dart reach it, we all think it would be easier with a dart gun. We keep following her for many hours but in the end we feel so tired and give up. After take a rest for a while, we decided to go out from the forest and walk to the main road road.  Udin, Orangutan Foundation staff, suddenly saw the orangutan in a tree beside the road. We were surprised and tried to capture her again but even this time we got same result, the orangutan disappeared.

We then decided to check the rubber plantation area. After a short time we found another female orangutan in a rubber tree. We spread our team to surround the target, but it is not that easy, again the orangutan is very active, keep moving. Uduk blew the pipe several times but kept missing. Then we decide to keep follow this orangutan until dusk when she also tired and making a nest for a rest. At 6pm orangutan make a nest and sleeping. We make a sign on that tree and plan to come there tommorow before sun rise.

At 4am the next day we started off to go to the location, day still dark and we use a small flashlight in order to approach to the nest tree. Once there Pak Uduk make a small fire to avoid mosquitos and keep us warm.The orangutan still sleeping in the nest and at 6am as the day brightened she woke and started to move through the rubber trees.

Once she hang on short branch, Uduk blew the pipe and finally the dart needle penetrated her right foot. She still moving and still strong after around 5 minutes.  As Blek tried a second dart needle which successfully penetrated on her left thigh. Two minutes later, the orangutan fell.

I give her an examination and she seems healthy. Based from the pattern of teeth she is about 12-15 years age and her body weight was 27.4 Kg.

We finally transported her to Pangkalan Bun where she will be released in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.

I thankyou for all support to this rescue, Orangutan Foundation team, BKSDA SKW II Kalteng and also PT GAP for all facilitations and support.

Dr Wawan - Orangutan Foundation Vet