Reintroduction

Baby orangutan born

We are delighted to announce the arrival of another baby orangutan born into the protected Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Indonesian Borneo. Our staff believe the orangutan was born on 26th January. Mother, Holahonolulu (Hola for short) was seen with her new infant at Camp Gemini's feeding site. We think the father is likely to be Bangkal, the dominant male, as they were seen mating on several occasions.

Both Hola and her baby looked healthy. Hola ate a lot of fruit, the extra energy needed for milk production. As yet, our staff could not tell what sex the baby was.

Hola was born in the wild in December 2004 and her mother was Huber. Huber was rehabilitated by OFI and was released into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve in December 1999, but she has since passed away.

Our staff have yet to name Hola's new baby so we thought we would ask for your help.  Send us your suggestions (leave a comment), it must start with an H and be a unisex name. We will decide on Monday 5th February.

Help us to ensure these orangutans remain in the wild and that their forest home stays protected. Click here to donate today!

Orangutan Foundation - a future for orangutans, forests & people

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. 

 

"All my days in the field are special, but on occasion something really exciting happens - a fight between two male orangutans and we were able to film it." - Ashley Leiman OBE

No sooner had our speedboat arrived at Camp Buluh when the staff came running and excitedly told us to hurry up. I knew before I reached the end of the jetty by the noise of breaking branches that something was going on in the forest ahead.

It didn’t take me long to see one huge male being pursued by another, both cheek padded. The assistants told me that they were Yoko, who was often seen around Camp Buluh, and Darwin, who hadn’t been seen for a number of years.

Yoko. Image© Orangutan Foundation.

The orangutans were face-to-face in open combat. They would grapple one another, no doubt inflicting some injuries. This would last for a number of minutes until one would go further into the forest and there would be a lull in the confrontation.

There were times when both came down to the ground, one aggressively pursuing the other, before going back up into the trees. What was interesting was that during the conflict they would occasionally stop to rest, so obviously this activity takes a lot of energy.

Long calls and branch cracking perforated the performance. This encounter went on for over two hours before Darwin, realising Yoko had the upper hand, made his way further into the forest and was not followed.  That’s what I love being in the field, it’s never boring, it’s not every day one sees such excitement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Become a Guardian of Lamandau today and help us protect the home of Yoko, Darwin and over 500 other critically endangered orangutans. Click here to find out more.

Thank you.

Ashley Leiman OBE, Director

Meet Aan the orangutan

To celebrate Orangutan Awareness Week, we are telling the stories of some of the orangutans who have been given a second chance thanks to your support for our work, but unfortunately, not all have a second chance in the wild. Aan

Aan, 2013. Image© Orangutan Foundation.

Aan is a blind orangutan. She first came to us in 2012, having been found stranded on an oil-palm plantation, after being shot over 100 times with an air gun. The injuries sustained left Aan blind. You can read more about her rescue here.

X-ray taken in 2012 of Bornean orangutan, Aan’s skull, showing pellets. Image© Orangutan Foundation.

In 2016, we arranged for an ophthalmic surgeon to visit Aan to see if there was any chance of restoring her sight, with the hope that one day she could return to the wild. Aan underwent surgery but it soon became clear that the damage sustained was too severe and Aan would be permanantly blind.

Aan, blind orangutan. Image© Orangutan Foundation.

Aan lives in a purpose-built enclosure at Camp Gemini, where our vet clinic is located, in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. Our staff give her the best quality of life that is possible, but sadly Aan can never return to the forest, where she belongs.

Aan in her permanent enclosure, with enrichment. Image© Orangutan Foundation.

Aan’s story serves as a heartbreaking reminder that the threat to orangutans caused by habitat loss is a very real one. Please support our care of Aan during Orangutan Awareness Week by donating here.

Meet Holahonolulu the orangutan

To celebrate Orangutan Awareness Week, we are telling the stories of some of the orangutans who have been given a second chance thanks to your support for our work. Holahonolulu

Holahonolulu in 2015. Image© Orangutan Foundation.

