We are currently facing a crisis like no other and during this very trying time our thoughts and condolences go to those that have been affected by the virus.
While it feels like there is only time to worry about preparing for what is to come, there are still over 400 orangutans in our sanctuaries that still need daily care to survive.
As orangutans share 97% of our DNA and have been susceptible to the same viruses as humans, we suspect that they are at risk of contracting COVID-19. However, we don’t have the option of ceasing human contact for the orangutans in our care.
Our rehabilitation centres are currently closed to all visitors and new volunteers. All non-essential staff are now working remotely and the staff who remain at the centre are subject to temperature checks twice daily and must be removed if feeling unwell in any way. Despite the many disruptions and health precautions we are up against, the Borneo Orangutan Survival team of 400 locals will continue our work to help the orangutans and keep them safe during this pandemic.
We are currently facing an increased need for medical supplies at our centres and rising prices for food, medical and other basic supplies due to panic purchasing and supply chain disruptions. Our team usually uses 75,000 surgical masks each year and this is expected to rise as extra precautions are taken to protect our orangutans. Funding needs for this financial year are expected to continue to grow even as volunteer and visitor-based revenue streams stop and we are forced to indefinitely postpone and cancel all our forthcoming fundraising events.
Even with all non-essential activities on hold, the average monthly cost of keeping our Nyaru Menteng and Samboja Lestari centres running exceeds $300,000. We rely solely on the support and generosity of our donors and need your help to get through this crisis.
Your support and compassion really makes a difference to these animals and to us here at BOS Australia. We will continue to fight beside you for however long it takes us to get through this! We wish you and your loved ones all the best during this time and hope that you are keeping safe and well. Thank you for your support.
President, Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia