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!
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