Change currency

Empty

International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

IAR's Orangutans and Rescue Team Set to Star in TV Special

"ORANGUTAN RESCUE: BACK TO THE WILD" - Next Screening: Nat Geo Wild, AUSTRALIA 8.30pm on Sunday 29 June

A documentary scheduled to air on Nat Geo WILD TV follows the team at International Animal Rescue’s Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in West Borneo as they work to save the lives and build a future for nearly 70 orangutans. The one hour special demonstrates the hours of patient coaching and care the baby orangutans receive from IAR’s team of vets, volunteers and babysitters to set them on the road to freedom.

“ORANGUTAN RESCUE: BACK TO THE WILD” will air in the UK on 23 June, Australia 29 June and in the rest of the world later in the summer. The programme shows how the orphaned babies are taken to the forest every day to build up their strength and develop the skills they would have been taught by their mothers in the wild. They attend one of two classes: Baby School for the very young ones who must learn what a forest is and how to climb a tree. Once they’ve made the grade, they move onto Forest School, an advanced class where they learn to be more independent, finding food for themselves and building nests to sleep in at night. 

Santi is a cute and playful young female who was being kept as a pet until her owners simply couldn’t cope or feed her any more and handed her over to the authorities. In captivity she was fed bread and cake and kept in a cage. Since arriving at the International Animal Rescue centre a few months ago she has already learnt many of the skills she will need to survive on her own in the wild.

Best friends Rocky and Rickina are two of the centre’s most charismatic characters. They are always found together, hugging each other closely and staying glued together even when the babysitters lift them into the trees and onto the feeding platforms. Baby Rickina bears the scars of an attack with a machete that killed her mother. She was left with a nasty gash on her forehead. Both babies are making progress and will one day go their separate ways in the wild.

Best friends Rocky and Rickina are two of the centre’s most charismatic characters. They are always found together, hugging each other closely and staying glued together even when the babysitters lift them into the trees and onto the feeding platforms. Baby Rickina bears the scars of an attack with a machete that killed her mother. She was left with a nasty gash on her forehead. Both babies are making progress and will one day go their separate ways in the wild.

 

 

The project is led by Spanish vet Karmele Llano Sanchez and her Scottish manager Gail Campbell Smith. Both women have years of experience in primate rescue and rehabilitation. Karmele’s Indonesian husband Argitoe leads the Orangutan Rescue Team. American-born vet  Christine Nelson oversees procedures in the medical hub, as well as running the Baby School. British-born Lisa Burtenshaw is enrichment co-ordinator and works on teaching the orangutans the skills their mothers would have taught them in the wild.  The team of vets and carers also includes many local men and women dedicated to preparing the rescued orangutans for their life back in the forest.

Viewers are also introduced to adolescent apes like Melky, one of the naughtiest in the group, who keeps the staff on their toes with his cheeky antics of chasing and nipping other orangutans – and people!

The film also follows the translocation of wild adult male orangutan Kaliba. The release operation requires careful planning and coordinating if it is to go smoothly. First Kaliba is sedated and given a thorough health check. He is then put into a transportation cage and driven to Mount Tarak, 12 hours’ drive from the centre in Ketapang. Viewers will watch in awe as the team releases Kaliba back into the forest.

Rescued from almost certain death, Kaliba’s return to the wild paves the way for more from International Animal Rescue’s rehabilitation centre.   It may take years, but Karmele and the team are working to release every orangutan currently in Baby and Forest School back into their rightful home in the wild.

The programme also follows the antics of Gunung, Monte, Anjas, Joyce and Bonita.

“ORANGUTAN RESCUE: BACK TO THE WILD” was produced by Bearkatt Productions for Nat Geo WILD.

Countdown Clock