rescues

Update; the orangutans of July - and one bear!

In the month of July, our staff have been working hard on fixing boats, and maintaining the camps and caring for seven young orangutans - and one sun bear!

Two orangutans have been successfully trans-located via 'hard release', whilst seven others (Melan, Yuli & Ivan, Lisna, Jupe, Rocky and Muda - more news on them soon!) remain in the latter stages of 'soft release'. By the end of August, all these individuals will be released and soon back into the wilds of life by them selves.

Hard release and soft release are terms given to the different types of orangutan release. Hard releases are shorter, easier and are more ideal for individuals of a good age and in good health. A well grown, healthy orangutan needs removal from private land or farm, the Orangutan Foundation vet gives any medical check ups needed and the Foundation staff release the individual straight back into the wild usually with a day before going back into the forest.

Gemini 2

Soft releases occur when the individual needs some time for adjustment within a protected and secure area. The individual may be very young without a mother, may have been injured, require medical attention or a course of medicine over some days. In these cases, individuals can stay in the most appropriate cage available at one of our six release sites. Through a process of observation, time outside the cage and regaining health where needed, these individuals are then released into the wild.

The Foundation Indonesian office gets contacted about all sorts of animals! In the past we have helped a clouded leopard and sun-bear individuals before, and in the July our team rescued a young bear from near Sampit, east of Lamandau. It needed a few days to be watched over and some help in the first few days to adjust, but very soon our staff will be releasing it into the forest, following it at first - just like how we ensure the orangutans are doing well!

Gemini sunbear3a

GPhoto 24 (Resize)

 

The two orangutans relocated in July were able to go straight back in the wild - such important work towards sustaining the wild populations of orangutans that are still surviving in the wild. The Orangutan Foundation has been supporting the orangutan reintroduction programme in the protected Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve since 2000. It is one of the few places in Indonesia where translocated and rescued orangutans can be released in the wild. We can release in several  locations in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve for a hard release, and we have six orangutan release camps in the reserve for soft releases.

Boni_Jodie_01

As soon as we hear about Melan's, Rocky's, Ivan's and Muda's final trip out into the wild we'll let you know - it won't be long till these four are out and about. You can read Melan's story here, a brave female featured in our last newsletter. To receive our email updates, please do sign up here!

 

Orangutan rescued

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr Wawan - Orangutan Foundation Vet

 

Update on Aan, orangutan who was shot over 100 times.

Dr Fikri has sent the update below on how Aan, the female orangutan who was shot over 100 times, is recovering. Aan has been living in a temporary enclosure in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve. We are currently building a permanent and larger enclosure for her. However, we still have meet the costs of her day to day care and we need to secure additional funds to assist us with this. Please consider a donation to help us (click here to donate). Update from Dr Fikri

'In general, Aan's health has improved. She is always on the move and loves playing with the ropes and tyres in her cage. She rarely goes down to the floor of the cage, especially if there are other orangutans outside or in the evening when pigs might come near the cage.

When camp staff have to enter the cage to clean it, Aan always moves away to the far corner. She often moves by holding the walls of the cage so the camp staff think she looks like Spiderman.

Aan is totally blind having lost her sight to air gun pellets that were fired at her. Despite having several pellet still lodged in her ears, thankfully Aan can hear. In fact as she suffered blindness, the ability to hear seems better and tends to be more sensitive than other healthy orangutans. Therefore, for now, we have decided not to undertake further surgery to remove the pellets.

When feeding, the camp staff will call her name while sometimes knocking the cage wall to encourage Aan to come closer. Unlike the other orangutans, Aan is very picky about food. She often leaves unripe or less mature fruit. If the fruit given is ripe, Aan will definitely eat it. She really likes mango and pineapple. If both fruits are available, Aan will not eat bananas instead she will throw them away.'

On behalf of everybody at the Orangutan Foundation I would like to thank you for your support this year.

