RESCUE OF TEMON
On 17 November our rescue team were busy once again, following a telephone call from BKSDA (Forestry) to inform us about a young orangutan being illegally held in a palm oil worker’s house in a village called Betenung, thirty kilometres south east of Ketapang.
When our team arrived they found a two year old orangutan called Temon in the palm oil worker’s house. The owner, Mr Renol, said that he had been working at the nursery site of local palm oil plantation, BGA, when he saw a female orangutan with an infant walking on the ground. As he approached the orangutan, the mother dropped the baby to the ground and ran away. This is not normal behaviour carried out by orangutan mothers. Females are extremely protective of their offspring and would never leave them. It is highly likely that this mother died during the illegal capture of her infant.
Mr Renol said that he then took Temon to his house where she stayed for four months. Temon would spend her nights in a cage under Mr Renol’s house and during the day she was free to roam around his house. She was fed on a diet of rice. Mr Renol’s wife regularly bathed Temon, like she did her own children. Though they claimed to love Temon, they quickly realised that she would be difficult to handle as she became older and stronger so they contacted the BKSDA to come and collect her.