Borneo

Two rescued orangutans returned to the wild

Two critically endangered orangutans are now back in the wild, where they belong, thanks to the dedicated work of the Orangutan Foundation’s team and the Natural Resources Conservancy Agency of Central Kalimantan (BKSDA).

Both orangutans were wild born but tragically ended up orphaned and rescued by Orangutan Foundation. Shifa was rescued from being kept as a pet in September 2016, when she was only 2-years-old. Panglima, was rescued at the end of March 2019, from community forest, he is thought to be about 5-years-old but showed extremely wild behaviour (read more about his rescue).

Shifa rescued in September 2016

Shifa rescued in September 2016

Habitat loss is forcing wild orangutans into closer contact with humans. We can’t say for sure what happened to the mothers of Shifa and Panglima but it is most likely they were killed, because they were considered as pests. As an infant, Shifa would have been clinging to her mother and so she was taken to become a pet. Panglima, being older and more independent, must have been apart from his mother when she was killed.

Panglima rescue by Orangutan Foundation and Wildlife Department (BKSDA) Central Kalimantan

Panglima rescue by Orangutan Foundation and Wildlife Department (BKSDA) Central Kalimantan

Shifa was taken to the 158,000-acre protected Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. She lived at Camp Buluh, one of five post-release monitoring sites in the reserve, which she shared with another orphaned orangutan, Okto. The two young orangutans were great playmates and Okto helped Shifa to adjust to her new life.

Okto (left) and Shifa (right)

Okto (left) and Shifa (right)

Shifa always displayed very wild instincts and, as she got older, these became stronger and more evident. Increasingly she would go off exploring the surrounding forest and was reluctant to return to her enclosure at night.

Shifa in her nest and increasingly reluctant to go back into her enclosure.

Shifa in her nest and increasingly reluctant to go back into her enclosure.

It was decided to release Shifa before she released herself! When an orangutan is fully released back to an independent life, Orangutan Foundation staff follow the individual for up to two weeks to ensure the orangutan is able to survive. Ashley Leiman OBE, Orangutan Foundation Founder and Director/Trustee, was present for the two releases and was encouraged to see how readily both orangutans clambered up into the trees to begin their new life.

As soon as the transport cage door opened, Shifa shot straight out and climbed up the nearest tree

As soon as the transport cage door opened, Shifa shot straight out and climbed up the nearest tree

Shifa and Panglima have had to overcome massive hurdles early on in their life. Our challenge now is to ensure the rest of their life is spent in the wild. We are doing this by safeguarding their globally important forest habitat in Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. Orangutan Foundation actively monitor the reserve with a network of guard posts and regular patrolling to prevent illegal activities from destroying the forests and harming wildlife.

Researching fauna and flora in orangutan habitat, Indonesian Borneo

The tropical forests of Borneo and Sumatra provide far more than just a home for orangutans, they are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth. Our tropical forest research station, Pondok Ambung, is situated on the banks of the Sekonyer River in Tanjung Puting National Park, Central Kalimantan , Indonesian Borneo.

Camera trap snaps a wild adult male orangutan.

Camera trap snaps a wild adult male orangutan.

Orangutan Foundation researchers monitor and track the health of this ecosystem and the species found here. Our drive to promote tropical forest ecology and conservation to Indonesian students, winning their hearts and support, is crucial to the future of the orangutan and Indonesia’s forests.

This blog post provides a snapshot of some of the species studied and the activities undertaken at Pondok Ambung this year. As you will see, many take place after dark.

Students from school SMAN 1 Pangkalan Bun on a forest night walk looking for signs of wildlife.

Students from school SMAN 1 Pangkalan Bun on a forest night walk looking for signs of wildlife.

Bornean Tarsier ( Tarsius bancanus boreanus ). A nocturnal primate found at Pondok Ambung Research Station, Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesian Borneo. March 2019. Researchers also detect their presence by the scent of their urine.