Holahonolulu is a wild born adult female orangutan. Her mother, Huber, was released into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve in around 2000 and Holahonolulu was born in 2004. Huber unfortunately passed away in 2012.

Holahonolulu in 2016, with a wild male. Image© Sophie Hanson.

Holahonolulu is often seen by Orangutan Foundation staff at the feeding station, close to Camp Gemini. She been observed with Bangkal, a dominant male, mating on several occasions.  Orangutans have a gestation period of about 9 months, it is slightly shorter than humans. Watch this space for the announcement of a new arrival in a few months’ time!

Bangkal, dominant male in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. Image© Orangutan Foundation.

We are delighted when released orangutans go on to produce future generations. The orangutans of Lamandau Wildlife Reserve are now a healthy, viable and growing population.

Support Holahonolulu during Orangutan Awareness Week here! Please donate to help us protect her tropical forest home.

Q&A with the Programme Manager of the Orangutan Foundation

People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) have been supporting the Orangutan Foundation's work in Indonesian Borneo for a number of years. We would like to share this Q & A with PTES and our Indonesian Programme Manager, Ade Soeharso, as part of the launch of their new appeal to save orangutan habitat. 

Orangutan expert and Programme Manager at the Orangutan Foundation, Dr Ade Soeharso, answers some questions about the lives of orangutans, the dangers they are facing and ways anyone can save them now.

Dr Ade Soeharso

When did you start working at the Orangutan Foundation?

I’ve been a partner of the Orangutan Foundation since 2006. I was still working for the government then. Between 2008-2014 I worked part-time as a technical advisor of the Orangutan Foundation, and since 2015 I’ve worked full-time for the Orangutan Foundation.

What is the ideal habitat for an orangutan?

The ideal orangutan habitat is a mixture of swamp forest, lowland dry forest, and mountain forest. Ideally the habitat would be undisturbed and have an abundance of trees for food and nesting.

What is a protected forest?

In Indonesia, a protected forest is a one where the underlying area is protected from being logged or converted to other uses by land clearing.

What is palm oil? Why is the production of it so destructive?

Palm oil is a vegetable fat produced from oil-palm fruit. Almost all food products and many other common items use palm oil as a raw material. Therefore, palm oil is produced in large quantities because there is a huge market. Unfortunately, production of palm oil requires very large areas and which is achieved by cutting down large numbers of trees, which we call forest conversion and land clearing.

What have you found the hardest thing about working on the project so far?

The conservation of forests and the animals that depend on them is still often seen as less important than economic and development issues. It is challenging to mobilize the support of the parties in forest conservation efforts.

What is causing conflict between wildlife and the human population?

Due to deforestation, the amount of wildlife habitat left is ever decreasing. This means that the potential conflict between humans and orangutans will only increase. Orangutans and many other animals such as crocodiles, bears, and monkeys are forced out of the degraded forest and end up in community settlements and plantations in search of food. Seen as pests, they are often shot. We make sure that where possible, wild animals are translocated back into safe habitat. This is only possible if there is safe habitat left to move them back to.

What do you enjoy most about working with orangutans?

I enjoy it so much when I could see orangutans who have been rescued and then released growing and thriving in well-preserved habitat, successfully raising families of their own.

Pak Ade out with his team

What time do you have to get up in the morning? Are orangutans early risers?

I get up early at 5:30 am. In the forest, orangutans rise between 5:00-5.30 am and leave their nests to set off in search of food.

How do you manage not to get lost in the forest when you’re following apes?

Basically, when following apes we’re never alone. There are always at least two people. As well as helping record data and times, they are locals who are more familiar with the forests so that we don’t get lost.

How many orangutans have you and your colleagues saved recently?

In 2017, so far we have saved 14 orangutans. Some of them have been released already as they are mature and well enough. The others are in the soft release programme. They are taken out into the forest each day to practice feeding and climbing until they have mastered the basic skills and are ready to be released.

