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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

Our team in Indonesia takes in a tiny baby orangutan found on a palm oil plantation.

Our team in West Borneo has rescued a tiny baby orangutan found all alone in a palm oil plantation.

A team from IAR and members of the Natural Resources Conservation Centre (BKSDA) in West Borneo travelled to an oil palm plantation in Tanjung Pasar Village in Ketapang District where plantation workers were waiting to hand the baby over.

A worker named Rahman claimed to have found the tiny ape crying alone in the bushes. He reported the discovery to the plantation manager who reasoned that the mother might return to fetch her baby and so he should be left where he was. According to Rahman, she had been spotted in the plantation several times during the previous two months.

The baby was only finally reported to IAR after Rahman found the baby still alone in the same place the following day. The rescue team set off immediately to the location. On arrival, IAR vet Aqshar examined the little orangutan and found him to be suffering from mild dehydration. He estimated that he was less than a year old.

The team named the little ape Rahman after the man who had found him. He was immediately taken to our Orangutan Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre in Ketapang for further examination, treatment and care.

IAR CEO Alan Knight OBE said: “It’s a tragedy to find a baby orangutan without its mother, alone, vulnerable and distressed. Rahman should have been in his mother’s care for the next six or seven years of his life. Instead, she is nowhere to be found. It’s highly likely that she has been killed as yet another victim of hunters or agricultural workers protecting their crops. Thankfully he is in safe hands now and will be given expert treatment and care at our centre which is currently home to 109 rescued orangutans.”

Like all the other baby orangutans at the centre who have lost their mothers, Rahman will undergo a lengthy rehabilitation process to prepare him for life in the wild. He will learn all the skills he needs to survive in the forest, becoming proficient at climbing, foraging for food and making nests. This basic ability must be mastered before orangutans can be returned to their natural habitat.

Sadtata Noor, Head of the BKSDA West Kalimantan, said: "Land clearing activities have made the orangutans’ habitat fragmented, making it difficult for them to obtain food. Consequently, many orangutans enter the areas of ​​human activities. There needs to be firm agreement and cooperation between the government, the local community and the private sector if wildlife preservation is to be maintained. "

Tantyo Bangun, Head of IAR’s Indonesia Programme, said: " Eighty per cent of the orangutan population is living outside conservation areas, in plantations and production forests. It is vital for all parties to participate so that the orangutan population can be managed properly by protecting the remaining forests and creating wildlife corridors, so that in future baby orangutans are spared from suffering the same fate as Rahman. "