Bornean Tarsier (Tarsius bancanus boreanus). A nocturnal primate found at Pondok Ambung Research Station, Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesian Borneo. March 2019. Researchers also detect their presence by the scent of their urine.

Orangutan Foundation researchers fitting camera traps, which require constant maintenance in the humid conditions and with the odd interference from wildlife too!

Orangutan Foundation researchers fitting camera traps, which require constant maintenance in the humid conditions and with the odd interference from wildlife too!

Introducing high school students to camera traps.

Introducing high school students to camera traps.

Pig-tailed macaque ( Macaca nemestrina ) known locally as monyet beruk

Pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina) known locally as monyet beruk

False gharial crocodile ( Tomistoma  schlegelii) can reach more than 5m in length.

False gharial crocodile (Tomistoma schlegelii) can reach more than 5m in length.

Two excited crocodile researchers! Orangutan Foundation support their studies with a research grant.

Two excited crocodile researchers! Orangutan Foundation support their studies with a research grant.

Individual crocodiles are tagged and monitored.

Individual crocodiles are tagged and monitored.

Local high school students using traditional and new ways to identify species.

Local high school students using traditional and new ways to identify species.

Phenology studies. In March, observations along a transect found 25 species of tree flowering and fruiting, many orangutan food trees such as papung and ubar.

Phenology studies. In March, observations along a transect found 25 species of tree flowering and fruiting, many orangutan food trees such as papung and ubar.

Squirrel - feeds on fruit and nuts and can help to spread seeds when accidentally dropping them whilst gathering and carrying.

Squirrel - feeds on fruit and nuts and can help to spread seeds when accidentally dropping them whilst gathering and carrying.

Young orangutan rescued

Yesterday, we rescued a young orangutan, aged approximately 5-years-old. Sadly, the mother was absent, we don’t know what happened to her but most likely she has died, mother orangutans would not readily abandon their offspring.

Tranquillised orangutan, named Panglima

Tranquillised orangutan, named Panglima

The Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) team was made up of the Central Kalimantan Wildlife Department (BKSDA) and Orangutan Foundation. The Wildlife Department had received reports about an orangutan seen in a community orchard. The rescue team drove 45 minutes from the town of Pangkalan Bun to the reported location in the Pangkalan Lima area, South Arut District.

Orangutan nest high up in the tree

Orangutan nest high up in the tree

When the team arrived they saw two nests in one tree, but there was no sign of an orangutan. After a while the team decided to return to Pangkalan Bun. In the afternoon, the team received another report about the orangutan and so they returned. This time they saw a young orangutan very high up in the trees. The team decided to follow the orangutan until it nested in hope they could get a clear shot with the dart gun. Unfortunately they couldn’t and because it was getting dark and unsafe they decided to return very early the next morning, when hopefully the orangutan would still be in his nest.

Preparing the dart gun to tranquillise the young orangutan

Preparing the dart gun to tranquillise the young orangutan

Climbing up the tree to rescue the sedated wild orangutan.

Climbing up the tree to rescue the sedated wild orangutan.

The next morning, in the torrential rain, the rescue team arrived at the nest location at 4.30am. The orangutan was found above a nest, not far from where they had left him. The dart gun was prepared so that the orangutan could be tranquillised. They managed to get a clear shot and the orangutan fell into its nest. One of the rescue team climbed a 10-meter tall tree and managed to carry the orangutan down.

The Orangutan Foundation vet immediately conducted an examination and the orangutan was male, weighing approximately 15kg and was estimated at around 5-years-old. Our vet, Dr. Dimas Yufrizar, took blood samples for laboratory tests and gave injections of multivitamins and antibiotics.

The orangutan has been named Panglima (relating to the rescue location) - giving orangutans names helps the field staff with post-release monitoring and communications.