Are you optimistic about the future for orangutans?

I am optimistic that orangutans can still be saved as long as we focus on saving their forests that are an integral part of their lives.

Field staff transporting rescued orangutan

What must happen to ensure their survival?

We have to encourage the creation of sustainable oil-palm plantations and stop forest conversion in orangutan habitat and prevent the occurrence of forest fires. We also have to ensure that law enforcement act so that no more orangutans are traded as pets.

What can our supporters do to help?

As well as donating to this project, if you are buying a product that is made using palm oil, look out for ‘sustainable palm oil’ on the label. Currently, the global area already being used for oil palm production is sufficient to meet our needs without any further loss of forest. It is possible for us to use oil-palm produced from sustainable palm oil plantations and it is something we can all to do.

Please help us to help orangutans today so that they are still here tomorrow.

Severely Malnourished Male Orangutan Rescued from Fragment of Forest in Indonesian Borneo

Orangutan Foundation staff examine tranquilised orangutan. ©Orangutan Foundation. On Monday, 28th August 2017, Orangutan Foundation together with the local wildlife authority, managed to rescue an orangutan, found stranded in a forested area between a village and an oil-palm plantation in Central Kalimantan. The orangutan, an adult male of around 17 years of age, only weighed 80kg - about two thirds its expected weight..

The alarm was raised by one of the villagers, who, seeing the orangutan so close by, was worried the orangutan would destroy his oil-palm plantation, and even enter his own home.

The challenging terrain made it difficult to reach the orangutan. The team had to use a boat to approach the area and then walk about 1km through swamp forest. On arrival, the orangutan was anesthetized to take it to a point of safety.

Team translocate tranquilised orangutan. ©Orangutan Foundation.

This rescue highlights the problem of habitat loss resulting in more wildlife coming into human contact, leading to human-wildlife conflict.

The orangutan will be examined by the Orangutan Foundation’s vet, and then translocated into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, a protected area on 30th August.

To date, 15 orangutans have been rescued in 2017, some being immediately translocated and others, too young for release, will go into the Foundation’s Soft-Release Programme. Please donate to support our rescue and release programme.

Vote for orangutans

We are delighted that today's blog post is by Julia Cissewski founder of the German charity Orangutans in peril.   Please take a few seconds to vote for Julia and help win €30,000 for orangutans. On 14 July, I visited the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Central Kalimantan. Our German charity Orang-Utans in Not e.V. (Orangutans in peril, www.orang-utans-in-not.org/en/) has been supporting the Orangutan Foundation's enrichment planting and forest restoration there for several years.

After a week of intermittent rain, we enjoyed a beautiful sunny morning and first travelled by boat from the town of Pangkalan Bun to Camp Rasak in the Reserve.

There we visited the enrichment planting area. I last went there in 2012 and now was delighted to see the progress that has been made. The little fruit trees will later serve to feed orangutans in the area.

Afterwards we went by boat to Camp Gemini to watch the feeding of released orangutans. The weather kept and it got rather hot. We thus were glad to reach the cover of the release site. At the feeding station we observed several females with their babies, a moving experience. The babies were born in the wild and show the success of the release programme.

On our way back to Pangkalan Bun we saw several Proboscis monkeys, watching us rather unimpressed from the trees on the river bank. We arrived in Pangkalan Bun when the sun was setting. It was a wonderful day and we gave our thanks to Pak Ade, the program manager, and the other Orangutan Foundation staff. They are doing such great work in Lamandau and we are very much looking forward to our future cooperation.

I suppose I should mention that I was accompanied by a film crew who were filming for the German magazine "Bild der Frau". This magazine each year awards prizes to five women running German charities. And in 2017 I am one of them. You can help us gain an additional award of 30,000€ (!) for the orangutans. This award is given to the organization that can raise most votes by October 21, 2017. Every vote counts: https://www.orang-utans-in-not.org/en/goldene-bild-der-frau Thank you very much for your support!

