UK Events

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 Bangkal 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. Bangkal

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

In the late 1980’s Bangkal was an orphaned infant, being kept as a pet. He was rescued, rehabilitated over many years, and then released into Tanjung Puting National Park, Central Kalimantan Indonesian Borneo.

Bangkal in 2000. Image© Orangutan Foundation.

In 2000, when illegal logging was rife in Indonesia’s National Parks, Bangkal became the victim of a horrifying incident. Illegal loggers threw hot oil over him resulting in a burn down his face and neck.

During his recovery, Bangkal protected himself from annoying insects, by using a blanket to cover his injured face. Once recovered, Bangkal was released again but this time into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

Now aged around 28 years-old, cheek-padded Bangkal is magnificent. He is the dominant male around Camp Gemini and is thought to have fathered many offspring.

Bangkal, during a visit to the feeding station by Camp Gemini. Image© Orangutan Foundation.

Support Bangkal during Orangutan Awareness Week! Please donate here to help us protect Bangkal in his forest home.

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.

The Lamandau Wildlife Reserve

We are delighted to be able to convey the news that two of our soft-release orangutans, Jessica and Ketty, have now been released into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. Staff are confident both will go on to living fulfilling lives in the wild, free from the threat of habitat loss.

In light of this positive news and #RainforestLive, we are introducing a new initiative in support of the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

Become a guardian and actively protect:

  • 158,144 acres of tropical peat forest in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo
  • 500 critically endangered orangutans - a number which continues to increase as more are rescued and released
  • thousands of threatened species including gibbons, sun bears and clouded leopards
  • 5 million tonnes of stored carbon.

A regular gift of £16.50 a month or a one-off donation of £200 for the year (the equivalent of 55p a day) will contribute towards the management of the Reserve.

Visit our webpage for more information on how to become a guardian.

Research and the Rainforest

Research and the Rainforest To mark #RainforestLive2017, we explore the reasons why rainforest research is so critical to our operations in Indonesian Borneo. We share recent research on individual species, and an overview on other more general research which is ongoing.

Research provides the basis for making key decisions on the conservation of rainforests. Since 2005 the Orangutan Foundation has managed a tropical forest research station, situated on the Sekonyer river inside Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesian Borneo. Known as Pondok Ambung, it is used by international researchers, Indonesian students and university groups for wildlife and forest research.

 

Recently the field staff stationed at Pondok Ambung have been carrying out research on tarsiers, a species of primate, and false gharials (T. Schelegelii), a species of crocodile. These two species are found within Tanjung Puting National Park and both are threatened with the risk of extinction in the wild. Little is known about either species. It is important to learn more about their behaviour to learn how best to protect them.

You can learn more about our tarsier research here.

Field staff have been monitoring false gharial activity on the Sekonyer River, in Tanjung Puting National Park. Four have been caught and tagged in areas close by to Pondok Ambung, so that staff can monitor their behaviour long-term.

We also received exciting reports of the presence a very large false gharial in the area judging by the size of its footprint (twice the length of a pen!).

However, staff did not come across the creature during the survey.

Staff also conducted interviews with miners outside the park, who also reported sightings of 7 large false gharials in the surrounding area. More research will be conducted on why these crocodiles are living in areas of human disturbance such as this, but it is likely a result of a higher abundance of food.

Alongside recent research on individual species of wildlife, we also have a number of camera traps placed around Pondok Ambung in order to monitor the biodiversity of the surrounding forest. Watch this short clip to see some of the species we’ve managed to capture on film:

All this data provides important insights into the biodiversity which exists within the area we protect. It is vital we learn as much as we can in order to help protect and raise awareness of the important role each species plays in the rainforest ecosystem.

This is why the Orangutan Foundation takes part in events like Rainforest: Live, joining a global movement to spread the word and encourage action to protect the incredible biodiversity that exists within tropical forest habitat.

Follow us today on social media, using the hashtag #RainforestLive!

Rainforest: Live 2017

This year we again take part in Rainforest: Live, a global social media event set up by Borneo Nature Foundation, with more than 50 organisations taking part.

Organisations will share a glimpse of rainforest life on social media to inspire people to take action and help protect these critical habitats.

WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR: Rare and wonderful wildlife sightings direct from rainforests all around the world! Here's a clip we posted last year to give you a taste of what is to come:

 

You can learn more about the event here.

Rainforests once covered as much as 12% of the earth's landmass. They now only cover 5%, largely a result of human activity. Help us to protect the world's remaining rainforests, estimated to be home to as much as half of all species of flora and fauna found on earth, including the magnificent orangutan.

Join us tomorrow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest and please show your support for rainforest conservation by getting involved – follow the hashtag #RainforestLive and share, like, retweet and comment!