Tranquillised orangutan being examined by Orangutan Foundation vet

Tranquillised orangutan being examined by Orangutan Foundation vet

Panglima was transported to the Pangkalan Bun BKSDA SKW II office where he is being kept temporarily in a holding cage. Hendra Gunawan, Orangutan Foundation Program Manager said BKSDA have requested that the orangutan be translocated to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, a protected area. Before release, Hendra said Panglima will be isolated until his blood tests return and then habituated for three months. His condition will be monitored by the Orangutan Foundation vet and field staff.

The rescue team are confident that Panglima’s release into the reserve will be successful and that he will go on to live a wild and safe life in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

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Orangutan Foundation vet's surprise river encounter

Orangutan Foundation’s vet, Dr Dimas Yuzrifar and our Reintroduction Manager, Pak Azhari, visit the post-release orangutan monitoring camps, in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve , Indonesian Borneo, on a weekly basis to check up on the orangutans, who live there. Last week, they had an unexpected encounter…

Play time! Okto and Shifa at Camp Buluh January 2019

Play time! Okto and Shifa at Camp Buluh January 2019

Their first stop was Camp Buluh, where orphaned orangutans Okto and Shifa were out playing in the trees. Camp Buluh staff said that they were both healthy and active and because they had been given their multi-vitamin and anti-worming injections the week before, they were left to carry on playing.

Okto having his regular boost of essential minerals and vitamins.

Okto having his regular boost of essential minerals and vitamins.

Second stop, Camp JL - young orphaned orangutans 5 year old Nyunyu (left) and 3.5 year old Mona (right) playing in the trees.

Second stop, Camp JL - young orphaned orangutans 5 year old Nyunyu (left) and 3.5 year old Mona (right) playing in the trees.

The next stop was Camp JL to check on Adib and see how his arm was healing and to see Mona, Nyunyu, Timtom and Boy.

Camp JL- 3.5 year-old female orangutan Timtom, January 2019.

Camp JL- 3.5 year-old female orangutan Timtom, January 2019.

The only access to the release camps is by river and so Dr Dimas and Pak Azhari headed off to their final camp of the day, Camp Gemini . Half way through their journey they came across a longboat with an unexpected passenger!

Female orangutan, Sheila in Camp Gemini’s longboat.

Female orangutan, Sheila in Camp Gemini’s longboat.

Adult female orangutan Sheila and her infant Sony, had untied and taken the longboat, belonging to Camp Gemini, and were using it to cross the river. Sheila was in no hurry to leave the boat but eventually they climbed out onto the river bank and up into a tree. Azhari and Dimas managed to tow the longboat back to Camp Gemini, where the relieved team of Camp Gemini staff were waiting. They’re devising another way to prevent these highly intelligent great apes from taking a boat again!

Caught on camera, but who did it? Orangutan, bear, deer or pig?

Camera traps are a window into the fascinating and private lives of wildlife. Maintaining and keeping the cameras working in the hot humid and damp conditions of a rainforest is an ongoing challenge. Battling the elements is something our researchers are prepared for but they were shocked to find that one of the camera traps had been severely damaged, torn apart and discarded broken, 2 meters away from its original position. Who had done this?

Damaged camera trap

Damaged camera trap

What the culprit hadn’t realised was that the data before the incident was undamaged and so our researchers could look back and see who had been out and about! Their suspects were orangutan, sunbear, deer and wild pigs.

Orangutan

Orangutan

Sun bear

Sun bear

Was it a deer?

Was it a deer?

Wild pig

Wild pig

On closer examination there were bite marks on the camera and it had been pulled off the tree. A sun bear could pull it off but there weren’t any claw marks and these would be evident. We suspect it must have been an orangutan. They are a highly intelligent and curious species and this is why it probably wanted to inspect the unusual device it found in its forest home. This is alone is a reason we need to continue to find out about them and work to conserve them.