Julia

Two orangutans born within two months

We have seen two orangutan births in less than two months. Why is this significant and a reason to celebrate?  Orangutans are critically endangered, a recent report found that orangutan populations on Borneo have declined by 25% over the last 10 years. A shocking statistic. However, in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, orangutan numbers are increasing. Many orangutans now living in this protected forest reserve were rescued as their forest home was destroyed around them or they were orphaned because their mothers had been killed. With our supporter’s generous help we have been able to give them a second chance to live in the wild and they are thriving.

Volvo was born to rescued mother orangutan, Vania, at the end of May and our most recent newborn is Dublin (named after Dublin Zoo’s recent visit), born to ex-captive mother orangutan, Dedek.

Help us to protect this wildlife reserve and keep the orangutans and other wildlife that live here safe and free. Become a Guardian of Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

Thank you for your ongoing support,

Orangutan Foundation

 

Orangutan Foundation Welcomes New Arrival

In September 2015, Central Kalimantan was hit by major forest fires. Many orangutans needed rescuing from areas of burning forest and community land.

One such orangutan was Vania, a 29 year old female orangutan, named after a student who was doing research on orangutans in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve at the time. Vania and her 6 year old offspring (named Venty) were rescued from an oil palm plantation and released by Camp Buluh in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

Both are now in good health and are still frequently seen in the area. As shared yesterday, field staff have informed us that Vania gave birth on 25th May to an infant they have named Volvo.

 

Vania has been seen around camp since the birth to show off her new arrival.

Welcome Volvo to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve!

Would you like to play an active part in the protection of Volvo's tropical forest home?

Become a guardian of Lamandau and help us ensure a future for orangutans, forests and people. Click here for more information.

Meet Our Soft-Release Orangutans - Part 3

In this blog entry we focus on Camp Rasak, where orangutans in the final stage of the soft-release programme before their release into the wild are monitored. The Lamandau Wildlife Reserve in Indonesian Borneo is a protected reintroduction site, where rescued orangutans can be released safely.

From this Reserve we run our Soft-Release Programme for rescued orangutans too young to return to this wild. Watch this short clip to find out how this programme equips these orangutans for a life in the forest:

Reintroduction Camps

There are 5 Camps located in Lamandau:

Depending on the age and development of the orangutan they are placed into one of the camps which is best suited for their needs. Camp staff monitor all rescued orangutans.

Currently we have 10 orangutans within our soft-release programme.

Meet the orangutans being cared for at Camp Rasak…

Endut

Endut is a 3 year old male who was rescued last March, named after his rather round belly. Endut is improving his climbing skills and has become much braver in the past couple of months, but is still has a way to go in order to be ready for release.

Ketty

Daughter of Korin, a reintroduced orangutan who inhabited the forest around Camp Gemini. Korin sadly disappeared in 2013 and Ketty was found alone. Since joining the Programme Ketty has come along in leaps and bounds, or should we say, climbs and swings!

At 5 years of age,she's always displayed skills more advanced than the orangutans being cared for alongside her, which is likely a result of spending some time with her mother in her early years.

Jessica

Jessica was rescued from a local town where she was being kept as a pet in 2016. In spite of this she retained her natural instincts well and didn't take long to adapt to life in the trees. At 5 years of age, she is advanced in her progress, displaying excellent survival skills.

What Next…?

After keeping a close watch on Ketty and Jessica, staff are now confident that they have the skills required to live in the wild: nest-building, finding food, and climbing to the top of the canopy.

The Soft-Release Programme exists within the same area of forest where orangutans are released. As past experience has shown, once released orangutans are often seen in the forest around camp so we are able to continue to keep a watchful eye on them.

Following release, orangutans are monitored for two weeks so that staff can ensure they are adapting well to living independently. Once released, we hope all will go on to live fulfilling lives in the wild, away from the threat of habitat loss and human activity.

