Tag Archives: rescue

(VIDEO) Rawit’s Release

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. Visit our blog for the story of her release.

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

The Story of Rawit

r1

Rawit was found bound tightly to a tree.

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 4-5 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.

indonesian-staff-with-govresized

Foundation staff collaborated with staff from BKSDA and Indonesian conservation organisation Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP) to rescue the orangutan, named Rawit.

r2

Confiscation of Rawit

 

r3

Members of BKSDA, COP and local police carried out the confiscation.

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.

rawit-2

Rawit’s limbs were swollen from ropes used to tie her to a tree.

 

r4

Rawit in transit during the rescue.

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-6

Foundation vet carrying out health checks on Rawit.

 

rawit-1

Rawit is now being cared for by the Orangutan Foundation.

 

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.

A Race for Freedom

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 Malayan sun bear?is also the least studied, with little known about its biology or range.

The sun bear was trapped in a well.

The sun bear was trapped in a well.

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.

OF staff used a net to lift the bear out of the well

OF staff used a net to lift the bear out of the well

The Foundation vet took blood samples 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.

The bear was placed in a cage until release

The bear was placed in a cage whilst sedated.

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.

OF staff raise the door of the cage at the moment of release.

OF staff raise the door of the cage at the moment of release.

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.

The sun bear disappeared into the forest immediately following release The sun bear disappeared into the forest immediately following release.

The sun bear disappeared into the forest immediately following release.

Herni – another orangutan rescued and released.

We have just received a report from our reintroduction manager, Azhari, about a recently rescued orangutan.

Herni

Herni is a young female orangutan with a tremendous wild spirit. She was handed over to the Indonesian authorities by a local community, near Sampit (Indonesian Borneo), at the end of June.  Herni was taken to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, an area which the Orangutan Foundation actively protect with guard posts and patrols.  For three weeks Herni was looked after at Camp Siswoyo, one of six orangutan release camps, in the Reserve.

release4

Camp staff report that she doesn’t make the tidiest nests to sleep in and sometimes she adds branches to old nests to fix them and make them stronger. As you would expect from an orangutan, she travels well through the trees rarely descending to the forest floor. On the 26th August, the Orangutan Foundation staff decided that Herni was ready for soft release. This means being monitored and followed by the camp staff from dawn to dusk for 20 days.  Not as easy as it sounds!

release3

Reports so far show that Herni is doing really well, eating the correct foods and following adult females to learn from them what foods to eat. The daily ranging that Herni is doing is between 600m and 1km. The good news is while Herni follows the other orangutans, she rarely goes down to the ground. Sometimes, the staff lost her because she likes to move in the forest canopy, just like an orangutan should, whilst the staff are having to climb over tree roots and wade through swamps. Our staff are experts in the forests and so she doesn’t get lost for long.

release10

Please consider making a donation to support our ongoing work protecting this important forest reserve and its precious inhabitants.

release6

Thank you

Orangutan Foundation

Video: stitching head wound of rescued orangutan

Below is the video clip of our vet, Dr Wawan, stitching Melan’s head wound for the second time. It is quite gory so not for the faint-hearted.

This week Dr Wawan sent an update on Melan saying that her wound still looks wide, but there is tissue growth which is starting to cover the bone. Iodine, rivanol (antiseptic) and antibiotic powder will be applied until it is fully recovered. He is hopeful that it will heal.

Thank you for your support.

Orangutan Foundation

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.

Aan, blind female orangutan, playing on the ropes and tyres

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.

Aan reaching out for food

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)

 

Another wild adult male orangutan rescued

Our Orangutan Veterinary and Rescue Team managed to rescue another wild orangutan yesterday from the village of  Pendulangan, which is close to the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia Borneo.

Wild male orangutan at top of tree

We were already aware of the presence of the adult male orangutan because the village had seen it hanging around, stealing fruit from their trees and on one occasion it even wandered into the village’s kindergarten.  Fortunately, we have a good relationship with the village and we worked with them to try to live side by side with the orangutan. However, it became clear the orangutan was becoming more troublesome and the villagers could no longer tolerate the situation.

