Saturday, October 20, 2012

Rehabilitation center rescues three pet Orangutans in Kalimantan

Three orangutans formerly kept as pets have been handed over by the East Kalimantan Natural Conservancy Office to the Samboja Lestari orangutan rehabilitation center on Thursday, Jakarta Globe reported news.

“We have handed over three orangutans who have been rescued by residents at three different locations to the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation which are concerned over orangutan protection in Samboja, Kutai Kartanegara,” said the head of the conservancy office, Tandya Tjahjana.

The orangutans, transferred to the new facility over the weekend, consisted of one male aged between 1 and 2 years, and two females — one aged 3 to 4 years and the other 4 to 5 years.

The primates, he said, had been kept as pets for at least one year, but the captivity may have lasted up to three years.

Suwardi, an official from the Samboja Lestari center, said that the three orangutans will first be put into quarantine for some time and will undergo several stages of training before they can be released into nature again.

“Orangutans whose natural traits have almost disappeared need to be taught again, including how to climb trees, prepare nests and socialize with other orangutans,” Suwardi said.

The male orangutan was rescued from a palm oil plantation in Muara Wahau, Kutai Kartanegara. One of the female orangutans was found in a private plantation in Sangatta, while the other was voluntarily released by residents in Samarinda to the Mulawarman State University, which then handed it over to the nature conservancy office.

“The essence is that these orangutans have been displaced from their habitat because of encroaching massive palm oil and mining operations,” Tandya said.

He added that if nothing was done to prevent the spread of the mines and plantations, there would soon be no more orangutans left in the wild. He added that the government should take action to protect the animals’ habitats.