IAR's team rescues and relocates a solitary male orangutan
IAR's team in Indonesia has successfully rescued and translocated an adult male orangutan from a rubber plantation in the village of Tanjung Baik Budi.
The local villagers had asked the team in Ketapang, West Kalimantan, to translocate the orangutan because there wasn't sufficient forest left in the area for him to survive and he was isolated from any other orangutans. The team sedated the large male before taking him to Sungai Putri forest up the Tolak River and releasing him in this new location. It is hoped that he will be happy and safe in his new home.
Karmele Llano Sanchez, Executive Director of IAR Indonesia, thanked the team for doing such a good job of moving the great ape.
Since the 1990s clearing of rainforests has become commonplace in Indonesia and poses a huge threat to the survival of forest-dwelling species like the orangutan. Bornean orangutan numbers have declined by more than 50% over the past 60 years, a trend likely to continue because wild populations are for the large part living outside protected areas of forest.
As a result of deforestation, the remaining forests have become more accessible for poachers. Indeed, many orangutans are in desperate need of rescue after ending up in the illegal wildlife trade. International Animal Rescue’s team in West Kalimantan Province works in close cooperation with the local Forestry Department (BKSDA) to rescue orangutans from the wildlife trade or from captivity and provide them with expert medical care and rehabilitation. After a rehabilitation process of possibly several years, most orangutans can be reintroduced into the wild.
Wild orangutans like the male mentioned above are also in need of rescue when their forest home becomes fragmented or destroyed. In these instances there is an urgent need to translocate them to other protected areas of forest where they will be safe and free from persecution.
In just the past two years IAR has received numerous requests to rescue orangutans, from small babies that have been captured by plantation workers to adults that were originally bought from plantation workers by local villagers and have spent years in captivity. However, as the team still operates from a small temporary location, only the most desperate cases can currently be rescued.
With work soon to begin on the construction of a permanent rehabilitation centre, International Animal Rescue is looking forward to being able to help many more orangutans in urgent need of help.