Tag Archives: translocation

The Story of Rawit

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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.

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

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Confiscation of Rawit

 

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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.

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

 

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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.

 

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Foundation vet carrying out health checks on Rawit.

 

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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.

Wild orangutan rescue

The report below, about a wild orangutan rescue and release, was sent by Pak Tigor, our Orangutan Release Manager, before the tragic accident that occurred on the 21st January, which resulted in the death of Pak Anton Wahyudi, Head of the Indonesian Government’s Agency for the Conservation of Natural Resources Central Kalimantan section II (BKSDA SKW II). Pak Anton Wahyudi and his staff played a key role in the rescue. 
Tree where the wild orangutan fled to and climbed up

Tree where the wild orangutan fled to and climbed up

This post illustrates the important work of the Indonesian Government’s Agency for the Conservation of Natural Resources and the Orangutan Foundation but it highlights the chronic problem that Indonesia is facing:  increasing numbers of wild orangutans that are being encountered and needing rescue as their habitat continues to be destroyed and fragmented.  

One quick and simple way to support our work, that won’t cost you anything, is to vote for us in the Animal Friends Pet Insurance Facebook Challenge – if Orangutan Foundation gets the most votes we will win £5,000. We urgently need these funds to support our work in Indonesian Borneo.

Rescue team trying to capture the orangutan

Rescue team trying to capture the orangutan - Orangutan Foundation

Last month, after coordination with BKSDA SKW II we visited the village of Natai Raya, close to the Port of Kumai. We had heard there was an isolated female orangutan that was eating fruit from the villager’s backyards. Capturing and moving wild orangutans is always a last resort as it is risky for both the apes and humans and it is also very expensive. However, it was clear that in this case the orangutan needed to be removed from the village. There was a small swampy area with a few small trees but no fruit trees and on the other side of the swamp was an oil palm plantation.  

Wild female orangutan high in tree

Wild female orangutan high in tree -Orangutan Foundation

The next day the rescue team made up from BKSDA SKW II staff and the Orangutan Foundation vet Dr Fikri, Uduk (Assistant Orangutan Release Manager) and Pak Tigor headed to the village to capture and trans-locate the orangutan. After 7 failed attempts to catch the orangutan she fled into the swamp and climbed a tree.

Wild female Bornean orangutan

Wild female Bornean orangutan - Orangutan Foundation

The team decided to leave the village and return a few days later with more Orangutan Foundation staff to help. Finally, after a co-ordinated effort by all, the orangutan was isolated in one tree and was darted and safely rescued.

Orangutan being weighed

Orangutan being weighed - Orangutan Foundation

Veterinary checks on darted wild orangutan

Veterinary checks on darted wild orangutan - Orangutan Foundation

OF Vet Team attending darted wild orangutan

OF Vet Team attending darted wild orangutan - Orangutan Foundation

DrFikri immediately performed the necessary health checks and the orangutan was taken to the BKSDA SKW II office in Pangkalan Bun.

Orangutan Foundation vet, Dr Fikri with darted orangutan

Orangutan Foundation vet, Dr Fikri with darted orangutan -Orangutan Foundation

Darted orangutan being taken away from the village

Darted orangutan being taken away from the village - Orangutan Foundation

Orangutan being taken to BKSDA office in Pangkalan Bun

Orangutan being taken to BKSDA office in Pangkalan Bun - Orangutan Foundation

The next day the orangutan was transported by klotok (longboat) to the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.

Orangutan, awake and alert, being transported to the wildlife reserve

Orangutan, awake and alert, being transported to the wildlife reserve - Orangutan Foundation

Heading into the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve

Heading into the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve - Orangutan Foundation

Arriving at Camp Mangkung, site for the release of translocated orangutans - Orangutan Foundation

Arriving at Camp Mangkung, site for the release of translocated orangutans - Orangutan Foundation

 

Wild orangutan being taken to a safe release site - Orangutan Foundation

Wild orangutan being taken to a safe release site - Orangutan Foundation

She was released at Camp Mangkung, a site established specifically for trans-located orangutans. 

Time to go back to the wild -Orangutan Foundation

Time to go back to the wild -Orangutan Foundation

Orangutan Foundation staff followed the orangutan for 14 days to ensure she was fit and well ans that there were no problems arising because of the trans-location.

There's a released wild orangutan in there somewhere! Orangutan Foundation

There's a released wild orangutan in there somewhere! Orangutan Foundation

Mission accomplished.... all photos by Orangutan Foundation

Mission accomplished.... all photos by Orangutan Foundation

Thank you to BKSDA SKW II and to Colchester Zoo Action for the Wild for the support of our Veterinary Programme and for funding the blow pipes and darts.

 Please consider a donation to support our vital work.

