Tag Archives: Oil Palm Plantations

Injured orangutan rescued from oil palm plantation

Here is an update from our vet, Dr Wawan, on a young orangutan rescued in April.  Ashley Leiman, the Orangutan Foundation’s director, returned from a visit to Indonesia last week. Ashley managed to get some video footage, of the orangutan having her head stitched, during her visit to the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve (Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo). We will share this with you shortly but for now, over to Wawan, who has written this post.

‘Melan, she is an orangutan that caught by villagers in an oil palm plantation area in Natai Raya village, close to the town of Pangkalan bun, Kalimantan Tengah Province. BKSDA (Conservation and Natural Resources Authority) rescued her from the village in with the Orangutan Foundation’s help.

Unfortunately she have a big wound in her head, like she has been sliced by knife or any other sharp object. We could see her skull because the wound is wide open, very pity little Orangutan. She is maybe 3 years old female orangutan.

I decide to clean and stitch the wound. I give her anaesthetic and I try to clean the wound with an Iodine solution and make it clearer from her hairs. After 30 minutes she woke up very suddenly. She is put in her cage at BKSDA office. I see the stitching is good enough and I give suggestion to keep watching on her whether she will scratch and or pull the stitches.

 

For a moment she is looks good by not scratch it hard, maybe just a gently touching, and some time she use leaves to cover her head to avoid flies come over. I think it is good and hope she will get well by a week.

Then 8 days after the stitching I saw unexpected thing!

Trying to prise the skin together on a head wound on a young orangutan

The wound become wide open again and wider than before I think. She is in the cage with another Orangutan, I see they were happy keep playing and playing. I suspect because of their playing intensity, they shouldn’t put in the cage together. BKSDA decide to move Melan to Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, Camp JL. The following day I re-stitched her wound once she was at Camp JL.

I gave her another anaesthetic but his time is was harder as the skin was stronger now and its very hard to pull. But I have one good assistant to help and he keep pulling the skin while I was stitching. That second stitching took 30 minute but looks better and also I give such strong glue with the stitching to make the skin stay together.

Get well soon Melan…We will keep you updated with her progress,

Wawan (Bambang Setyawan)

Orangutan Foundation Vet

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Tripa Update

Dr Ian Singleton, director of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), has just sent some information about a new video (watch here) and article (read here) about the forthcoming NBC broadcast on the work of SOCP and the situation in the Tripa Peat Swamps, Sumatra.

For those of you in the US the film will be shown on Rock Center with Brian Williams this THURSDAY 18th October.

Please also spare a minute to sign this petition www.change.org/saveTripa2

Thank you,

Orangutan Foundation

Indonesian court cancels oil palm plantation permit

We heard this morning that the High Court in Medan has ordered the Aceh Governor, Zaini Abdullah, to revoke a permit for an oil palm plantation in the Tripa peat swamps in Aceh province in the north of the island of Sumatra. The appeal was filed by the Aceh chapter of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi).

This ruling is very good news for the future of the remaining orangutans in Tripa. It also demonstrates a commitment by the Indonesian government to enforce the laws protecting carbon-rich forests and endangered species. Read the full article in the Jakarta Post and keep up to date with the campaign to save Tripa at End of the Icons

Thank you,

Orangutan Foundation

 

Worrying trend – another orangutan rescued

 We have received another report from our vet, Dr Fikri, about an orangutan that was rescued from an oil palm plantation. The Central Kalimantan Agency for Natural Resources (SKW II BKSDA) received a report from an oil palm company, PT.TASK III, located in Cempaga District, Sampit, about the presence of an orangutan. The ape had been seen in the plantation eating oil palm fruit. The Orangutan Foundations rescue team and BKSDA arrived at the oil palm plantation and with the plantation staff coordinated a rescue plan and headed straight to where the orangutan had been seen. Luckily she was still there. The orangutan was a female and had been living in the plantation for some time because of the number of nests in trees.

Photo 1. Oil palm plantations PT.TASK III which is adjacent to the plantation owned by the community

Photo 2. Remaining forest around PT.TASK III plantations

Photo 3. Remaining forest around PT.TASK III plantations

Photo 4. Remaining forest adjacent to the PT.TASK III plantations

 

Photo 5. Other land owned by oil palm plantations which have not been planted which is adjacent with PT.TASK III

Photo 6. Orangutan nests in the remaining forest around oil palm plantation

The team did an expert job in darting the orangutan. She was anesthetized quickly with minimal stress and no injuries incurred. Dr Fikri examined her and she was wild female orangutan, around 12 years old and weighing 42 pounds.

