23 August 2010

Monti becomes more independent

IAR Vet Dr Adi updates us on the progress of infant orangutan Monti at our emergency rescue centre in Ketapang, West Kalimantan.

Monti is growing up!Monti is a female baby orangutan from Delta Pawan. When she arrived at the IAR rehabilitation centre on 30 November last year she was the real baby of the group. Now she is a lot bigger and weighs 5.7 kg. She has also grown dense long hair all over her body.

Monti is friends with Bunga and Melky and they are sometimes seen playing together on the platform in the 'baby school' at the centre. But much of the time Monti prefers to spend time alone, playing happily in the trees.

Since sleeping in an enclosure with Sigit, Monti has become far more active and independent. She no longer relies on the human carers to make her feel safe. She has also grown increasingly bold and brave at climbing even the tallest trees at the centre.

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20 August 2010

Update on the slow loris release project

UK researcher Richard Moore is working with our team in Java to study the viability of returning captive lorises to the wild.

So far we have released four lorises with collars. Sadly one has died of unknown causes. By the time we retrieved the body, it was already starting to decompose so there was no way of conducting a post-mortem investigation. We knew its rough location, but could not see it at first. It was 23m up in a pine tree, which we needed ropes to climb. By the time we had located it, got hold of some ropes and climbed the tree - it looked like it had already been dead for four days or so. It was a great shame, because it appeared to be feeding well, and moving freely up to this point. (Also it was in an area where it was easy for us to follow it).

Slow loris being prepared for releaseThe other loris released at that time travelled down the mountain, out of the forest and into some gardens. We thought this was dangerous for the loris as there are many dogs in the area and also people working. As the loris was not in thick forest and quite exposed, we figured if the people came across it they might capture it to sell in the markets - so we caught it again ourselves and re-released it higher up. Three days later it was back in the gardens, this time further down, in between houses. It had even crossed a road to get there. I am uncertain why it is choosing to come here, as it is very noisy and slightly exposed. It also seems very happy to travel on the ground – which is quite surprising, although there are some other reports of this. I have seen it travelling across large grassed areas, with its head just bobbing up and down above the grass. Anyway, we recaptured it again, and plan to get its weight back up, then try again in a different location.

In the second release we now have one loris still quite high up the mountain. It is in an area which is virtually impossible to access, owing to the very steep sided cliffs - although we HAVE spent the last week trying to reach it! The signal seems to be moving so it would appear to be still alive, which is the main thing. And in this area it is probably very safe from recapture.

The other loris in the second collared release disappeared for a week (ie. we lost the signal), but last night we managed to track it down again. It has moved right round the mountain and come down a different valley, but is now very close to paddy fields. This may also be a problem, as there are many people working in this area too. However, we are planning to go up there tonight and see how it is doing. Hopefully if we give it some time, it may choose to move back up into a safer location.

9 August 2010

Kiki the slow loris from Cilandak

At the end of May IAR's rescue team went to the house of Mr and Mrs Johan in West Cilandak, South Jakarta. The people wanted to give their slow loris to International Animal Rescue.

Kiki the rescued slow lorisThe slow loris had turned up in the yard of Mr Johan's house and was found hanging on the bird cage. It might have come from a nearby house.

Like most people, Mr Johan thought that the animal was a cuscus. But a week later he found out that it was in fact a slow loris which is a protected species and cannot be a pet. So then Mr Johan tried to look for a place that would accept the slow loris and he found IAR. It was a female Javan slow loris named Kiki.

While Mr Johan was taking care of Kiki, he did not know that she was a nocturnal animal. He gave her banana, carrot and papaya which isn't the slow loris' natural food. The cage where Kiki lived was also very open and let in lots of sunlight so that she couldn't sleep well during the day. Besides that, the location of the cage was near an alley with plenty of people and noises disturbing Kiki's tranquillity. These conditions made her very stressed, and by the fifth day she had started to lose her appetite.

Kiki lived in a bird cageKiki's condition when the rescue team arrived was very sad. She was very thin with no canine teeth on her upper or lower jaw (they had been removed by force), while the other teeth were flat (it seems they had intentionally been made flat using nail clippers so that the slow loris would look like a tame animal). She was taken to IAR's rehabilitation centre in Ciapus-Bogor and, after being checked by the medical team, she was moved into a quarantine cage.

Let's hope that Kiki can live a healthier life from now on and if possible one day go back to her home in the wild.

2 August 2010

We welcome a new slow loris to Ciapus

On 27 July we took in a Sumatran slow loris (Nycticebus Coucang) weighing 800 grams and 34 cm in length. He was handed over by someone from Bekasi Timur, Jakarta.

Olip the slow lorisAccording to his owner, the slow loris had been purchased from a dealer in Jakarta City for Rp. 150,000. At the time the trader said he was about five months old and called Olip. The slow loris had been placed in a laundry basket of clothes but, when the team went to rescue him, they found him under a table, hiding behind a toy piano.

The owner had no idea how to take care of a slow loris, so thankfully had decided to hand him over to IAR. Apparently he had injured his left thigh, although a student who was present when he was rescued said the little animal already had the wound when he was bought from the market.

At least now Olip will receive the specialist care and food he needs and IAR’s vets can tend to his wound.