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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Last week, Dr Steven (Orangutan Foundation's vet) went to see two orangutans that BKSDA, the wildlife department, had obtained from a citizen in the town of Sampit, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. How the orangutans came to be pets, we don't know. However, we do know that the orangutan's mothers would certainly have been killed in order for their babies to have been taken from them. Orangutans are protected by law in Indonesia. It is illegal to persecute, own or trade orangutans yet prosecutions are rare.
One of the orangutans is about two years old and she has been named Mona .
The second orangutan is about three years old and has been named Nyunyu. She had been kept as a pet for two years and when found was chained up around the neck.
Nyunyu does not like human contact but Mona is much easier to approach. Dr Steven said they are both in good condition and are suitable for the Orangutan Foundation's soft release programme.
They are now living at Camp Buluh, in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. Here they will learn the skills to survive in the wild such as foraging for food and building nests to sleep in but it will be a few years before they are ready to be fully released.
We need your help - please donate to support our vital work rescuing and helping these orangutans return to a life in the wild.
Orangutan, Aan, who was blinded after being shot 104 times with an air rifle, underwent surgery a few days ago to remove a cataract, which was probably caused by this trauma. Claudia Hartley, an ophthalmic surgeon, led the British team of experts, including John Lewis, one of the UK’s leading wildlife veterinarians. Post operation, initial signs were promising and the eye looked clear and healthy.
However, it is now thought that the optic nerve must have suffered irreparable damage, when she was shot, which wasn’t detectable before the surgery. The Orangutan Foundation’s vet has been monitoring Aan’s progress and is saddened to report that she isn’t showing signs of any vision.
Orangutan Foundation is hugely disappointed and we know our members and supporters will be too. The focus is on Aan’s long-term care and welfare as she will never be suitable for release back into the wild. Orangutans can live well into their forties, Aan is thought to be around 14 to 15 years old.
Thank you to every one for their support.
Claudia Hartley, the ophthalmic surgeon, and her team in Borneo have been in touch to say they are cautiously optimistic that the procedure, to remove the cataract from Aan's eye, has worked. The optic nerve looked fine, which is a great sign. Aan took a long time to come round from the anaesthetic and her eyes were still closed as it started to get dark. Orangutan Foundation field staff will keep a close eye on Aan overnight and Claudia and her team will return in the morning to assess Aan’s vision.
We are still keeping our fingers crossed that her vision will be good enough for her to be released back into the wild.
Thank you to everyone who has donated to help Aan. We will keep you updated when we hear more from the field.
Here's a short video of Aan, before the operation.
[video width="960" height="544" mp4="http://www.orangutan.org.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/VID-20170202-WA0000-1.mp4"][/video]
As 2016 comes to an end, we have received news of yet another orangutan rescued from an oil-palm plantation - read our vet's blogpost below. Please support our vital work protecting orangutans and their globally important habitat - donate here Yesterday we attended a meeting with BKSDA (Indonesian Nature Conservation Agency). Whilst we were there Pak Agung, the head officer, received a call from an oil-palm plantation, in the Sampit area, to rescue an orangutan. The Orangutan Foundation's rescue team immediately jumped into action to respond to the rescue call.
After a 4 hour journey we arrived at the location and were immediately met by the authorities from the plantation office, who directed us to the orangutan. We found the orangutan in a tree. We used a tranquilliser gun and once anaesthetised, the orangutan was identified as female, around 16 years old and her weight is around 30 Kg.
The condition of her body looks thin, maybe because she lacks food. After examining, I give de-worming drug and vitamins to help restore her health. As the orangutan came round after the anaesthetic, her behaviour became very aggressive and she was quite stressed.
She will be translocated to the protected Lamandau Wildlife Reserve in the next few days, where she will be released back into the wild as soon as possible.
Steven - Orangutan Foundation Vet
Blogpost by Steven Daud, Orangutan Foundation vet, in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Yesterday, 14 December 2016, we go by speedboat to the Camp Siswoyo and Camp Buluh, in Lamandu Wildlife Reserve, as part of our regular visits. First, we stopped at the Post Teringin Lama to check on a Brahminy kite, named Jack. He was obtained from citizens in Sampit. Jack came to us with many missing wing feathers so Jack cannot fly far away.
Because of that, we decided to put Jack at Guard Post Teringin Lama and the staff at the Post have responsibility of taking care of Jack. At first, Jack only at around the Post jetty, but now Jack seen already getting used to roost in the forest near the Post.
After Post Teringin Lama, we went to Release Camp Siswoyo for checking the latest condition of Bruno and Satria. Bruno is a Bornean sun bear and already in Camp Siswoyo since October and seemed to have a skin problem, but due to treatment it’s much better.
