Ujil the orangutan is rescued at the second attempt
Ujil the captive orangutan whose owner refused to give him up is finally in the care of IAR's team at the rescue centre in Ketapang, West Kalimantan. After a first unsuccessful attempt to rescue him, which was met with aggression and threats of violence by his owner, eleven agents from the Forestry Department (BKSDA) travelled to the remote village where Ujil was being kept chained up to secure his release. This time the owner agreed to surrender him without a fight.
The rescued orangutan appeared to be in good condition with no visible signs of injury or ill health. IAR's team performed the routine tests that are always conducted when a new orangutan arrives and removed the chain that was still fastened around his neck. From the outset he proved to have a good appetite and was calm and fairly tame when the keepers approached him, as would be expected from an orangutan that has spent a long time in captivity surrounded by people.
Ujil must now spend a period in quarantine but as soon as this is over he will be placed with the other babies in IAR's temporary rescue centre, where he will be able to play and exercise and start the proper rehabilitation process.
Alan Knight OBE, Chief Executive of IAR, said: "It is a real relief to know that Ujil is safely in our care, thanks to decisive intervention by the BKSDA. Now he will have the chance to live and behave like an orangutan, probably for the first time in his life, and develop the skills he will need to survive back in the wild. The action of the BKSDA must send a strong message to anyone else who is keeping an orangutan as a pet that they are breaking the law and sooner or later they will be forced to surrender the animal to the authorities."