Running for Orangutans - A Fundraiser's Story

"Have you ever considered doing something for charity? Wanted to do something worthwhile without knowing quite what? Well I've had this nagging away at me for sometime now, but what to do and for which charity? Well, one such thought I've had for a while is to visit Borneo, at least once in my life and do some work with Orangutans. Ideally I'd like to visit regularly and do as much as I can, by way of contributing to a better life for this species. Apes (like many other endangered species), our closest relatives deserve so much better than we afford them. Ideally they should be left alone to enjoy their environment, but the world will no longer permit that. We continue to mistreat them and abuse their habitat for our own, short sighted greed! Perhaps my want to visit and help is nothing more than a pipe dream. And surely hellishly expensive too! Oh well. Maybe not.

Anyway, last year I made some big changes to my life; quit smoking after 30 years, got a new job, started eating healthily and decided to get fit . I also met a new special someone. We chatted about anything and everything, as you do. Dreams and ambitions got discussed and Borneo and the Orangutans were mentioned. Anyway, a few days later we meet up and she presents me with a gift. I unwrap it and am enchanted to have been given a t-shirt from the Orangutan Foundation. Enough already, I hear you saying. I check out their website a day or two later and it seems they have premises in London!!! Just around the bloody corner from where I used to work. Who felt silly now?

To cut a long story short I read the website front to back and top to bottom (can you do this with a website? If you can, then I did). I read with interest about the great work and learned about the volunteer programme. Wow! Borneo suddenly seemed very achievable. It would have to wait until next year, possibly the following, but it no longer seemed like a pipe dream after all. Could I do anything in the interim...?

A further conversation raised the topic of running a half marathon. Well I could do that I suppose. I COULD DO THAT!!! Why not? Run a half marathon (a full one still seems too far) and raise some money for the Orangutan Foundation. Yes, I want to be out there and do some work directly. But why on earth should I not do anything from this end in the meantime? So a few days after I stuff myself silly at Christmas I email Sophie at the OF London office and tell her I'm entering the Silverstone Half Marathon in March and would like to raise funds for them. March. That's aeons away. Of course I'll be ready. I can go from no exercise to 13.1 miles in 12 weeks. Oh dear....

Off to the shops and I get my running kit. Wow! I could have just sent a cheque for the value of that little lot. Much easier. And training begins. Week by week everything goes well. By week 7 I'm up to 10k. I can do this!  Then week 8 - disaster! I've been too cocky and overdone it. Shin splints. Nooooo!!! I am unable to run for 3 weeks. I can barely walk. Fast forward and a week to go before the event and I am able do a couple of 4k runs to keep everything moving.

And I arrive at the day. Silverstone. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? A dear friend, Allan calls and tells me I'm an inspiration and he's proud of me. Now sir, that's perfect timing and I'll be eternally grateful for that phone call. There are many in heavyweight fancy dress - are they serious? You better believe they are. Boys and girls in their 70s and 80s are lining up beside me. There's a guy in a dinosaur outfit, barefoot! Well. It's now or never.

So off we go. Mile after mile.... after mile.... after mile. This is going to take forever. I look up. I can see one of the mile markers. How far have I got, 4, 5, 6 miles already? TWO! You're having a laugh mate! TAXI!!! And you guessed it, the guy in the dinosaur outfit had gone passed me (after about 300 yards by memory), I'd also just got overtaken by a guy in his ostrich/jockey garb - a la Bernie Clifton.

Well I got there in the end and managed a decent time. I had great support all the way. Around the track from my mate Dani and my lovely lady too. From other friends who called and text and spurred me on and also from fellow runners and those who came out on the day to cheer on their own loved ones. And there were so many others who supported with their donations. I am so grateful to everyone and can't wait (but I shall) to do the next one.

So first part of project Borneo ticked off my list. How many more stages to this journey there'll be I really don't know, but there will be more and I know I have only just started. The important thing is I have started. One day in the not too distant future I'll be working away in Borneo and I'll think of my day at Silverstone and the t-shirt that Alison gave me as a gift and I shall smile and probably have a little laugh to myself. Doing your bit is as much easier than you think!"

Fundraiser Arif Huseyin ran the Silverstone Half-Marathon, March 12th 2017. He not only made fantastic time but also managed to raise a terrific amount – over £1,000.

These funds will be spent on a new klotok (boat) to enable Orangutan Foundation field staff stationed at two of our guard posts to carry out their daily activities. The two guard posts are based in the south of Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesian Borneo - Sungai Buluh Besar and Sungai Buluh Kecil. These guard posts act as bases from which the local area can be monitored and protected from any illegal activities.

Have you been inspired to take part in a fundraising activity for the Orangutan Foundation? Click here to find out all the different ways you could get involved and support orangutan conservation.