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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

We have rescued a baby orangutan

The West Kalimantan Conservation Agency (BKSDA) and our team in Indonesia have rescued a baby orangutan from Hulu Sungai District, Ketapang on 24 July.

The baby is a female, named Kenaya by the man who was keeping her illegally as a pet. She is believed to be about one year old. Kenaya was being kept by a villager named Yance.

He admitted that he had found the little orangutan while cutting down trees on Kenaya Hill. He claimed that the mother was found dead and, out of pity, he took the baby orangutan to his house and cared for her. He kept her for four months, chained by the neck to a tree near the pigsty by his house. He fed Kenaya on rice and other food intended for human beings.

The rescue operation began with a report from local villagers on the presence of a pet orangutan in Krio Hulu Village. IAR immediately sent a team to verify the report.

The investigation confirmed Kenaya’s existence. Members of the Ketapang unit of the BKSDA and a team from IAR Indonesia then immediately travelled to the location to remove the orangutan.

After a brief on-site examination by our vet, Kenaya was diagnosed with a skin disease and also suspected of suffering from respiratory disease.

Kenaya was immediately taken to our orangutan rehabilitation centre in Ketapang to undergo further tests. She will spend eight weeks in quarantine. During this time, she will undergo further detailed examinations by our medical team. These examinations are carried out to ensure that Kenaya does not carry dangerous diseases that can be transmitted to other orangutans at the centre.

Even though it is illegal to keep an orangutan as a pet, cases are still common in Ketapang District, particularly in remote areas far from the city centre. In cases where a baby orangutan is being kept, it is almost certain that the mother orangutan has been killed to get her child.

Normally, a baby orangutan will stay with its mother until it is between six and eight years. The mother orangutan will look after her child for as long as the infant is dependent on her.


Karmele L. Sanchez, IAR Indonesia Programme Director, said:

"We can see a very positive change in the Ketapang community because the number of orangutans being cared for is getting smaller and the people in Ketapang are increasingly understanding the importance of orangutan protection. We value highly the role of the community in reporting the existence of orangutans that have been illegally trafficked and kept as pets."

Sadtata Noor Adirahmanta, Head of the BKSDA in West Kalimantan, said:

"The keeping of orangutans is still encountered fairly frequently in the community and disturbance to their habitat should be a warning to us as conservationists that the community's attitude and behaviour towards protected plants and wildlife are still not completely consistent. The rescue activities that have been carried out so far will be repeated and repeated. It is time we also focused more on shaping perceptions and behaviour towards the conservation of protected plants and wildlife. For this reason, even more environmental campaigns and education should be carried out, and involve young people and school children in particular. In future, it is hoped that the whole community will be made up of conservationists."