BOS Foundation: Health Checks for Samboja Lestari Forest School Students

Text by: BOS Foundation Communication Team

December 13, 2018 — Our veterinary team from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre recently conducted health checks for the budding orangutan students of Forest School Group 1, at the Samboja Lestari Clinic. These regular health checks help us monitor the general health of the orangutan population at our rehabilitation centres, and provide extra veterinary care if necessary. The health checks include a weigh-in, body measurements, blood samples, X-rays, and dental examinations. If our vets discover a potentially transmissible disease during these checks, the infected orangutan will immediately be placed in quarantine to undergo intensive care and to avoid the spread of the disease.

On the morning of the recent health checks, our orangutan husbandry technicians gathered the Group 1 students – Ames, Davi, Jeje, Mayer, Andreas, Riana, Leann, and Sally – from their sleeping quarters and took them to the clinic by car. Mayer and Leann refused to let go of each other, making it difficult to get them in the car. They remained in a tight embrace until our technicians finally coaxed them apart for the big weigh-in.

Mayer and Leann embrace each other

Meanwhile, Mayer and Sally, who are normally very active, were unexpectedly calm during the whole ordeal; a pleasant surprised for our veterinary team and technicians.

Weighing in

The veterinary team conducts health checks

X-Ray process

Orangutan health checks can take a long time, and require the assistance of several technicians and veterinarians to complete. Some of our star vets, Agnes, Adinda, and Dessy, took centre stage for this particular check up; backed up by several of our technicians and babysitters, Tejo, Yadi, Isna, Iin, Jumaya, and Pipit, the Animal Welfare Coordinator at Samboja Lestari.

The health checks were completed by late afternoon, and the orangutans were returned to the Group 1 Complex. Eight other Forest School Group 1 students – Anthony, Yordanka, Pedro, Serge, George, Harriet – underwent health checks the following day. Four of the orangutans to be tested – Leann, Sally, Andreas, and Mayer – have the chance to be promoted to Group 2 if their test results determine they are in good health!

Keeping our orangutan students healthy is essential to the rehabilitation process, so these regular health checks help us ensure that many orangutans as possible have a second chance at life in the wild forests of Borneo.

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