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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

Our team in Indonesia helps orangutans in crisis

Vet director Karmele tends to a captive orangutanInternational Animal Rescue's team in Indonesia is embarking on a new project to help captive orangutans in West Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo.) They have just signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Forestry Department to agree plans for the rescue, rehabilitation and release of orangutans that have lost their treetop homes to deforestation mainly to make way for new palm oil plantations. The agreement allows for the purchase of land and the creation of facilities where the rescued animals can be rehabilitated before being released back into protected areas of forest.

Karmele Llano Sanchez, International Animal Rescue's Veterinary Director in Indonesia, says: "We're delighted to have reached agreement with the BKSDA (forestry department) on a project to help the orangutans in West Kalimantan. There is an urgent need to help animals that are already suffering injuries and disease from their time in captivity and now we can take immediate action to help them.

"There is currently no rehabilitation facility for rescued orangutans in West Kalimantan and our priority is to set up a temporary centre where they can be given appropriate care and veterinary treatment."

The team has already identified many captive orangutans living in deplorable conditions: some are chained up on pallets over an open sewer choked with human waste, others are confined in small dark cages, wracked with boredom and frustration.

International Animal Rescue already has the experience and expertise to help the orangutans. Its primate rescue centre in Ciapus on the island of Java is successfully rehabilitating macaque monkeys and endangered slow lorises and has recently released 35 macaques back into the wild.

Alan Knight OBE, Chief Executive, says: "We are thrilled to be able to join our colleagues in other groups who are already helping orangutans. Thanks to the cooperation of the Forestry Department and the generosity of our supporters, we really feel empowered to take this project on. Individual orangutans are suffering, and at the same time the future of the entire species is under threat. The need to act is critical if we are to protect these beautiful animals and their habitat."