Satria is an orangutan undergoing soft release. Rescued in June and is about 2 and ½ years old and he is in a healthy condition and doing well. To stop infection by the parasite, I give anti-parasitic drugs to prevent transmission of disease, which I suspect comes from Bearded Pig.
Here is a video of two other young orangutans, Jessica and Timtom, in our soft-release programme, made by Azhari, our Orangutan Reintroduction manager.
Steven - Orangutan Foundation vet
Please support our work in returning these critically endangered orangutans and other wildlife species back to the wild, where they belong. Click to donate.
Here’s another field update, with some wonderful images, from Orangutan Foundation vet Steven Daud, on some of the younger orangutans in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Indonesian Borneo. A couple of days ago, we made our routine health and monitoring visits to Camp Rasak and Camp JL, two orangutan release camps, within the Wildlife Reserve. This journey is by speedboat as the camps can only be accessed by river.
Our first stop was Camp Rasak, where orangutans Jessica, Timtom and Endut live. These orangutans are on a soft-release programme.
We took Jessica, Timtom and Endut out from their enclosure so they can learn to make a nest and play in the trees. Jessica’s ability to make the nest is clearly visible. While Timtom and Endut are seen to be very brave exploring the trees, where they hone their skills of survival.
Nowadays, the weather is unpredictable which has caused Timtom to catch a cold. We are giving Timtom vitamin supplements and medication to help her get healthy again.
After Camp Rasak we got back into the speedboat and went to camp JL to monitor Okto and Ketty. Before orangutans can be fully released back into the wild they must be able to make a nest to sleep in. Ketty has shown that she can make a nest. However, Okto still has difficulty with this skill and sometimes even tries to interrupt Ketty's nest-building.
In terms of health, Okto and Ketty are both in good condition and this is maintained by giving them vitamin supplements. To minimise disease transmission between the orangutans and humans, staff in contact with the orangutans must wear gloves and masks.
I hope you enjoy the photos.
Steven (Orangutan Foundation Vet)
As always, we are immensely grateful to the Orangutan Foundation staff in Indonesia for their hard work and commitment. You can support this work by Adopting Okto (a unique Christmas present of real value) by visiting our online shop. There are plenty of other wonderful Christmas present ideas too. Last day for ordering before Christmas is Friday 16th December. Thank you.
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.
We arrived by speedboat and immediately began our search for Acuy and Ariel.
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.
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.
After that, I take blood samples, give vitamin injection and de-worming drugs to Ariel and Acuy.
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.
Mother and son (and their companion Kotim, who was released in April 2016, and seems to like hanging around with them) fit and healthy.
A blind Bornean orangutan, who was rescued from an oil-palm plantation, may have her sight restored and live in the wild again. The Orangutan Foundation have been caring for the orangutan, named Aan, since 2012 when she was found with 104 air rifle pellets in her, 37 lodged in her head. A three-hour operation removed 32 of the pellets but she was left blind which meant she couldn’t be returned to the wild.
An ophthalmic surgeon, Claudia Hartley, visited Aan to assess the permanence of her blindness. On examination, the ophthalmologist discovered there is a very high chance of restoring sight to one of Aan’s eyes.
Claudia Hartley will return to Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, with colleagues and specialist equipment in February 2017. They will operate to remove a cataract and, if successful, Aan will be returned to the wild, despite still being blind in one eye.
Aan is currently living in a purpose-built enclosure in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, which is where she will also hopefully begin her transition to living wild again.
The Orangutan Foundation actively protect the forests and precious wildlife within with guard posts and river patrols. This year, an extension to the Reserve was agreed by the Indonesian Government, adding an area the size of Guernsey to the protected forests. At a time when orangutans are critically endangered, due to habitat loss, this is a conservation success story.
Support the Orangutan Foundation and have your donation doubled through the Big Give Christmas Challenge from midday Tuesday 29 November to midday Friday 2 December https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/project/futurefororangutans
The Orangutan Foundation recently learned news of yet another orangutan found stranded with nowhere to go. Kolam, a male of around 10 years of age, is the ninth orangutan to have been found by the same stretch of road, built in the past few years to connect two towns. Before this road was built the only way to get to and from these towns was by boat, consequently people can now access areas of land they couldn’t before.
The forest which once stood is being cleared and orangutans, trying to reach a fruiting tree which once grew, are finding themselves stranded, surrounded by roads and villages.
Blood sampling results showed the orangutan to be in good health and free from contagious diseases which meant Kolam was released back into the wild in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Central Kalimantan.
Dr. Ade Soeharso, our Program Manager in Indonesia congratulated the hard work of the excellent rescue team.
Please consider a donation to help the Foundation with our ever-growing need for more facilities to care for rescued orangutans.