Next week we follow the release of Ketty and Jessica!

Support our Soft-Release Programme and adopt an orangutan today.

All proceeds from our Adoption Scheme go towards medical treatment, food and care of these orangutans during their time in soft-release.

The Orangutan Foundation's 5 Programmes in Indonesian Borneo

Watch this short video to learn about our 5 ongoing programmes in Indonesian Borneo:

Please help us ensure a future for orangutans, forests and people. To support our work with a donation, please click here.

Thank you.

Meet our Soft-Release Orangutans - Part 2

In this blog post we focus on Camp Buluh, where orangutans in the intermediate stage between being very young and those soon to be released fully into the wild are cared for. The Lamandau Wildlife Reserve in Indonesian Borneo is a protected reintroduction site, where rescued orangutans can be released safely.

From this Reserve we run our Soft-Release Programme for rescued orangutans too young to return to this wild. Watch this short clip to find out how this programme equips these orangutans for a life in the forest:

Reintroduction Camps

There are 5 Camps located in Lamandau:

From our 5 reintroduction camps staff monitor all rescued and rehabilitated orangutans. Depending on the age and development of the orangutan they are placed into one of the camps which is best suited for their needs.

Currently we have 10 orangutans within our soft-release programme.

Meet the orangutans being cared for at Camp Buluh…

Okto

Okto is perhaps the most notorious of the orangutans currently in our care! Starring in Sky 1 and Offspring Film’s “Monkeys – An Amazing Animal Family” and the face of our Adoption Scheme; Okto is a confident yet mischievous 5 year old male.

Shifa

Shifa is a female orangutan who was rescued in September 2016 after being kept as a pet for about a year. She initially had problems with hair loss, possibly as a result of stress, but is being treated by the Foundation’s vet and has visibly improved.

 

Support our Soft-Release Programme and adopt Okto today.

All proceeds from our Adoption Scheme go towards medical treatment, food and care of these orangutans as they grow and develop.

Meet Our Soft-Release Orangutans - Part 1

The Lamandau Wildlife Reserve in Indonesian Borneo is a protected reintroduction site, where rescued orangutans can be released safely. From this Reserve we run our Soft-Release Programme for rescued orangutans too young to return to this wild. Watch this short clip to find out how this programme equips these orangutans for a life in the forest:

Reintroduction Camps

There are 5 Camps located in Lamandau:

These camps monitor all rescued and rehabilitated orangutans. Depending on the age and development of the orangutan they are placed into one of the camps which is best suited for their needs.

Currently we have 10 orangutans within our soft-release programme.

Camp JL is where the very youngest orangutans are placed.

Meet Timtom

Timtom was just nine months old when she was rescued last January. Not surprisingly, she was not too confident at first as at this age she should still be in the care of her mother, but has now begun to show great improvement. Once cautious, she now climbs happily to the top of a tree.

Meet Mona

Mona is a female orangutan, just 2 years old. She was recently rescued in March 2017 from a family in a local village who were keeping her as a pet.  With no mother she looks to Nyunyu for company, who was rescued around the same time.

Meet Nyunyu

Nyunyu, female around 3 years old. She displays more wild behaviour than Mona, despite being kept as a pet for about 2 years. She was found tied up in a garden, but now shows her adventurous side when climbing.

Meet Boy

Boy is the most recent orangutan to join the Programme, a male aged about 3 years. He had been kept as a pet for 3 months and was given up by locals of a nearby village.

Another young orangutan is being cared for at Camp Siswoyo.

Meet Satria

Satria is a male orangutan rescued last June, around 2 and a half years old. He has now started foraging, but is still very young and has a lot to learn.

Next week we look forward to introducing you to more of our soft-release orangutans!