News from the orangutan monitoring release camps, Lamandau Wildlife Reserve

Orangutan Foundation vet, Dr Dimas, has kept a close eye on the healing of Abid’s broken arm.  Two-year-old orangutan Adib fractured his arm on 16th December after he fell from a tree.

Two-year-old orangutan Adib’s arm is healing well and he now has a strong grasp.

Two-year-old orangutan Adib’s arm is healing well and he now has a strong grasp.

We are delighted to report that Adib can now grasp the wood in his enclosure and he’s started to play and swing around inside. He shows no sign of pain when his hand is held, and he has a strong grip on the camp staff when they pick him up.  Due to his young age his bones will heal quickly and we are sure he’ll make a full recovery and be back in the trees at Camp JL in a week or two.

Okto enjoying the high-water levels at Camp Buluh!

Okto enjoying the high-water levels at Camp Buluh!

There is no forgetting it is the rainy season in Borneo! Okto and Shifa are certainly taking full advantage of the high-water levels at Camp Buluh.

Orangutan Shifa joining in too.

Orangutan Shifa joining in too.

Shifa is progressing very well and the Camp staff are finding it increasingly difficult to return her in the evenings from the forest back to her enclosure. This is a very positive sign and we are hopeful that we will soon release Shifa from soft-release to an independent life into the wild. Watch this space…

Bangkal December 2018.JPG

With plenty of fruit in the forest, not many of the post-release orangutans come for supplementary fruit. However, Bangkal, the dominant male orangutan at post-release monitoring Camp Gemini has been seen in the forest. Read more about Bangkal’s extraordinary survival story by clicking here. 

Donate to support our work in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Indonesian Borneo.

Improving livelihoods of communities living in and close to orangutan habitat

We are working with villages on the border of the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve (Indonesian Borneo) to improve livelihoods and local forest sustainability. In this area, fire is used to cleared land and to hunt wild pig and deer. Forests have been cleared to mine for minerals or to grow oil palm. We see the damage this does to forests, the vanishing habitat of orangutans and other critically endangered species.

Measuring out and survey of agroforestry demonstration plot (oil-palm plantation in the background).

Measuring out and survey of agroforestry demonstration plot (oil-palm plantation in the background).

As demand for land increases it is imperative to adopt sustainable livelihoods that don’t require forests to be cleared. Agroforestry has been practised traditionally in Indonesia for many centuries and it can improve farmer’s livelihoods and improve land, which is already degraded. It is a farming system that combines planting trees with agricultural crops to increase profits, both economically and environmentally.

Discussions with land owners and Sukamara KPHP about planting sengon plants in community-owned gardens

Discussions with land owners and Sukamara KPHP about planting sengon plants in community-owned gardens

The villages we work with have voluntarily offered one hectare (roughly the size of a football pitch) of their land to be used as a demonstration plot and Orangutan Foundation are assisting with the preparation and planting of seedlings and will help to monitor their progress.

Farmers nurturing sengon seedlings for planting out.

Farmers nurturing sengon seedlings for planting out.

Two of the species being grown are rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis) used for harvesting latex and sengon or albazia (Falcataria moluccana) which is used for local timber products (firewood, matchsticks, construction materials). They are fast growing species and so can be harvested in a relatively short time and they are adaptable to varying climate conditions.

Transporting compost to plant out seedlings

Transporting compost to plant out seedlings

Planting out of sengon seedlings

Planting out of sengon seedlings

Planting rubber in the demonstraion plot

Planting rubber in the demonstraion plot

Young orangutan Adib falls and breaks his arm.

Young orphaned orangutan Adib fell and broke his arm

Young orphaned orangutan Adib fell and broke his arm

Xray of Adib's broken arm.jpg

Poor little Adib has broken his arm. 

As usual, he was playing in the trees at Camp JL but, whilst swinging from one tree to another, he missed and fell to the ground.

Camp staff suspected he had broken his arm as he wouldn’t use it. 

Our vet decided to x-ray Adib’s arm, which revealed a small fracture on his right ulna.

We are not worried about this impacting Adib’s future in the wild. At his young age, bones regenerate rapidly.

Adib’s arm has been fixed to ensure it heals correctly and he has been given anti-inflammatory to reduce swelling and multivitamins and calcium supplements to aid the healing process. 

For the next few weeks Adib will have to stay in a smaller enclosure, which will help him to rest his arm.

Meanwhile, he’s being given some tender loving care and special treats such as banana porridge!

We are sure it will not be long before Adib is back in the trees playing once again with the other orangutans in our soft-release programme, in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Indonesian Borneo.

Resized banana porridge.jpg

Orangutans with a second chance of being wild

This blog post brings you news on some of the orangutans who we are caring for or who have been released back into the wild.

Orphaned orangutan Mona November 2018

Orphaned orangutan Mona November 2018

This is little Mona, she's been in our care since March 2017 and she's making excellent progress. She always seems to be photographed with her something in her mouth! One day she'll be fully released back into the wild. We are trying to ensure this "wild", the 158,000-acre Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Indonesian Borneo, stays protected. 

Okto with Shifa, who.jpg

This sweet photo of Okto and Shifa, shows Shifa when she had been recently rescued, two years ago. She initially had problems with hair loss, possibly as a result of stress but this has now regrown into a beautiful coat of hair! 

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This Ketty, who was released back into the wild in 2017 and above you can just about see infant orangutan Ariel, Ketty's "adopted sibling"! It is incredibly rewarding when we hear about or see again an orangutan who has been given a second chance to be free in the wild.

Ketty was born in the wild to Korin, a reintroduced orangutan to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. Korin sadly disappeared in 2013 and our staff found Ketty alone, only a few years old. In 2017, after 4 years of being cared for by us Ketty was released back into the wild. She was soon adopted by adult female orangutan Acuy and her infant Ariel and we often see all 3 together, Ketty playing with Ariel, while Acuy watches on. 

Celebrating new life whilst battling to save orangutan habitat

This week, our Monday motivation was this incredible footage of orangutan Max with her infant Monti, sent by our staff who are as excited about this new addition as we are. However, the next day, we heard from our Patrol Manager, Jakir, that fires were once again raging close to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Indonesian Borneo. One moment we are celebrating new life, the next we are battling to save the habitat.

Thankfully the wildlife reserve is 158,000 acres in size and the fires are well away from the orangutan release camps.  Our 8 manned guard posts, around the reserve, means our patrol staff can respond quickly to keep the reserve safe and prevent the fires from spreading.

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Habitat protection is our priority.  Please donate to our appeal to help us keep forests standing and orangutans in the wild.

Rescued and released orangutans of Lamandau Wildlife Reserve

Our vet, Dimas and programme manager, Iman, have been on their weekly visits to the orangutan release camps in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. They check on the orphaned young orangutans and ensure the good health of the released orangutans.  Their journey took longer than usual because the river levels are very low, due to lack of rain. Instead of travelling by speedboat it was completed in a shallow longboat (or klotok, as they’re called in Indonesia). Our youngest orangutans are cared for at Camp JL and include Timtom, Nyunyu, Adib, Mona (photo below) and Boy. Dimas gave them their multivitamin injection to keep them healthy but they are all well and active.

In the afternoon they continued by longboat to Gemini Camp. This is where blind orangutan Aan lives. Aan was shot and can never be returned to the wild. Her enclosure recently had new ropes (see below).

They walked from camp through the forest to the feeding site, where supplementary fruit is provided. Dominant male, Bangkal came to feeding along with female and infant orangutans; Ilik and Izzy; Hola and Happy; Ebony and Ekon (photos below); and Passion and Paris.  Max was also seen with her newborn infant, now named Monti and they seemed well.

