22 October 2013

International Animal Rescue: Update on Rescues, Translocations and New Arrivals!

By volunteer Lisa Burtenshaw

As ever, it’s been a busy couple of months for the team at the centre in Ketapang, with rescues, translocations and new arrivals.

Baby orangutan Pelangi was rescued from a birdcageIn mid-September we received Pelangi, a two year old female orangutan. Pelangi (Indonesian for 'rainbow') had been kept as a pet for about one year, in an area close to Ketapang, in Indonesian Borneo. Originally her owners purchased her for $50 USD after taking pity on her. She was kept in a birdcage and dressed in baby clothes, was given baths and fed on a diet of fruit and powdered milk.  

As you can see, she's proving to be a real natural at climbing!Pelangi has a fun personality, and is still in quarantine awaiting another round of tests.  In the meantime, she is eating fruits and vegetables very well, and enjoying her daily playtime in the tree.  She is getting braver and exploring and climbing higher each time.  She is adjusting well to her new situation although she still finds comfort in clinging to her teddy bear surrogate mother from time to time.  She will be introduced to baby school when her quarantine is done.

The team also rescued Kiki, an older male orangutan, who had been kept as a pet for many years. Kiki’s rescue story can be read here.

Ael is a wild female orangutan, captured and taunted by villagersAel is a wild orangutan who was rescued from a village after the villagers caught her. Ael’s rescue story can be read here.

Marie and her new buddy OnyoMarie passed quarantine and after a few play sessions with Onyo, she has now joined all the others in baby school, where she spends every day in the forest, climbing high in the trees looking for the fruit and vegetables that we hang to encourage the foraging skills of all the orangutans.

Although she has grown a lot, she is still the smallest member in baby school and needs some extra help and supplemental feeding from the babysitters. She spends her nights inside the baby school building, under the care of the night shift staff.

We also had a visit from The Orangutan Projects ambassadors Zoe Foster and Hamish Blake, who filmed for the Australian programme “A Current Affair” and are raising funds and awareness by encouraging donations to their special appeal for the rehabilitation of Rocky and Rickina. 

Building work is still going on at the Sungai Awan centre, with the large socialisation cages near completion we hope to move our final six adult orangutans from the old transit site very soon….

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