27 orphaned and injured orangutans rescued in 20 months
In the last 20 months alone, BOS Foundation has rescued 27 orangutans, that would have otherwise died or perhaps worse; lived a short life caged as a pet.
Since 2012 BOS has released 433 orangutans back to their wild homes, but we still have hundreds more in our centres waiting for their opportunity of freedom. And the sad fact is there will be more orphaned and injured orangutans that need our help in the very near future. Will you give your support today?
Below are stories of five of the most recent rescues…
On the 6th of May 2019, the BOS Foundation’s Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre took in an 18-month-old male orangutan who weighed only 2.5 kilograms. He was handed over by a local resident who said he had received the baby from a relative living in a close by village, who allegedly, had found the baby roaming alone, separated from its mother.
Upon his arrival, it was evident that he was extremely weak as he was suffering from severe dehydration and malnutrition. His body was covered in abrasions and his hair was knotted and messy. The medical team immediately started treatment on this frail baby in the Nyaru Menteng clinic. In the following days, he spent the majority of his time sleeping in a hammock and was completely uninterested in play.
After a month of intense treatment in the clinic, the baby’s condition has vastly improved. He has gained weight, now actively plays, and is able to climb tall trees in the forest playground outside the clinic. He has grown to love playing with leaves and is accepting the fruits offered by our surrogate mothers. He has a long way to go, with many years of learning the necessary skills of a wild orangutan, but we are hopeful that he will one day experience freedom back in his natural home.
On the 22nd of June 2019, the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) delivered a 6-month-old female orangutan to Nyaru Menteng. Weighing only 2.6 kilograms, she was handed over after being found in a Central Kalimantan village.
The baby girl arrived weak and dehydrated, she was covered in cuts and tree sap and was simply lucky to still be alive. It is suspected that she had only recently been stolen from her forest home and one can only guess what happened to her mother…
This beautiful baby girl is on the slow road to recovery but is still weak and spends the majority of her time resting in her hammock or in the warm loving arms of her surrogate mother.
Our Nyaru Menteng staff received another 6-month-old male orangutan, rescued by the BKSDA from Telok Village, who had been kept as a pet for several days. When he entered at Nyaru Menteng, he was in a terrible way, severely dehydrated and with a swollen left toe. Once again, we can only imagine what he had been through before he reached the safe haven of BOS Foundation.
It will take a long time, but he is already beginning to adjust to his new environment, and like the others, is growing more confident every day. He is slowly climbing and moving out of the hammock.
Despite their progress, these new babies must still undergo further testing and treatment at the quarantine facility in the Baby House complex to ensure they are in good health before they can join the other baby orangutans in the Nursery Group.
A 3-year-old baby orangutan was recently brought to BOS Foundation’s Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre after being rescued by the East Kalimantan BKSDA from a local farmer. The farmer claimed to have found her wandering alone in his field and had kept her as a pet for nearly two years. During her captivity, she was chained to a tree next to the house and fed primarily rice and coffee. She rarely received food appropriate for a baby orangutan, such as fruit and milk.
Luckily, an initial examination showed that she was in relatively good physical health. She was also exhibiting some natural behaviors, as she occasionally kiss-squeaked at the humans around her.
This female baby orangutan is being temporarily housed in the Quarantine Complex at the Samboja Lestari clinic while we await the results of her general health examination. After a few days in the complex, she slowly began to accept natural foods and was happy to taste-test a selection of fruits and leaves. She also took a liking to milk, which is a vital source of daily nutrition. As she grows comfortable with her surroundings, she is starting to play, climb, and dangle from the ropes in the complex.
On the 22nd of September 2019, a joint team from BOS Foundation’s Nyaru Menteng Centre and the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), rescued a male orangutan after the BKSDA received a report late the day prior.
As the team of eight finally found the location of the orangutan, they approached cautiously. Wild adult male orangutans can be extremely dangerous; however this poor orangutan didn’t even react, he was simply too weak to even move.
The impressive flanged male was estimated to be over 25 years of age, but his physical condition instantly alarmed Vet Maryos V. Tandang. The team began an immediate health check on the spot, conducting a Body Condition Score Index, which allows the vets to assess physical conditions on a scale of 1 to 5, this male only scored a 2. He weighed only a mere 45kg, which is less than half of the average body weight for a male orangutan of his age.
Treatment commenced immediately and in addition to severe malnutrition, dehydration and parasites, palpitations of his body revealed several bullets lodged beneath his skin. After doing all that was possible in the field, he was arrived at the Nyaru Menteng Rehabilitation Centre at around 8pm for intensive care.
That first night, he refused to eat, but still showed some spirit as he frequently kiss-squeaked towards the humans around him. By the next day he was given the name, Sapat and had begun to accept bananas and water. As the days passed and treatment continued, his appetite grew as he heartily consumed nutrient rich fruit. A week and a half later, his weight surpassed 50kgs.
During further evaluations, x-rays revealed several bullets lodged in Sapat’s body, with no less than 67 pieces of schrapnel. At this moment it has been decided to postpone the surgical removal of the bullets and items, at least until the time that his condition is deemed stable.
Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite MSc., BOS Foundation CEO, commented on the rescue; “Rescues such as these are our greatest fear in relation to the forest fires that result from slash-and-burn land clearing. These perilous conditions force wildlife to stray outside of their habitats to save themselves, but this creates conflict with humans. The bullets in Sapat’s body are clear evidence of his escape from such conflict. We implore the Indonesian government to limit the use of air rifles. If treatment goes well and he recovers, we will undoubtedly release him back to a safe, natural forest. But that is a big ‘if’.
We appreciate the goodwill from the parties who made the report on Sapat and, in turn, allowed us to save his life. We sincerely hope that all stakeholders can make changes to more actively participate in wildfire prevention and the protection of orangutans in their natural habitat. While orangutans need the forest to survive, the healthy functioning of forest ecosystems relies on them as well.”
By giving today you are helping us be prepared for the next rescue that will unfortunately happen any day now. It will ensure we have a team at the ready with medical supplies, as well as a safe secure place for a rescued orangutan to recover, learn and grow.