A few days later they went to Camp Buluh, to check on orphan orangutans Okto and Syifa. Okto had injured one of his fingers a few weeks ago but after receiving treatment the inflammation has reduced and is healing well.

Both Okto and Syifa very active and enjoy playing together. Okto was given a final anti-inflammatory injection and both orangutans received their multivitamins.

Conditions are very dry at present and so our guard post staff are vigilant and on alert for fires. All the guard posts are equipment with fire-fighting gear and our staff are trained enabling them to respond quickly and effectively to extinguish fires.

Please help us to keep forests standing and orangutans in the wild. You can support our work by donating or adopting Okto or Mona.

Images of Max's newborn orangutan, born in the wild

We have just received these delightful images of Max and her newborn infant.  Max and her mother Mantra, were released into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve in 2003, aged 16-years old, this is Max's pregnancy.

Max looks to be doing well but her infant seems quite weak. Staff will provide supplementary fruit and will follow Max for a week to monitor her and her infant during these critical early days.

Wild orangutan rescued and moved to safety

When our staff arrived at the oil-palm plantation they found the orangutan in an area of forest, on the riverbank of the plantation. We had been called in to help by BKSDA SKW II Pangkalan Bun (government agency for wildlife) who had received reports from an oil-palm plantation of an orangutan in their plantation. It was decided to capture the orangutan and move her to the protected Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, to avoid potential conflict.

The orangutan, who they identified as female, had made and was resting in a nest. This made it easier to dart her as she wasn’t moving.

What our staff hadn’t anticipated was that she might just remain where she was and fall asleep, making it very difficult to then rescue her. This is just what happened!

One of our rescue team staff, Mr Nasibah, also an expert tree climber, shinnied up the tree to the nest. With huge effort he managed to lower the unconscious orangutan out of her nest.  Our staff on the ground, used netting to catch her, as she fell to the ground.

She was quickly transported to an open area where our vet Dr Dimas, examined her. Apart from a small scratch to her chest, she was in full health, weighing 45 kilos and was thought to be around 18 years-old. The scratch was cleaned and injected with long-acting antibiotics to prevent infection.

Two days later the orangutan was released in the Lamandau Widlife Reserve, on the opposite side of the river from Camp JL. We protect this forest reserve with guard posts and regular forest patrols to prevent and deter illegal activities.

 

As soon as the transport cage door was opened she actively climbed into the nearby trees and disappeared into the forest.This, we hope, is her last encounter with humans.

The Lamandau Wildlife Reserve totals 158,144 acres of tropical forest and is home to a population of more than 500 orangutans. Half of these were reintroduced or translocated and given a second chance of survival in the wild. We must make sure they are stay safe. Please donate to our urgent appeal – DONATE TODAY

 

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

Volunteer in Borneo with Orangutan Foundation in 2018

We are looking for a few more adventurous individuals to join our volunteer team in Borneo. This year's project is the renovation of a forest guard post in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.  Volunteers will be working and living on the site, which is a beautiful remote location in the middle of the forest. You will wake up and go to sleep to the sounds of the forest.

Last November, The Guardian ran an article featuring a first-hand account from one of our volunteer. It is well worth a read if you are interested in volunteering.  https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/nov/01/borneo-voluntourism-holiday-orangutan-foundation 

Orangutan Foundation does not allow any of its volunteers to have direct contact with orangutans and this is for the benefit of the apes. Most people understand this and can see the bigger picture of what they are doing.  Watch Orangutan Foundation’s Cathy Smith talking at Compass Ethical Travel Conference about ethical volunteering.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=213&v=3KM4ZBLvo38

If you want to spend a unique 3 weeks doing something worthwhile for orangutan conservation and see orangutans in the wild, then why not make this the year to join us? To find out more please click here or contact us.

Vet treats orangutans but fires are causing concern

Our Vet, Dr Dimas, has been treating one of the young orangutans in our Soft Release Programme for a dry scalp.  Dimas, has been applying a moisturising ointment and our staff will continue with this treatment.