 Thank you,

 Orangutan Foundation

Orangutan translocated to forest reserve

Finally, last week Memes (the young female orangutan rescued from the oil palm plantation a few weeks ago) was successfully translocated to Camp Gemini, in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.

Dr Fiqri, the vet of the Orangutan Foundation’s Reintroduction Programme gave the all clear – Memes was healthy and free from worms. Pak Eko Novi, from the Agency for Conservation of Natural Resources of Central Kalimantan, gave permission for the translocation.

Orangutan, Memes, being moved from OCCQ 

Female orangutan, Memes, leaving the OCCQ and heading to the forests. 

Memes was transported from the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine facility (OCCQ) by the Orangutan Foundation International’s (photo above) translocation team. The Orangutan Foundation Reintroduction Programme staff, accompanied by Pak Eko Novi, then took over the final stages of the translocation process.

Orangutan, Memes, heading to the Lamandau reserve

Pak Eko Novi accompanying Memes in the speed boat up to Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.  

After a journey of 2 hours Memes arrived at Camp Gemini, in the Lamandau reserve. 

Orangutan arriving at Camp Gemini, Lamandau reserve 

The whole translocation process was filmed by Trans 7 (the Indonesian television company) and was observed by staff from Tanjung Puting National Park. 

 TV crew filming translocation process

Trans 7 filming the translocation to raise awareness in Indonesia.

Dr Fiqri did a final check on Memes to make sure everything was well and safe for her. Memes seemed impatient to get back to her life in the forest (see photo below)!

Dr Fiqri observing Memes

Female Bornean orangutan, Memes, ready to get back in the trees! 

Immediately after the cage was opened by Pak Eko Novi, Memes climbed up the nearest tree and didn’t look back, as she moved on into the other trees.

Orangutan climbing tree in Lamandau 

Memes headed straight for the nearest tree. 

Orangutan, Memes, in the forest.

Dr Fiqri watched and smiled as Memes disappeared into the forest. He’s confident she will be very fast to adapt to her new home in the Lamandau reserve.

Smiling for the release of Orangutan Memes

Two Camp Gemini staff followed Memes into the forest until she made a nest and went to sleep. The staff spent the night in the forest, sleeping in hammocks. Memes woke up early the next morning and moved off very quickly through the trees, eventually losing her two followers.

Memes is now living free in the Lamandau reserve but our work doesn’t end here, we must continue to protect these forests and the precious wildlife within.

Please support our work,

Hudi Dewe  (Orangutan Foundation Porgramme Co-ordinator) 

Male Bornean Orangutan Rescued

Orangutan Awareness and Orangutan Freedom

On Wednesday 11 November 2009, the rescue team from Section II Natural Resources Conservation Agency of Central Kalimantan and Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ-OFI) rescued one big male orangutan from Tanjung Putri, a local village. The orangutan was 183 cms tall, weighed approx 80 kg and was about 20 years old.  Mr. Eko Novi (The head of section II of the  Natural Resources Conservation Agency of Central Kalimantan) gave him the name “Jejawi”.

 translocation male Bornean orangutan

Jejawi being transferred to the speedboat

Translocation Bornean male orangutan

Orangutan is transferred by speedboat.

 Translocation male Bornean orangutan

 translocation male Bornean orangutan

 translocation male Bornean orangutan

Mr. Eko Novi coordinated with Tigor, the Reintroduction Manager of Orangutan Foundation, for the translocation process. After medical observation by Dr Popo (OCCQ-OFI Vet) and Dr Fiqri (Lamandau Vet of Orangutan Foundation), on Friday 13th , Jejawi (the orangutan) was successfully translocated to the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, the same place where Bruno, the sun bear, was released.

Translocation of male Bornean orangutan

Mr. Eko Novi said this is a good moment to participate in Pekan Peduli Orangutan (Orangutan Awareness Week) with real action to help the orangutan to get a new life in safe habitat.  

Translocation male Bornean orangutan

When the door of the transporter cage was opened, Jejawi immediately move out from the cage, he looked around for a second and then with fantastic speed, moved and reached the branch, he climbed the trees, and then moved to other trees, climbing until reaching the canopy.  We hope Jejawi is now free for a better and safer life in the Lamandau reserve.

Translocation male Bornean orangutan

 Translocation male Bornean orangutan

 Translocation male Bornean orangutan

Back in the trees, hard to see – as orangutans should be! 

The Orangutan translocation story was already published in Metro TV (the Indonesian television station) for News Program, and published in Borneo News (Central Kalimantan news paper) to encourage orangutan conservation awareness.

Thank you,

Hudi WD

Programme Coordinator

Please support our ‘Protect Me and My Tree Appeal’ – keep these orangutans in forest where they deserve to be.