Video: Saving A Life

Date Posted: May 17, 2023

Orangutan Outreach supports the orangutan conservation work of organizations across Indonesia. Several of these organizations are ready at the ring of a phone to go out and rescue an orangutan in need. Some rescues take place for an individual orangutan who need to be confiscated from a captor who is holding the ape as an illegal pet. Other rescues take place in the forest or near villages when an orangutan has wandered into an area that is not safe for him or her. These orangutans may need to be taken back to a rehabilitation center if they appear sick or injured, or they may need to be moved to another— safer— area of forest. The latter is referred to as "relocation".

It is always preferred for an orangutan to remain in the forest they consider to be their 'home'. But sometimes they have to be moved for their own safety and wellbeing. Moving an orangutan from one area to another area is not an easy task. It takes much planning, a team of professionals, modes of transportation, and much equipment. Orangutan Outreach is pleased when we are able to provide financial support for such an operation, and this was recently the case.

On May 8, 2023, a community in East Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) reported finding an individual orangutan in a fragmented forest near an oil palm plantation. The orangutan was seen entering the community's plantation several times and the community feared he or she would damage their crops. Rather than harm, capture or kill the orangutan, the community contacted Orangutan Outreach's partner, Conservation Action Network.

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The CAN rescue team traveled to, and observed, the orangutan's location and it was agreed that the orangutan should be moved to a safer forest. That meant the team would have to capture the orangutan without harming him or her. After a day of searching, the team finally found the orangutan in a nest. The young ape appeared to be a male of about 7 years of age. Thankfully the orangutan looked healthy and was active. This meant the relocation could move forward.

Next it was time for the CAN team to search for a forest in which to translocate the orangutan. The Wehea Protection Forest in East Kalimantan was chosen, as this forest has a ranger in charge of protecting the area and the forest has sufficient food for orangutans. Choosing a safe location, away from people, in which an orangutan can thrive, is key to a successful relocation.

We are happy to report that while it was a long and tiring process, the translocation went smoothly. The orangutan was caught without trouble and secured in a transport crate. The young ape was monitored on the journey to its new home. After feeding the orangutan in the transport crate, the team carried the crate into the forest and opened it. The orangutan immediately ran for approximately 50 meters and then climbed a tree. The CAN team watched as the handsome orangutan moved further away through the tree canopy. It was just what they wanted to see!

Orangutan Outreach is proud to support Conservation Action Network. The work of this grassroots organization includes protecting forest landscapes, empowering local communities, wildlife rescue, and forest restoration. Donations to help these vital efforts are much appreciated. The operation they just carried out cost approximately USD $1200. Fortunately we were able to provide the funds immediately and the operation could commence. But next time, we may not be so lucky. This is precisely why we need YOUR support. Please help us stay prepared. Make a donation today for CAN's next rescue mission, because we know it's coming... Thank you....

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