Weighing sedated orangutan before transfer to cage

The orangutan proved tricky to capture as he climbed up into the tree tops. It was made more complicated because he was so close to the village – we had to avoid injury to both ape and humans.  Eventually, he was darted and after being weighed he was taken directly to the offices of BKSDA. Our vet, Dr Fikri, is examining him today and all being well hopefully he can be translocated to the Reserve in the next day or so.

Back at BKSDA office where orangutan will be examined

We will keep you updated on his progress.

Thank you,

Orangutan Foundation

It’s Orangutan Awareness Week! Show your support by becoming a member or by making a donation.

Orangutan shot at 104 times

A total of 104 bullets have been found lodged in the body and head of a female orangutan, who was rescued last week by the Orangutan Foundation and Indonesian Government’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency of Central Kalimantan (KW II-BKSDA Kalimantan Tengah).

The adult female, who has been named Aan, was rescued from an oil palm plantation. She was found huddled in a tree, terrified. After anaesthetising her Dr Fikri, the Foundation’s vet, and rescue staff found her to be underweight and possibly blind in her left eye – a bullet could be seen lodged in her forehead. Based on information from the oil palm company, who reported her to the Forest Police, Aan had been roaming the plantation for a month and is thought to have come from a small relic forest, 1km from the plantation.

Aan’s bullet wounds and pictured left before being rescued as she huddled, terrified, in an oil palm tree

Dr Fikri, took Aan to Pangkalan Bun hospital. X-rays revealed 37 bullets lodged in her head and 67 bullets scattered all over her body, including several bullets lodged in vital organs including her heart and lungs. She has many bullets and bullet holes in her head which may lead to severe infections and could be fatal.

Even if Aan survives, there are bullets lodged above both eyes so it is likely that she will become fully blind. Dr Fikri also reports many bullets lodged around both ears so she may also become deaf.

Pak Hartono, the Section Head of Conservation Areas II-Natural Resources Conservation Agency of (Central) Kalimantan Tengah (SKW II-BKSDA Kalteng) and the Orangutan Foundation issued a joint press release. He stated he was regretful about Aan’s condition and he emphasised the laws protecting orangutans and the consequences of breaking these laws (Indonesian law has forbidden anyone to capture, injure, kill, and keep protected wildlife and will be subject to imprisonment for five years and a fine of one hundred million rupiah). 

Pak Hartono also called on the community who are keeping or know of protected animals to voluntarily hand them over to SKW II-BKSDA Kalteng. He went on to state that he hoped the relevant government agencies will evaluate licensing for development activities in order to maintain the balance of nature.

Pak Hartono’s department will continue to work with the Orangutan Foundation to seek the best for Aan’s welfare. With the help of a doctor, bullets lodged in her body will be removed. If the operations are successful and Aan recovers she will be moved to one of the release camps, in Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, where Aan will housed in a purpose built enclosure.

The Foundation has been shocked and saddened by Aan’s condition. But her spirit to survive is strong and we will do all we can to help her.  Aan’s tragic story highlights the importance of education and awareness and the need for continued protection of orangutan habitat.   Please support us to help us achieve this.

More orangutans need rescuing

We are sad to report that the pregnant female orangutan, who had been chained up by her foot, has not survived. Worryingly, the same plantation have another 20 to 30 orangutans in need of rescue. See earlier blog Worrying trend – another orangutan rescued.

The orangutan’s forest habitat should not have been cleared in the first place – they are an endangered species and protected by law. If clearing goes ahead a large enough area for the orangutans to live in should have been set aside. However, it seems there is only remnant forest surrounded by oil palm and with villages close by. The orangutans have no where to go.
We are in discussion with BKSDA (The Government Agency for Natural Resources) to find the best possible solution.  We have a rescue team in the field and we will do our utmost to save these orangutans. Rescues and translocations are costly in terms of staff time, logisitics and veterinary equipment and also the follow up care involved and not to mention ongoing habitat protection. Please support our crucial work.  You can donate via our secure online shop or via justgiving or by calling 0044(0)20 7724 2912.
More to follow soon.
Thank you.

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)