Season’s greetings,

Ashley

Ashley Leiman (Founder and Director Orangutan Foundation)

 

Two more orangutans rescued

This has been a record year for the Orangutan Foundation in terms of the number of orangutans rescued and released into the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve. The fact we can help these apes and offer them a safe refuge is a positive but it is worrying that there are so many apes in need of rescue.  Last week, two more orangutans arrived at the reserve. Here, they will undergo a 'soft' release process where, overtime, with help and monitoring, they will return to a life in the wild. The two orangutans were brought to the Pangkalan Bun office of BKSDA-SKW II (Conservation and Natural Resources Authority) from Sampit, District of Kotawaringin Timur. Pak Hartono, Head of SKW II-BKSDA, named the 5 year-old orangutan Nisa, after his daughter, and the other orangutan, who is thought to be about 3 years-old, was named Lisna, after a BKSDA member of staff.

Nisa (photo above), who was a pet, had been kept in a cage for over a year. Lisna (photo below) was also a pet, but had never been kept in cage.

Our vet, Dr Fikri visited the BKSDA office to examine the orangutans. Lisna, the younger of the two, stayed calm. However, Nisa was very distressed and had to be sedated.

Thankfully both orangutans were found to be fit and healthy and so they were taken to the Reserve last week.

During the boat journey both orangutans remained calm. Dr Fikri held Lisna in his arms and she even fell asleep.

When Nisa's transport cage was opened she quietly climbed out and went straight into the larger holding cage.

Whilst this was going on Lisna took the opportunity to do some tree climbing. The staff were impressed by her skills as she is still very young. Lisna looked very confident and was lively, often moving from branch to branch.

It then began to rain so Ari, an Orangutan Foundation member of staff, tried to call Lisna to come down from the tree. But Lisna ignored him, she was having far too much fun. Ari had to climb up and bring her down.

Lisna only stayed one night at Camp Gemini. A crack was found in the cage and it was feared that Lisna might break out. So the next day Dr Fikri, our vet, moved Lisna to Camp Siswoyo, another release camp, within the reserve.

Thank you to everyone who has donated over the past week - your support is vital to our work and we are extremely grateful.

More news from the field soon!

Thank you,

Orangutan Foundation

 

 

Bornean orangutan with 104 air gun pellet wounds recovering well from three-hour operation.

Aan, the wounded female orangutan, who the Orangutan Foundation rescued a few weeks ago, has survived a 3 hour operation to remove 32 of the total 104 air gun pellets in her body.

Dr Zulfiqri, a veterinarian from the Orangutan Foundation, assisted by a specialist surgeon from the local Imanuddin Hospital, managed to remove 32 of the pellets lodged in her body and head.

Aan is recuperating in the Orangutan Foundation Veterinary Facility, in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.

When she was rescued from the oil palm plantation, she had already lost the sight in her left eye and was losing the sight in her right eye day-by-day. The X-rays showed a dozen pellet shots lodged in and around her eyes. Now she has lost sight in both eyes completely, so food and water for her must first be touched or placed in her hands.

It is unlikely that Aan can be released back into the wild, but will remain at Camp Gemini, a release camp within the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.  Dr Zulfiqri said that: “If necessary, surgery to remove more pellets will continue to be done in stages.”

The Head of the local Conservation Agency based in Pangkalan Bun, Mr Hartono said: “I hope that Aan will now feel more comfortable being in the forest living in a large holding cage. We will work together with the Orangutan Foundation to find the best way so that Aan can continue to live.”

Ashley Leiman OBE, Director of the Orangutan Foundation said:  “We have worked in Borneo over 20 years and have never had to rescue three orangutans in four days. The reasons for the increase could be due to the rapid loss of orangutan habitat or it could be because more people are reporting orangutans to the wildlife department whereas before they would have killed them.”

In October, the Orangutan Foundation, in cooperation with the Indonesian Natural Resources Conservation Agency of Central Kalimantan, successfully translocated two orangutans into the protected Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.  The larger male Herlino was rescued from an oil-palm plantation whilst the four-year old female Joson had been kept for the last 4 months in a small cage in a village.

Read full press release here.

Please support our vital work www.orangutan.org.uk. Remember Orangutan Awareness Week runs from Monday 12th November – Sunday 18th November with Orange for Orangutan Day on Wednesday 14th November.  Do something for orangutans and their rainforest home this week!