All our young orphaned orangutans were also given vitamins and medication to prevent parasitic worm infections.

While going from Camp Siswoyo to Camp JL within the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Dr Dimas and Azhari (Orangutan Reintroduction Manager) had to use a kelotok boat (flat bottomed) instead of a speedboat because the water level is getting lower.  The dry season seems to have come early this year to Central Kalimantan, with very little rain.

There are worrying reports of more fires, right on the boundary of the Reserve. We'll keep you updated on this situation.

Please click here to donate to our work.

Thank you,

Orangutan Foundation

 

 

 

 

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?

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Orphaned infant orangutans "at home" in the forest.

“When Adib, an orphaned infant orangutan, arrived at the end of October he was afraid of climbing in the trees. Within two months he is much more confident and now seems very at home.” said Azhari Purbatrapsila, manager of the Orangutan Foundation’s Release Programme.  In this blogpost, Azhari shares his observations of some of the characters in soft-release.

The Orangutan Foundation run 5 release camps within the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Indonesian Borneo.  Here, infant orphaned orangutans undergo a soft-release process, allowing them time to learn the skills to survive in the wild.

Adib: He can climb high to the tree top. Sometime he plays with orangutans Mona and Timtom but he mainly loves to play alone since the other orangutans are bigger and stronger than him. (Watch Adib's first climb) 

Mona: Mona is making great progress. Just after she moved out from her sleeping enclosure, Mona climbed a tree and straight away started bending the branches. She made a tiny nest. Not long after the nest had broken with the branches springing back to their original position. She still doesn’t have enough strength to break the branches and make a firm nest. But still, this is a really good improvement from her!

Timtom: Like Adib, Timtom likes to play alone but she will play will Mona or Adib. She plays in the lower tree branches, even though she can climb to the top. Being cautious, she never ventures far.

Boy & Nyunyu: Boy and Nyunyu are two of the biggest and strongest of the orphaned orangutans, which explains why they are best buddies. They are very active and spend almost all their time playing together so much so that it is often difficult to get them back in at night! An encouraging sign though.

Please donate to support our work helping these orangutans return to the wild. Thank you to all our members and supporters for their ongoing support.

An Orangutan Foundation snapshot - 2017

Here is a snapshot of the Orangutan Foundation’s year in the field, thanks to our dedicated Indonesian staff. Most importantly, thank you for your ongoing support. We truly could not do, what we do, without you. January: Miners evicted from the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve and mining equipment confiscated.

February: Attempts to restore sight to blind orangutan Aan sadly fail but her story galvanises support for her cause. We continue to care for Aan to ensure she has the best quality of life possible.

March: Infant orphans, Mona (top) and Nyunyu (below), are rescued and enter our Soft Release Programme, bringing it to 10 young orangutans being cared for.

April: Orangutan Foundation, active on Earth Day, involving young Indonesian’s in cleaning up rubbish in their local environment.

May: Publication of our new photo book promotes the wonders of the orangutan’s world and raises vital funds for forest restoration.

The Orangutan's World - available for purchase

June: A new orangutan birth in Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. Venty shows off her new baby, Volvo.

 

 July: Another birth!  Dedek gives birth to a healthy baby, named Dublin.  Orangutans Jessica and Ketty, are released back to the wild!

 

August: Orangutan Foundation staff help tackle fires and stop them spreading to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

September: Orangutan Foundation Patrols in Tanjung Puting National Park remove and destroy illegal fishing traps, which also pose a threat to other wildlife species.

October: Bangkal, an ex-captive rehabilitated orangutan, reminds all who is King of Lamandau!

November: 22,000 tree saplings planted out in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve in 2017

December: A wild female orangutan is rescued from a beach resort and translocated to the safety of the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

And to finish off our year here's Adib, the latest orphan orangutan to join us in November, making his first climb at Camp JL, in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

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