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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

Orangutans Rickina and Merah are taken in to our emergency rescue centre

Baby orangutan Rickina with the machete wound on her head.IAR's orangutan rescue centre in Ketapang, West Kalimantan has taken in a female infant orangutan and a young male. The female is a baby of about 5 months old and goes by the name Rickina. She was rescued in Pontianak from a man who claimed that he encountered the mother orangutan with the baby in the forest, and that the mother was so startled that she abandoned the baby and ran away. The man picked up the baby and in doing so apparently caused a wound on her head with his machete. He subsequently surrendered the orangutan to the forestry department in Pontianak. People in possession of young orangutans often claim that they have been abandoned by their mothers but this is almost always untrue: a mother orangutan will never leave her infant behind and will fight to the death to protect her baby from aggressors.

The wound on Rickina's head is infected, but it is a superficial skin wound and is likely to heal well with time and treatment. Other than the wound she is in good condition and will be placed in the baby quarantine section at the centre until a full health screening has been done and her quarantine period is at an end. At this point she will be introduced to other young orangutans and the socialisation and rehabilitation process will begin.

On 26 August a three year old male orangutan was brought in to the centre. He had been found wandering alone along the road in an area called Tanah Merah about a three hour drive from Ketapang. Luckily the people who found him are familiar with the IAR orangutan rescue centre and so took him straight there. He has been named Merah, which means red in Indonesian, after the area where he was found. He is completely wild and will need a long time to settle in to his new environment. Fortunately he is in good health and for now he will be left in peace in the quarantine area and given time to get used to his new surroundings.