Lamandau’s orangutans - meet Amoi and her adopted son, Richard.

Amoi, female Bornean orangutan, was released into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve at Camp Siswoyo on July 14 2004. Recently Amoi is found in the vicinity of Camp Gemini, with her adopted son, Richard. Perhaps Amoi fancied a change of scenery or different companions! Amoi has a very tame nature and when the Camp staff order her to leave camp and go to the forest, Amoi replies with a sound similar to a man crying “hink….hink…hink…”.

Bornean Orangutan Amoi and her adopted son, Richard

Amoi and her adopted son, Richard.

Last year Amoi “adopted” a three-year-old male orangutan called Richard. Richard’s mother Ruta died in February 2008. Camp staff tried to find an appropriate mother for Richard and the job fell to Amoi. Initially Amoi rejected Richard but the camp staff continued to present Richard to Amoi and eventually Amoi accepted him. Since March 2008 she has become his new mother.

Thank you,

Dr Fiqri

The Great Ape Debate

Please see below a summary of a press release by The Linnean Society of London and the World Land Trust.

On the 30th April 2009 at 18.00-19.00 British time, the World Land Trust and Linnean Society of London will host the widely anticipated ‘Great Ape Debate’. The debate will be streamed live onto the organisation's websites allowing a huge public audience for what is expected to be a lively and informative debate.

The destruction of huge areas of orangutan habitat is now seriously threatening the species with extinction and leading conservationists in the field hold conflicting views on how best to ensure the survival of “the person of the forest”.

This debate will focus on the controversy surrounding Orangutan conservation and whether rehabilitation and reintroduction of rescued captive animals is a viable way of conserving Orangutans or would resources be better spent on the purchase, protection and recreation of their natural habitats? Experts are divided in their opinions, and this forum, consisting of conservation experts and scientists , will pool their views and open the debate to the floor in what should prove to be an intriguing and lively discussion. The issues raised will also be relevant to the conservation of other species.

The debate will be chaired by The Earl of Cranbrook, and making up the panel will be:

Dr Marc Ancrenaz - Director of Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Project

Mr John A Burton, FLS - Founder and CEO of World Land Trust

Dr David J. Chivers, FLS - University Reader in Primate Biology and Conservation, Veterinary Anatomy Programme and Head Wildlife Research Group at Cambridge University.

Ms Ashley Leiman, OBE - Founder and Director of Orangutan Foundation (UK)

Mr Ian Redmond, OBE - Ambassador, UN Year of the Gorilla and Chief Consultant, GRASP – UNEP/UNESCO Great Ape Survival Project.

The link for the debate is or

Help Needed with Orangutan’s New Feeding Sites

Last week I asked for your help to buy a solar power set for Pondok Ambung, our research station, well I'd like to ask for it again. New feeding 6 -mother & infant

In May I wrote about how we had changed the feeding system at Camp Siswoyo in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve (Feeding Orangutans - A New Approach). Instead of using a feeding platform as is done at all the other release camps, at Siswoyo we have hung cut-up and inside-out car tyres from trees. The orangutans’ food is then dropped into these heavy-duty “buckets”; the one tyre per orangutan system reduces competition, allows us to give an extra large portion to hungry or pregnant orangutans, or those with infants and the tyres eliminate the risk of disease transfer from the orangutans walking across a dirty feeding platform.

New feeding 1

In May, I said the system was not 100% perfect. We have tried tweaking it: some of the tyres have been lowered so the field assistants can get the food out quicker; and the tyres are now in more of a circular arrangement, rather than in a line, so the orangutans do not all congregate at the start. This week Tigor, the Lamandau Camps Manager and I reviewed the system. Our conclusion was that we should do it in the other five camps!

And that is why I am asking for your help.

We need an extra 80 tyres; for efficiency we will buy an angle grinder so we can cut up the tyres ourselves and a bore to make the drainage holes; we need steel cable to attach the tyres to the trees and step ladders. The total cost will be just over $500 (5 million Indonesian rupiah)

Thank you Mary H. for your donation of $15 on September 1st and Brigitta for your donation $20 on the 5th September- we really appreciate your support.

On a final note, I would encourage all of you to do as Sheryl suggested and sign the petition to end the use of great apes by the entertainment industry. In addition to the obvious welfare issues surrounding performing animals, I read recently “A survey conducted of visitors to Great Ape Trust and cited in Science magazine (March 14, 2008) showed that the appearance of apes in advertising and entertainment negatively influenced the general public’s perception of the conservation status of apes in the wild.”I hope you can help.

As always, I will update you as we progress and thank you in advance.