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

 

Saltwater crocodile and kite translocated to safety

Here is a blog post by Azhari Purbatrapsila, the Orangutan Foundation's Reintroduction Manager. But, as you will see, it is not just orangutans that the Orangutan Foundation rescue and release. On 12 January 2017, I and Jakir (Forest Patrol Manager)  translocated one saltwater crocodile and one black-winged kite to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Translocation was done together with SKW II BKSDA Kalteng (Indonesian Nature Conservation Agency). The crocodile is about 1 meter in length and is in a healthy condition.

Unlike the crocodile, the kite was not in a good condition. It looks like the kite was kept in a small cage so its wings are really weak. Although its wing are full (no missing feathers), some of the feathers are not in good shape. The kite and the crocodile were handed over from the community.

After confirmation of the translocation, we left the Orangutan Foundation office at 10am and went to the BKSDA office to pick up BKSDA staff and the animals. We drove to the speedboat jetty and went directly by boat to Camp Buluh, within the Reserve.

Firstly, we released the crocodile,  which swam away from us before it dived into the river and wasn't seen again.

After, we released the kite onto a tree which is usually used by soft-release orangutans who are learning to climb.

After several minutes of staying on the branch, the kite tried to fly. Unfortunately, the kite unable to fly properly and it fell into the swamp water next to the camp building.

We decided to put the kite in an empty orangutan enclosure and let the camp staff take care of it until its healthy and strong enough and can fly. Hopefully the kite's condition will improve quickly so it can be released and be wild again. We will keep you updated.

Thank you,

Azhari

Orangutan Foundation

 

Orangutan Foundation: 2016 in pictures and numbers. A huge thank you for your support.

6,000 wild Bornean orangutans live in the Belantikan region. The largest population outside of a protected area. Orangutan Foundation actively engages key stakeholders to conserve this critical tropical forest ecosystem.
 

The Belantikan Forest.

33 wild orangutans rescued. One particularly poignant rescue was Narti, who was found completely stranded, clinging to the burnt remnants of a tree surrounded by oil palms.

Narti was found completely stranded.

 
36 rescues of other wildlife species. All released into the safety of the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

A Brahminy Kite rescued by the Foundation.

        

A sunbear pictured shortly after release.

 

A slow loris rescued by Foundation staff.

 

16,000 Ubar tree seedlings nurtured and planted to restore areas of the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve damaged by forest fires in 2015.

A nursery worker tending to seedlings.

 
One new patron. Patrick Aryee and Offspring Films visited our work in Borneo to film for “Monkeys: An Amazing Animal Family”, a three-part series which first aired on Sky 1, on Christmas day. Star of the show, was Okto who was charmed by Patrick’s presenting skills!

Okto, our adoption star!

 

Foundation Director Ashley Leiman with Orangutan Foundation Patron Patrick Aryee.

 
Eight volunteers and one new guard post. In July, the construction of Guard Post 25 began. Now up and running, this guard post is critical for the protection of the new 8,000 hectare extension of the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

2016 Volunteers.

The newly completed guard post 25.

Our 25th anniversary year saw the opening of Tanjung Harapan’s Information Centre, in Tanjung Tanjung Puting National Park. Renovated by our 2015 volunteers and designed by the Cube in Residence Programme.

Cutting the ribbon to mark the opening of the Information Centre.

 

Orangutan Foundation Director Ashley Leiman with the administrative head of Tanjung Puting National Park.

 

Visitors taking in the exhibits in the Information Centre

104 air rifle pellets were found in lodged in orangutan Aan, 32 of which in her head left her blind, in 2012. In October 2016, ophthalmic surgeon, Claudia Hartley, visited Aan to assess the permanence of her blindness. 
 

Aan, found blinded by air rifle pellets.

What a wonderful start to 2017 to have the chance to restore Aan's sight. Claudia Hartley will be returning the to field with her team and specialist equipment in February to remove a cataract, currently affecting Aan's vision in her one remaining eye.
DONATE NOW to help us to raise £2000 to fund this vital operation to give Aan a second chance in the wild.

