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
This male orangutan had been kept as a pet
This male orangutan had been kept as a pet

The team in Sumatra have been incredibly busy lately, with several reports of orangutans in danger.

One of these orangutans was a five year old male, found roaming in farmlands. When the rescue team arrived on the scene, they discovered that he has escaped from life as a pet about a year ago - he was still wearing the rope around his neck from where he'd been tied up. It is illegal to keep orangutans as pets, as they are a protected species under Indonesian law, but sadly we are regularly involved in rescuing captive orangutans, which must then go through a lengthy process of rehabilitation before they can be returned to the wild.

Shockingly, in this case, the orangutan's 'owner' had been a government worker - in fact, keeping protected species as pets is seen as a status symbol, and some government officials and members of the police wish to show they are above the law by doing so.

Another of the orangutans who was rescued recently was a 10 month old baby, who the rescue team named Pepe. He was also being kept as a pet, and was severely dehydrated and starving. The people in the village said that he had been found on the ground, but this is incredibly unlikely - orangutan mothers and their babies have one of the strongest bonds in the animal kingdom, and it is far more likely that Pepe's mother would have been killed than have abandoned her son. Pepe was rushed to the Sumatran orangutan rehabilitation centre and is undergoing treatment, getting stronger every day.

It is only through donations that we are able to keep the rescue team on the road - without them, so many orangutans in danger would have a grim fate, but thanks to this project, instead have a second chance at life in the wild. Please consider setting up a regular monthly gift, or sharing our work with your family and friends. 

Thank you.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
The HOCRU team working on the sedated female
The HOCRU team working on the sedated female

Every Sumatran orangutan counts when the population is dwindling and habitat is fast disappearing. Our expert team in Sumatra has rescued and relocated 47 orangutans since it was set up in 2010. 

The most recent rescue in mid June was of a 12 year old female, which had become stranded in a rubber plantation in Aceh Tamiang without enough to eat. The area had been severed from the rainforest so she was not able to return on her own, and there was a risk of conflict with local human populations. Our Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit moved in quickly, sedated the orangutan and carried out a health check. Once satisfied she was fit enough, they returned her to the rainforest. 

If an orangutan isn't able to be returned to the wild directly they will be taken to the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, where they are cared for until they are able to be relocated. This includes many babies whose mothers have been killed. Wild born orphans which have been through the rehab system now form a significant part of the wild orangutan population in both Sumatra and Borneo. 

Forest loss is the biggest cause of orangutans being displaced and the rate of loss is not expected to decrease in the near future. SOS is determined to fight for every orangutan's right to live in the wild.

Please support SOS on Global Giving's bonus day - July 16th. Your donation will be matched up to 40%. Matching begins at 9am EDT and ends at 11.59 EDT so if you can give between those times it will be a HUGE help. Thank you. 

The orangutan returns to the wild
The orangutan returns to the wild
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
The orangutan before it was captured
The orangutan before it was captured

Sadly, human-animal conflicts are an all-too-common occurrence in Sumatra, especially in areas of secondary or degraded forest. But thanks to the unflagging efforts of the Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit (HOCRU), not all of these conflicts end in tragedy.

A few days ago the team evacuated an 18 year-old male orangutan from the Litur area in the Langkat district of North Sumatra. This orangutan was reported to have been consuming petai (Parkia speciosa) – popularly known as the ‘stink bean’ and used widely in Indonesian cuisine – from people’s farmlands as it was the fruiting season. Wanting to protect their lands and livelihood, some of the local villagers made threats on this hairy interloper’s life. Fortunately, however, the HOCRU team was able to bring him down without any incident and transfer him immediately to the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) quarantine centre outside Medan. He will remain here for about 30 days before being released back into the wild via the Jantho Reintroduction Programme, which is also managed by SOCP.

Many more orangutans end up in similar situations, and not all of them emerge unscathed. HOCRU does vital work - not only in saving these orangutans but also in helping to reconcile local communities’ needs with those of Sumatra’s unique wildlife. Your support is crucial in keeping them going. Please spread the word about their important work or make a donation to the team today!

Transfer to the quarantine centre
Transfer to the quarantine centre

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
The team check the bear's paw for injuries
The team check the bear's paw for injuries

*** NEWS JUST IN FROM THE FIELD ***

The team in Sumatra have just been involved in the rescue of a female sun bear from a snare in village farmlands. Farmers sometimes set snares to catch wild pigs that damage their crops, but this snare caught a usually-elsuive sun bear which had wandered out of the forest.

The team gave the bear a thorough health check in the field and decided that she was healthy enough to be released straight back into the forest - where possible, this is often the best option, and animals would only be brought to a rescue centre if they had injuries which would make it dangerous for them to be released straight back to the wild. 

Please share this project with your networks, or make a donation to the rescue team today, to help them continue to be able to help animals in danger.

A thorough health check before being released
A thorough health check before being released
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
The baby orangutan is carried to safety.
The baby orangutan is carried to safety.

Earlier this week, a mother and baby orangutan pair were rescued from an oil palm plantation in Aceh province, Sumatra. They were trapped in a tiny patch of forest, with the land being cleared around them. Luckily, the rescue team were able to get there in time, and both have been safely released into protected forests. They were strong and healthy, quickly climbing the trees and swinging off into the forest canopy when they were released.

The rescue team is literally a lifeline for orangutans trapped in plantations or being kept in cages as pets. They give these animals a second chance at life in the wild. It is vitally important that we help every orangutan that we can - as well as protecting their habitat and keeping the forests safe.

Please consider setting up a regular monthly donation to this project. All recurring donations are being matched right now, which means that your donation would be doubled, every month. Please help us keep supporting the heroes working on the frontline - together we can create a brighter future for orangutans.

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
$52,336 raised of $100,000 goal
 
1,098 donations
$47,664 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:

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.