Orangutan Outreach is enormously pleased to be working with International Animal Rescue (IAR) in West Kalimantan.
As Orangutan Outreach continues to grow as an organization we are constantly looking for ways to better help the orangutans. While Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) continues to do stellar work rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing orangutans at Nyaru Menteng in Central Kalimantan, the orangutans in West Kalimantan have been suffering a very cruel fate.
For the past few years these orangutans have been slaughtered in the hundreds as their forest was destroyed by unscrupulous timber companies and ever-expanding palm oil plantations. No one was there to help these orangutans in need– until now!
International Animal Rescue’s team in Indonesia specializes in rescuing and rehabilitating orangutans, macaques and slow lorises and releasing them back into protected areas in the wild.
In August 2009 International Animal Rescue signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Forestry Department in West Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, agreeing on plans for the rescue, rehabilitation and relocation of orangutans that have lost their forest habitat to make way for oil palm plantations. The agreement allows for the purchase of land and the creation of facilities where the rescued animals can be rehabilitated before being released back into protected areas of forest.
In the meantime, the team is caring for a growing number of orangutans in a small, temporary rescue center in Ketapang, West Kalimantan while they work to establish a more permanent facility. Until International Animal Rescue became involved there was no adequate center for rescued orangutans in the area. The priority was to set up a temporary facility where they could be given immediate care and emergency veterinary treatment.
IAR started more or less from scratch in Ketapang. The existing center was no more than a collection of cramped rusty cages when the team took over and some of the cages already contained frustrated orangutans with no toys or any other kind of environmental enrichment to amuse and stimulate them. Already, by the beginning of 2010, with generous support from the public, International Animal Rescue had done a great deal to improve the deplorable conditions at the Ketapang center.
Veterinary Director Karmele Llano Sanchez (above) and her team had started to treat the injuries and ailments of the existing orangutans and had taken in a number of new rescues. A unit of four new enclosures had been designed, built and erected and some of the larger orangutans were enjoying a taste of freedom as they swung in the hammocks and tires and played with other orangutans, perhaps for the first time in their lives. A nutritious diet with plenty of varied fruits and nuts had begun to improve their health and the environmental enrichment introduced into the cages on a daily basis had awoken a new interest and curiosity in their eyes.
By January 2010 the Ketapang center was caring for a dozen rescued orangutans of all ages. Many more were awaiting rescue. Further enclosures are to be built, extending the facilities of this halfway home until a more suitable replacement can be built. A suitable area of land has been identified for a new rescue and rehabilitation center and, if all goes according to plan, it is hoped to start developing the site by mid-summer 2010.
Things took a sudden momentous turn in Spring 2011 following the tragic disaster at the fledgling, ill-fated orangutan rescue center in Sintang, also in West Kalimantan but much further to the north near the border with Malaysia. You can read about the tragic loss of baby Luna here. Following this still-unsolved crime, Orangutan Outreach and our O-Team partners COP and JAAN cut all times with the suspicious managers at Sintang and worked with the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry to evacuate the 11 remaining orangutans to safety at IAR Ketapang. You can read the harrowing tale here. The other orangutans are safe and healthy and are awaiting their new home at the expanded Ketapang center– which will sit on 60 acres of forested land.
Please make a donation to Ketapang today.
You can directly support the orangutans at Ketapang by adopting them!
There are many wonderful orangutans to choose from! Meet them here.