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.
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.
"There's no holiday if an orangutan needs our help"
By Lucy Radford | Fundraising and Communications Officer
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.
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