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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

Two more orangutans arrive at IAR's centre in Ketapang

Infant orangutan PaoloThere have been two new arrivals at IAR's orangutan rescue centre in Ketapang. The team is caring for a baby of 3-4 months old that has been called Paolo and a two year old named Ongky.

The baby orangutan fell 40 metres from a tree when his mother was shot by hunters in the forest. He was rescued by members of WWF in West Kalimantan and handed over to the BKSDA (Natural Resources Conservation Agency) who brought him to IAR's centre for treatment for his injuries and for rehabilitation. As the centre doesn't have an xray machine, IAR's team then took the baby to a local human hospital for an xray of the wounds on his arm and leg.

The hunters were arrested by the BKSDA.

Edy Sutiyarto, head of the BKSDA's West Kalimantan office, asked people to contact the agency if they saw people hunting for or trading in endangered species. "Let's work hand in hand to save wildlife," he said.

The rescue of Ongky resulted in the arrest of three traders by members of the Forestry Quick Respond Police Unit (SPORC) of West Kalimantan.

"The arrest started from our agent in the field, who had been investigating the traders for a month. It was also by the help of West Kalimantan Regional Police Office," David Muhammad, head of West Kalimantan SPORC, said in Pontianak.

Infant orangutan OngkyThe police seized the orangutan, a cage and a handbag with holes in the sides. The SPORC are now searching for the network of traders and collectors of the endangered species. "Both of them are used to doing this. Now, we are carrying out an intensive investigation," David said.

Orangutan traders face five years in prison or a fine of Rp 100 million.

When they are fit and healthy enough, Paolo and Ongky will join other orangutans at IAR's centre and begin the rehabilitation process which it is hoped one day will lead to their return to protected areas in the forest.

Karmele Llano Sanchez, Veterinary Director of International Animal Rescue in Indonesia, said: "Thanks to a combined effort by the local authorities and local NGOs, the lives of these two orangutans have been saved. We are doing all we can, given our current limited space and resources, to prepare all the animals in our care for life back in the wild. It is a sad reflection on the plight of the orangutan in West Kalimantan that our centre is full and we are in desperate need of a larger facility that can cater for up to 100 orangutans at a time."