30 November 2011

Baby Butan arrives at the centre

Rescued baby orangutanIAR volunteer Paloma Corbi tells us about the worrying condition of the latest baby orangutan to be brought into our centre.

A new baby orangutan arrived at the centre on 23 November. She is a female of about four years old and currently receiving round-the-clock intensive care from the vets Adi, Silje, Lusy and paramedic Rica. We have named her Butan.

Butan is infected with a malaria parasite (Plasmodium sp). It's possible that it could be the same malaria parasite that Rahayu was suffering from (a non-falciparum, non-vivax Plasmodium). The team hasn’t yet established the species of Plasmodium but they are doing further tests to investigate it.

The little orangutan is only 6.6kg which makes her extremely underweight (she should be at least 15kg). She is very malnourished and showing signs of some neurological issues. She's making a little slow progress but she's most certainly much better than when she arrived.

29 November 2011

Mac makes friends among the infants

Paloma Corbi updates us on how Mac is getting on with the other orangutans at our centre in Ketapang, Western Borneo

Mac is a male orangutan of approximately 3 years old. He arrived at the centre on 19 October. He was confiscated in Pontianak, in an area close to Sintang. Apparently a family had kept him as a pet for at least a year. Then they found out that it was illegal to keep orangutans and they contacted the forestry department who told IAR about the situation. So a member of the team went to check the condition of the orangutan and, although he was in a good physical condition, he had a kind of dermatitis in his eyes, plus conjunctivitis. So the IAR vet gave the family some topical creams and treatments to give Mac until the forestry department gave permission for the orangutan to be rescued and brought to the IAR Orangutan emergency centre in Ketapang. Once all the papers for the confiscation were completed, Mac was rescued and brought to the centre. He kept the same treatment, adding also antihistamine oral medication, and thanks to all this care he recovered in about a week. His blood was tested to see if he has hepatitis , and also the tuberculin test was done. All the tests gave good results so that last week it was decided to socialise him with the rest of the babies.

First of all, Mac was socialised in the baby school while we observed how he behaved with the rest of the orangutans. At the beginning he was fine, investigating his new friends and playing with them, but at some point he started to play in a very rough way so that it was thought that maybe he would be better being with the orangutans in the infant area, and he certainly was! When we brought Mac to the infant area he started to interact with the rest of the orangutans, although he was a bit shy at first. After they made a full inspection of him, he started to get more confident, playing with Melky and Momo first and afterwards with Pungky and Mimi. He also thoroughly enjoyed climbing the trees and the platforms. Since that moment he has joined the orangutans in the infant area every day. And as soon as the new centre is finished he will be able to live in a large forested enclosure and learn how to be a real orangutan!

28 November 2011

Introducing little Lasmi

IAR volunteer Paloma Corbi introduces the latest addition to our Orangutan Emergency Centre in Ketapang, Western Borneo

International Animal Rescue Orangutan Rescue BorneoLasmi arrived at International Animal Rescue’s Orangutan Emergency Centre on 7 November. She is a female with an estimated age of around 3-4 years old. She comes from Ketapang: apparently she was in a police station and she stayed there for about a week before she was brought to the centre by the forestry department. The information they gave us from the police is that Lasmi was being carried in a cage by a man who, when he saw a group of policemen, ran away, leaving the cage with the orangutan on the ground. So the police decided to take her to their offices until they contacted the forestry department. Unluckily, there are some gaps in the information and it is always hard to find out what the real story is.

Orangutan Rescue BorneoIn any case, when Lasmi arrived at the centre she weighed 9kg, and her face was extremely pale. So her faeces were checked and they were fine. She was also given a blood test the day after she arrived to check if she had any problems and, although she was negative for Malaria, Typhoid was found. She was treated with antibiotics and also given iron to help with the production of red blood cells. When the vets analysed the blood by biochemistry, a liver dysfunction was identified. Thus she will be treated for a long time with multivitamins that come from the curcuma root. This helps the long term recovery of the liver function and apparently the treatment seems to be working as the last blood test done recently by biochemistry has been better compared with the first one done. Moreover she has been tested with the tuberculin test and it seems to be fine.

Lasmi was very shy during the first days but she is getting more confident by the day. She is still in the quarantine period which lasts 1or 2 months, so until then she can’t be socialised with the other baby orangutans. However, she likes to play alone with the enrichments and she loves to put everything on her head, even the food! Consequently she is frequently covered with mango, seeds or papaya. Strangely enough she doesn’t like bananas or the milk, but she loves syrup!! We are all looking forward to seeing her play with the other babies. Let’s hope it’s soon!

22 November 2011

Baby Gunung joins the orangutan family in Ketapang

Spanish volunteer Paloma Corbi updates us on the latest news from our orangutan centre in Ketapang

Baby Orangutan GunungA new baby orangutan arrived at the centre in Ketapang on 3 November. The information we have from the forestry department here in Ketapang is that a man found it in a tree, in an area very close to Gunung Palung called Tanjung Gunung. Apparently he reported to the Gunung Palung National Park office and the National Park contacted the forestry department so that they could rescue the baby. Unfortunately International Animal Rescue was only told about the incident the night before the orangutan was rescued, and so our team wasn’t able to be part of the rescue operation. Thus we don’t have first hand information about what really happened and all the information we have has come secondhand from the forestry department. It is certainly hard to believe that such a young baby orangutan could be found alone in the forest without any sign of the mother around.

Orangutan Rescue KetapangThe little orangutan has been called “Gunung “ which means “Mountain” in Bahasa Indonesian. He is a male and we estimate just two or three months old, so the little one had been separated from his mother really young.
His condition when he first arrived seemed fine at first glance. However he was really skinny and his weight was just 2.1 kg. When he was checked more thoroughly, the vets found lots of little red spots on his belly and his chest, possibly from an allergic reaction. Also, he had a deep wound on the right side of his head and it was infected - perhaps caused by the impact of falling from a tree but who knows? The baby was treated with topical lotion for his skin and his wound was cleaned every day and treated with antibiotic cream as well. Thanks to all this care he was completely recovered in less than one week.

Baby Orangutan International Animal RescueGunung has an awesome character even though he is so young: he is very curious, and he is really strong. He has a very powerful grip - very different from Pedro and Paolo. He is in 24 hour care as he needs a lot of attention, and the baby sitters said that he has a very good appetite, normally he is feeding with milk every two hours but sometimes this is shorter as he is hungry before the two hours are up!

The little “mountain” is right now in the quarantine period and it will be like that for one or two months. At the moment, Dr Anita and Paramedic Rica, inform us that his faeces have been already checked and everything seems fine. In approximately one month the bloods test will be done, and the tuberculin test as well. We hope everything about his health is as good as he looks!!