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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

IAR's Orangutan Rescue Centre takes in a young orangutan and names her after IAR trustee Lisa Milella

IAR’s rescue centre in Ketapang has received a three year old female orangutan, Lisa. She had been illegally kept as a pet in Desa Sungai Bulu, Manis Mata, an area close to the border of central Kalimantan from where we have also received previous rescues.

The owner claimed to have owned Lisa for approximately ten days, after finding her playing alone in a field and had caught her. This is a story we so often hear, but is highly unlikely. Orangutan mothers are very protective of their young and would not just leave a young baby on its own. It’s more likely that Lisa’s mother had been killed before Lisa was taken. 

While in the care of this owner, Lisa had been fed solely on a diet of cempedek (a fruit similar to jackfruit) and water. A rope had been tied around Lisa's neck to prevent her from escaping.

Lisa was surrendered to the local police of Manis Mata, who then transported her on the twelve hour drive to Ketapang, in a round-lidded dustbin with holes cut out for ventilation. On arrival Lisa was quite relaxed and calm and tolerated being handled for a short while before attempting to bite members of our medical team.

On immediate physical examination, Lisa appeared bright and alert, but she has a poor body condition. Weighing 6kg, she has a bloated abdomen, due to the poor diet she had and she also has some superficial wounds on her head and around her neck, most likely as a result of the neck rope. Worms and worm eggs are present in her faeces. 

Because she was kept as a pet for a relatively short period she shows a lot of wild behaviours, is able to make a nest and doesn’t like to be handled. Now that she is receiving a more nutritious diet of fruits and vegetables she is eating well, particularly enjoying the fruits. Lisa is currently in baby quarantine where she is slowly settling in before she receives her thorough medical examination. 

​​We have named her Lisa after IAR trustee Lisa Milella, a specialist veterinary dentist, who has donated so much of her time and skills treating the animals at our centres in Indonesia and India. Just last year Lisa performed major dental surgery on one of our orangutans, Pingky. Tragically Lisa was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and is no longer able to operate, but she continues to teach our local vets her specialist skills so that they can carry on her work. Lisa has also raised over £22,000 fundraising for IAR and continues to encourage other people to support our charity. It's an honour that we can name an orangutan after such a inspirational person. You can donate to Lisa's fundraising appeal here: