around 4pm on October 2, 2011, Fadilah Pendi Amat, a damar wood
collector from Kasongan Village in Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan,
came to Nyaru Menteng with a small cardboard box in his hands. Inside
the dirty box on top of an old blanket, lay a baby orangutan helpless,
and clearly in excruciating pain. His skin was burned in several places
exposing open wounds and obvious infection. His condition was
told us that his friend Chen, found the baby in Takaras, a small
village in the sub-regency of Mungku Baru, Palangkaraya. Situated on the
edge of a forest, Takaras had recently become victim to a forest fire
not far from the village. Reportedly Chen was collecting damar wood in
the forest when he witnessed a fight between a wild dog and an orangutan
mother. The entire body of the adult female orangutan was badly burned
and she was in a very weak and vulnerable state. Tragically, she died in
the fight. Concerned with the fate of her baby, Chen took him home.
Three days later, Pendi walked past Chen’s hut and caught a glimpse of a
baby orangutan. Knowing that he wouldn’t be able to provide the
proper, much-needed care for the baby, Chen agreed to hand him over to
the expertise of Nyaru Menteng.
The team at Nyaru Menteng named
him Himba. Estimated to be just around 6 months old and weighing a
meagre 3.3 kg, Himba suffered from a high fever and serious burns to his
fragile, little body. The injuries were extensive and his fingers
required surgery, which could not be done right away. He had to pass his
blood tests and his condition needed to be stabilised before undergoing
It’s hard to tell what really happened to Himba and his
mother, whether the fire was intentional or natural. Either way, this
is testimony of the true condition of orangutan habitats. Their forests
are becoming more eroded and degraded and its life and diversity are
being lost from our world.
Today, Himba remains in intensive
care. He is on continuous intravenous fluids and oxygen. He is also
being treated with antibiotics and painkillers to ease his discomfort
and promote the healing process. Himba will have to stay here for some
time. The dedicated team at Nyaru Menteng is giving him the best of the
best in TLC, monitoring him around the clock, patiently and lovingly....
fire is an annual event during dry season. Unfortunately, a large
majority of forest fires are not because of natural causes. Forests are
deliberately burned by humans to clear land and make way to various
You can help Himba and the many Orangutans still in need by giving a gift to the apes today.
News from BOS Foundation with thanks to Save the Orangutan.