15 October 2012

Rahayu and Rocky get glowing progress reports

By vet Silje Robertsen

Rahayu posing for the camera!
Rahayu is doing very well these days and you can hardly tell she has a small handicap in her eye sight. Her only problem is being slightly cross eyed but she gets around just as well as the rest. She does tend to stay closer to the baby sitters than some of the others, but she still plays actively and does not seem to be hindered by her eye sight. The only problem we have is that she loves to eat, and is starting to get a bit tubby around around the edges! She is a lovely orangutan, sweet and gentle with the rest of the gang and eyes that could melt any heart. Her favourite play-pal is Gunung, perhaps because he keeps a slower pace than some of the bigger ones, and so they're a good match.

Rocky is recovering well
Rocky is doing really well too and is behaving more and more like a "normal" baby orangutan. When he came he was hugging himself frantically as he had probably been kept by himself in a small space. He is not used to eating fruit raw and is often scared when we offer him different things - like banana! So we have been mashing foods together and giving it to him as a drink, as he likes to drink from the bottle  which is probably all he knows. Slowly though he is trying new things and although he stills cries if he thinks he's being left alone, he seems a lot more confident and is gaining strength and body weight by the day. 

8 October 2012

Mawar the slow loris suffers a serious injury

by Executive Director Karmele Llano Sanchez

Our loris monitoring team in Java recently discovered that Mawar, a female slow loris who was under observation in Gunung Salak, had an injury on her left hand. It looked as if she could have been caught in a snare, although this is pretty unlikely. She may have just got caught up in some wire.

The injury was severe and, even though the medical team did their best to save Mawar’s hand, it became quite necrotic and regrettably we had to amputate it a few days ago.

So now we are caring for a loris that has had a hand amputated, as well as an orangutan. We hope Mawar, like Pelangsi, will make a good recovery from the surgery, and then she too will be kept under observation by the team to see how well she learns to cope with her new handicap.

5 October 2012

Rocky the orangutan is the latest arrival at our rescue centre

 By  vet Silje Robertsen

A young male orangutan that was surrendered by his owner to the forestry department in Ketapang,West Kalimantan on 4 October is the latest arrival at our rescue centre. Very little is known about his circumstances other than that he was being kept in a cage.

The orangutan’s name is Rocky and he is about one year old. He is extremely malnourished which, apart from his low body weight, is also indicated by his lack of hair, particularly on his head which is completely bald!

The infant is severely traumatised and requires constant encouragment to eat and drink. The medical team and the babysitters are caring for him around the clock to make him feel secure and build up his confidence. He  is currently being looked after in the baby quarantine area where he will be given plenty of time to recover in the weeks ahead before he is introduced to the other babies.
We’ll keep you posted on young Rocky’s progress ...

3 October 2012

Rescuing Laura

By volunteer Laurence from Hong Kong

25 September 2012 was a memorable day for me as a volunteer for IAR in Bogor, Indonesia. I was glad to be in the team for the rescue of a Javanese slow loris, Laura. I was really lucky to have an opportunity like this, particularly as I’m not able to stay here all that long!

In the morning of that day, I was told that there would be a rescue of a slow loris from a village near the primate rehabilitation centre here. It had been reported to IAR that someone in the village had a slow loris at their home and they would like to hand it over. We set off in the afternoon with a veterinarian, Dr Anne Dawydowa, and two IAR staff. All of us were excited to see the slow loris but, at the same time, also worried about the condition it would be in.

The location was just a small village. We wondered how they could have bought a slow loris from an animal market. Or even worse, had they captured it from the wild? I was curious to know where they had got this animal...

When we arrived, someone from the house took us to the slow loris. She had been put in a pet cage with a flattened cardboard box and some mango as food inside. She seemed scared to be exposed and was huddling in the corner. However, she still looked bright and not as bad as we had imagined. We had prepared a transport box with shade for the slow loris, so our vet tried to get Laura out of the pet cage and into our box as quickly as possible in order to reduce her stress. Slow lorises are nocturnal animals and they have a shy nature. Being exposed to sunlight and surrounded by people can be very stressful for them.

Unfortunately, some bloody stains were found on the cardboard box while our vet was handling the slow loris. We discovered that she was bleeding slightly from two wounds. One was between her index finger and thumb and another one was on her wrist. It was also noticed that some of her teeth were missing. This is very common among the slow lorises sold in the animal market and is done to prevent them biting the traders. Our vet put her quickly and carefully into our box, and some foliage as well, so that she would be more comfortable in a familiar environment. We covered the box well and then asked the owner some questions about Laura.

According to the owner, he had found the slow loris two weeks previously in a swimming pool and had brought it back home. It seemed he didn't even know what kind of animal it was as he looked surprised when he was told that it was a 'kukang' (slow loris in Indonesian.)

It was possible that he didn't intend to keep it as pet, but found he didn't know much about handling this 'kukang' after having taken it back home and so contacted IAR for help.

Our action was not only taking Laura but, more importantly, also educating the local people that wild animals should not be kept as pets. Their understanding could prevent similar stories happening again. So this was a real 'rescue operation’ for all slow lorises in Indonesia, not just Laura.

Laura is now in the care of our veterinary team and her wounds seem much better. We will keep on observing both her physical and behavioural status.  Hopefully one day she can be released back to where she belongs.

2 October 2012

Rickina and Jacky settle in well and Pelangsi continues to make good progress

By vet Silje Robertsen

Rickina has finished her quarantine and as the wound on her head has healed nicely she has been introduced to the other babies in the baby school group. They all are very fascinated by her scar from the machete wound and want to inspect it closely. Rickina herself is still a bit overwhelmed by all this attention, but seems to enjoy being the centre of the party and is getting braver every time we take her down. We are introducing her for short periods of time every day and hopefully soon she and Gunung will be climbing the ropes together!

Jacky has also been introduced to the baby school group and he seems to love the all new space and ropes to climb in. Although he stills whimpers a bit when there is no babysitter in sight, he is growing more independent every day and can play for hours on end with Karmila and Gunung and all the rest.

Pelangsi is in a good condition and is very active in his cage. Hopefully it won’t be long before he can return to the forest and show us all how well he can cope with his handicap. He is eagerly gathering leafs provided for him and making nests as well as he can, so he has definitely not forgotten his skills from the wild.