Photo 7. Orangutan in the middle of oil palm plantations, before anesthesia

Photo 8. Dr Fikri prepares the anaesthetic 

 

Photo 9. Orangutan has been sedated

 

Photo 10. Examination of the condition of the orangutan

 

Photo 11. Examination  of the orangutan

 

Photo 12. Examination of the orangutan

 

Photo 13. Examination is complete and orangutan is put a holding cage

 

Photo 14. Rescue at plantation completed

 

Photo 15. Orangutan leaves the plantation

Photo 16. Orangutan arrives at the BKSDA Office, Pangkalanbun

 The orangutan was taken to BKSDA Office in Pangkalan Bun. On the 12th June it was decided she was ready to be released into the wild (see images below). Later that morning she was taken by car from the BKSDA office to where the speedboat was waiting. She then began her journey by river into the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve. She was released on the Teringin Lama River between Camp Siswoyo and Camp Gemini, two orangutan release camps which are run by the Orangutan Foundation.

The orangutan moved slowly out from the cage and climbed up into the trees. Dr Fikri watched as she climbed away and settled high in another tree and looked around – she seemed to be thinking “Hurray ….. I have been freed….”.

At the time of writing this post, the field team informed us of another orangutan found in the vicinity of same plantation. This female’s foot was chained and very swollen.   On examination the orangutan was found to be three months pregnant.  We’ll update you soon.

A male orangutan that we attempted to rescue in April, at the time of filming the Sir Terry Pratchett documentary, is still in the plantation in spite of a number of attempts to rescue him.   The fully adult male moves further towards the river when approached and so the team will wait until they feel it is safe to dart him.

Ashley Leiman, Founder and Director of the Orangutan Foundation, is worried about this recent increase in rescues as it signifies what immense pressure this endangered great ape’s habitat is under.

Photo 17. Orangutan leaving BKSDA office

Photo 18. Orangutan moved to speedboat

 

Photo 19. Orangutan on a speedboat

Photo 20. Journey to the Wildlife Reserve

 

Photo 21. Preparation for release

 

Photo 22.  Dr Fikri opens the cage door

 

Photo 23. Opening cage door

 

Photo 24. Orangutan is free again

 

Photo 25. Orangutan is wild once more!

Photo 26, Dr Fikri watches as orangutan moves away

Photo 27. orangutan in tree, somewhere. 

 Please donate to our latest appeal and support our guard posts and forest patrols: they keep the endangered orangutans and their forest homes safe. (Read letter by Ashley Leiman OBE)

Visiting Orangutan Foundation Programmes

As you will no doubt know from Stephen’s posts about a month ago, I recently ventured out of the London office and over to Pangkalan Bun (Borneo) or, more accurately “the field”. This was not my first time there; my employment here (for my part!) is the result of me being completely overwhelmed by the plight of the orangutans when I stumbled upon the Volunteer Programme in 2001.

Amongst other things, I now run the Volunteer Programme here at Orangutan Foundation and continue to get enormous pleasure from arranging for people go over to Indonesia for what pretty much always ends up as a life-changing experience. The small size of the UK office means that I have my fingers in many of the Orangutan Foundation pies and so my trip out there was also to see the programmes that I write about day-in-day-out. In short, it was an amazing trip and reminded me that I work primarily to save the orangutans and their home, something that seems to slip the mind in hectic times.

The highlight was most definitely going to Camp Rasak (orangutan release in Lamandau Wildlife Reserve) and knowing that the orangutans I saw in the trees were primarily orangutans that would have been in the Orangutan Care Centre on my last visit in 2001. A close second was Belantikan. It really is a beautiful area and needs to be saved.

Belantikan Forest

Belantikan Forest

Belantikan Forest

It not only has orangutans but is some of the most amazing forest that I have ever seen (and I have seen a lot). Time is key too – in an eight hour journey there we drove through oil palm for six hours and heavily logged areas for one hour.

oil palm plantations en route to Belantikan

oil palm plantations en route to Belantikan

oil palm plantations en route to Belantikan

Oil Palm Plantation

logging in the Belantikan

Logging on the journey to Belantikan

It really was quite surreal –little dumper trucks carrying kernels or actual palm oil were the only traffic on the road…..and they seemed to infiltrate EVERY bit of land….

Seeing this destruction on the way really enforced how important our work with Yayorin, our Indonesian partners, in Belantikan is for these forests, its wildlife and the local communties who live here.

Catching up with the Volunteer Programme seven years on was one of the main reasons for me to go to Indonesia. I said I’d try and post about my time on the programme so I’ll do this in the next few days!

Thanks,

Elly

Development & Volunteer Co-ordinator
UK Office