Orangutan Rescue: On the frontline in Sumatra

by Sumatran Orangutan Society
Orangutan Rescue: On the frontline in Sumatra
Orangutan Rescue: On the frontline in Sumatra
Orangutan Rescue: On the frontline in Sumatra
Orangutan Rescue: On the frontline in Sumatra
Orangutan Rescue: On the frontline in Sumatra
Orangutan Rescue: On the frontline in Sumatra
Orangutan Rescue: On the frontline in Sumatra
Orangutan Rescue: On the frontline in Sumatra
Orangutan Rescue: On the frontline in Sumatra
Orangutan Rescue: On the frontline in Sumatra
Orangutan Rescue: On the frontline in Sumatra
Orangutan Rescue: On the frontline in Sumatra

As you know, the orangutan rescue teams work on the frontline of orangutan protection in Sumatra. Responding to urgent calls around the clock, three HOCRU teams cover the Leuser and Batang Toru landscapes – evacuating Critically Endangered Sumatran orangutans and Tapanuli orangutans from dangerous situations and enabling their return to the wild.

Rescue operations usually involve driving hundreds of miles, often off-road, so it’s vital for the HOCRU teams to have four-wheel-drive trucks they can rely upon. The South Aceh team, who made headlines in 2019 when they rescued an orangutan called Hope who had been shot 74 times, were having major problems with their truck – it regularly broke down, and the expense of repairing it was a big drain on their rescue budget. 

Thanks to your ongoing support and donations, we were delighted a couple of weeks ago when we were able to send funds to the team to buy a new truck. They have already rescued a baby orangutan who had been bitten by dogs, and being able to complete the rescue without worrying about the truck breaking down was a huge relief.

Thank you so much for all you do to support Sumatra's orangutans and the people who work around the clock to save them.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Although most of the rescue team's work is with orangutans - they are often called to evacuate adult orangutans from plantations or farmland, and also confiscate baby orangutans from the illegal pet trade - this doesn't mean they won't help other species in need, and the siamang in the photo above is just one recent example. She had been seen repeatedly by residents of a village in Aceh province, but these same residents initially felt that the team didn't need to get involved as they didn't see the siamang as a problem. After a few weeks, though, the siamang started to change her behaviour in response to being around humans, and eventually started trying to take food from local shops. To avoid more serious conflict developing, and to protect the siamang's health, the team tranquilised and evacuated her, taking her to a wildlife rehabilitation centre for eventual release back into the wild. 

“Our team can’t just sit around if anyone needs our support. We will help other wildlife as best as we can so they can roam free back into the wild. On many occasions, our team has actively participated to mitigate wildlife conflicts with animals such as elephants, sun bears, slow lorises, eagles, and gibbons” - Jenny, rescue program manager

A few days after evacuating the siamang, the team received a report about a female orangutan who was stranded in a plantation in another part of Aceh. When the team reached her, they realised she was 13km (just over 8 miles) away from the nearest patch of forest. Despite this, the orangutan - later named Sofi - had no health problems, so the team released her into the forest later that day.

Thank you for supporting the team to help orangutans and other wildlife in Sumatra.

 

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Jen undergoing a health check.
Jen undergoing a health check.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip many countries around the world, including Indonesia, the HOCRU teams continue to work hard to monitor isolated orangutans and rescue those who are particularly in need. A few weeks ago, the team worked together with the forestry authorities and local people to evacuate an isolated female orangutan from Kapa Seusak village in Aceh province.

The orangutan, later named Jen, was found in a plantation around 8km away from the forest. Fortunately, her health check showed that she was in perfect condition, with no injuries or malnutrition, so she was released back into the wild the same day.

Thank you for your continued support at this difficult time. You are helping orangutans have a safe future in the wild.

The health check continues.
The health check continues.
Returning to the wild.
Returning to the wild.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Baby Sisca. Photo courtesy of OIC.
Baby Sisca. Photo courtesy of OIC.

In the last week, while most people are working from home, the orangutan rescue team has been on the road attending to orangutans in desperate need of help. As one of the team pointed out, "Human-wildlife conflict hasn't stopped for the pandemic, so conservation can't stop for a pandemic either".

The first, Maria, was found inside a mixed oil palm and rubber plantation around 7km away from the forest. Estimated to be around 18 years old, and thankfully in good health, Maria was released back into the wild later that same day.

Two days later, the team received reports of a female baby orangutan being kept in a village in Aceh province after someone found her in their plantation, reportedly with no sign of her mother anywhere nearby. The baby, named Sisca, is thought to be around 10 months old. She was weak and malnourished when the team picked her up, so she is now in the care of vets at the rehabilitation centre.

Finally, the team rescued a 25 year old male orangutan, later named Bangun, from a rubber plantation in Aceh province. Sadly, Bangun was found with a bullet in his foot and in a poor, malnourished condition, so he is also undergoing treatment at the rehabilitation centre.

The team are doing everything they can to stay safe and healthy while they undertake their rescue missions, but of course the fear of contracting Covid-19 is making an already tough job even more difficult. Please, if you can, continue to support them by donating to this project.

 

 

Maria undergoing a health check. Photo by OIC.
Maria undergoing a health check. Photo by OIC.
Bangun receiving treatment. Photo by OIC.
Bangun receiving treatment. Photo by OIC.

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

While most people were enjoying the holiday season, the HOCRU team in Aceh had to spring into action to save one of the youngest baby orangutans they've ever been called out for. 

The baby, later named Eva, was estimated to be less than a week old when the team picked her up from a village near Subussalam. A local resident said that he found Eva near his farmland, and that her mother was nowhere to be seen. The HOCRU team suspects that someone had killed Eva's mother so they could sell Eva into the pet trade. Though this is illegal in Sumatra, selling an orangutan can brings in a large financial reward for someone who might be struggling to earn enough money through other means. The outreach work HOCRU does to speak to and help people who could potentially become illegal traders is vital in keeping these kind of incidents to a minimum.

Eva is now being cared for at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme rehabilitation centre near Medan, and will eventually be released into the wild when she is old enough. The HOCRU team are back in the field, monitoring orangutans who are in forests near human settlements and speaking to people in the villages they pass through on their journeys. 

Thank you for supporting the team as they carry out this physically and emotionally demanding work. 

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Sumatran Orangutan Society

Location: Abingdon, Oxon - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @orangutansSOS
Project Leader:
Lucy Radford
Abingdon, Oxon United Kingdom
$48,092 raised of $100,000 goal
 
1,030 donations
$51,908 to go
Donate Now
lock
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Sumatran Orangutan Society has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:
Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.