Spanish volunteer Paloma Corbi updates us on the latest news from our orangutan centre in Ketapang
A 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.
The 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.
Gunung 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!!