Orangutan Foundation vet - infant orangutan's inflamed air sacs

Blogpost by Dr Steven, the Orangutan Foundation's vet. I went to Camp Rasak, in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve (Indonesian Borneo) to check the condition of infant orangutan Ariel. Camp staff were concerned and had reported seeing Ariel with enlarged air sacs around his throat.  Ariel is Acuy's son and aged about 22 months.

Infant Bornean orangutan Ariel, showing the inflamed air sacs around his throat.

We arrived by speedboat and immediately began our search for Acuy and Ariel.

Adult female orangutan Acuy with infant Ariel and their 'adopted' orangutan companion, Kotim.

 

 

Dr Steven preparing the anaesthetic .

Once located we had to first anaesthetise Acuy, using a blowpipe and anaesthetic dart. After Acuy was sedated, Camp staff helped hold Ariel so he could be further examined.

Darting adult female orangutan Acuy in order to examine her son, Ariel.

I give a with very low dose of anaesthetic to Ariel because he was stressed. After Ariel calmed, I start taking samples in the neck area. It turns out there’s no fluid, which indicates the absence of bacterial infection and it only contained air.

Examining and treating infant Borneo orangutan, Ariel.

After that, I take blood samples, give vitamin injection and de-worming drugs to Ariel and Acuy.

Treating adult Bornean orangutan, Acuy with de-worming medication.

Monitoring is conducted periodically and on a recent routine visit to Camp Rasak I was pleased to see Ariel already doesn’t have any enlargement of air sacs around the neck.

Acuy and Ariel, fit and well. With Kotim, a 5-year-old orangutan who was released in April 2016.

Mother and son (and their companion Kotim, who was released in April 2016, and seems to like hanging around with them) fit and healthy.

Thank you.

Join the Orangutan Foundation to support this work or adopt Okto, one of our orphaned orangutans.

 

(VIDEO) Rawit's Release

Two days ago the reintroduction team of the Orangutan Foundation successfully released another orangutan back into the forest of the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve where she belongs.

Found tied up in a villager's backyard just 2 weeks ago, this 5 year old female orangutan known as Rawit is now happily living back in the forest. A previously reintroduced female has taken her under her wing. Read about Rawit's story here.

We thank wildlife photographer and Orangutan Foundation supporter Ian Wood for documenting her release. For more information on Ian's work visit his website http://www.agoodplace.co.uk

A Race to Freedom

We recently received news from the field of a rescue which did not go as planned, but nevertheless resulted in success. Last week, Orangutan Foundation staff received reports from the local village of Pangkalan Lima of a sun bear trapped in a villager’s well. The smallest of the world’s eight living bear species, the Bornean sun bear is also the least studied, with little known about its biology or range.

Sun bear trapped in the well

Our vet first anaesthetised the bear in order for staff to be able to safely remove the bear without injury to either party. A net was used to lift the bear up from the well.

OF staff used a net to lift the bear out of the well

 

The Foundation vet took blood samples which were taken to test for diseases which may have left the bear vulnerable following release. Test results later showed the bear to be in good health.

When managing the rescue and translocation of wild animals there is always a degree of unpredictability as to how the animal itself will react. The bear was placed within a cage whilst still sedated ready for translocation into the forest nearby.

The bear was placed in a cage until release

But after two hours, staff found the bear had escaped! It took a further two hours to successfully recapture the bear from BKSDA grounds, where it was swiftly moved to a stronger cage until its release.

Later that evening it was further transferred to a safer cage overnight, as staff were still worried he could bite his way through the second cage. The bear was clearly very wild and needed to return to the forest, and staff successfully released it the next day in camp Siswoyo in Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

OF staff raise the door of the cage at the moment of release

Foundation staff are encountering a rise in the number of animals in need of translocation as they come in increasing contact with growing human settlements. Make a donation to ensure the Foundation can continue to keep the surrounding protected areas free from human development so that animals we rescue such as this sun bear have forest to return to.

The sun bear disappeared into the forest immediately following release