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
Once again we are seeing what happens to orangutans when they are stranded in pockets of forest with oil-palm on one side and villages on the other. On 18th October, a female orangutan of around 5 years of age was rescued in Central Kalimantan. This is the story of Rawit, as sent by our vet just a few days ago.
BKSDA (Indonesian Nature Conservation Agency) staff received news from local police that villagers had a young orangutan in their possession that they wished to surrender.
When the team arrived to confiscate Rawit, it was noticed immediately that her limbs were very swollen, especially her left wrist, as a result of being tied up.
Shortly after the rescue, Rawit was placed in the Foundation’s care. After a couple of days of being cared for by our staff, the swelling was significantly reduced and Rawit was able to grasp the side of her cage which she couldn’t before.
Rawit has now joined our soft-release programme within the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve where staff will continue to monitor and support her progress until she is considered ready for release.
To help us provide Rawit and other orangutans on our soft-release programme with the very best care, please consider adopting an orangutan. All proceeds go directly towards supporting the Foundation’s soft-release programme.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This Tuesday a wild orangutan was found dead in an oil-palm plantation. The Foundation vet, Dr Wawan, performed the necropsy, from which it was clear that the orangutan had been lying dead on the ground for three days before plantation staff found her. The review also showed that she had died from two severe puncture wounds. As a result, this case is now under investigation by our partners at the BKSDA. Even with all the work we do to towards education and human-orangutan conflict mitigation, there continue to be cases like these. The plantation where the orangutan was found is located within the Lamandau district where the Foundation does the bulk of its orangutan reintroduction work. In such close proximity to an area that we strive to protect and make safe for the orangutans we release, it is always alarming to find such animosity.
Help us to protect wild orangutans from fates such as these.
We think all concerned must have been surprised to find a 12-year-old male sun bear being kept as a pet by Mr Sutiyo, the vice-head of the district resort police. Mr Sutiyo had kept the sun bear for 12 years, feeding him a fattening diet of rice, sugar and honey. Upon the arrival of a translocation team, the bear was anaesthetised by the Foundation vet, Dr Wawan, and put into a large cage so that he could be transported to Pangkalan Bun.
As Mr Sutiyo was leaving Sampit, for Jakarta, he finally made the decision to give his pet up to the authorities, and allow him be returned to the wild. Unfortunately, since the sun bear has been kept as a pet for so many years, and is very overweight due to its poor diet, it will not make a suitable candidate for release. Exotic pets lack the ability to feed, protect or more generally fend for themselves in the wild, and they face an extremely low rate of survival if released without these skills.
For this reason, our staff could not free the sun bear into one of the Foundation’s release sites. Instead it was coordinated that the sun bear be taken to Orangutan Foundation International’s (OFI) orangutan care and quarantine facility, where he will get the care he needs, yet sadly with little hope of eventual release.
This is a prime example of the unfair consequences of keeping wild animals as pets, and is sadly not the first case we’ve heard of people in authoritative positions being held accountable. Cases like these only highlight the importance of our educational programmes, through which the Foundation endeavours to teach local communities the implications of holding orangutans captive. We hope that these programmes continue to be met with great success.
Help us to continue this much-needed work by donating toward our educational programmes in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. http://www.orangutan.org.uk/how-to-help/make-a-donation
Friday 13th is a day infamously associated with bad luck, but fortunately in our case, the day brought us good fortune! After two earlier rescue attempts, the Foundation staff were finally able to safely and successfully release another orangutan left stranded by habitat destruction into a protected release camp.
Orangutan Foundation staff, alongside the BKSDA rescue team, responded to a report that an orangutan was destroying the oil-palm trees on a farmer’s plantation near Pangkalan Bun.
Foundation staff quickly established that this plantation was within an area of now fragmented secondary peat swamp forest, the remnants of what would have been an orangutan’s preferred habitat. Such sites are proof that suitable orangutan habitats continue to shrink.
Yet although Foundation staff were able to assess the site, it wasn't until the third time our rescue teams were contacted on Friday 13th that they were able to track down the orangutan.
Once they had found him, our rescue team then had to work particularly hard to manoeuvre the moist peat and scrubland habitat, as well as to anaesthetise the orangutan. With a large, strong and cheek- padded male, this was no easy feat!
A full physical health examination showed that the wild orangutan was healthy and aged +- 25 years, making him a perfect candidate for immediate release into one of the Foundation's release camp sites, all within 48 hours of capture.
Once the anaesthetic had worn off, our team, alongside staff from Camp Siswoyo, opened the adult male’s cage doors and watched as he quickly assessed his new environment before disappearing into the tall tree-tops. The Foundation is excited to welcome a mature and healthy male into a protected reserve, and has decided to name him Raja! Good luck Raja!