13 April 2012

Tulip and Pelangsi arrive, Ceria leaves the quarantine and Sigit and Ujang move to the big baby school

Vet Silje Robertson provides a round up of the latest news from our centre in Ketapang.

On Thursday afternoon last week our team set out on another confiscation action; this time in our own town of Ketapang. The owner contacted IAR and the forestry department himself and confessed to keeping a baby orangutan captive. The man claimed to have traded the animal for his gun a month earlier: the men he traded with said they had killed the baby’s mother and were going to kill the baby as well. She was given the name Tulip and was kept on a leash in a cage of about 2m² in their backyard. She was fed only with bananas and sweet biscuits. Tulip is naturally still scared, but is in good health and has a healthy appetite. For now she must settle for playing alone in the baby quarantine area, but as soon as she finishes her quarantine time she can join the others.

The team are working around the clock to save Pelangsi
The next day we received news of an orangutan being trapped in a wild boar snare in a forest area outside Ketapang; apparently for over a week! We rushed to the area and after a half hour trek in the forest we reached the site. We were all relieved to see that the animal, a young male, was still alive, although only barely. His right wrist was caught in the snare: a rope that lies covered under leaves on the ground and tightens and pulls upwards when the wild boar (or in this case the orangutan) steps in the loop. It soon became clear that his right hand could not be saved as what remained of the hand and wrist was only dead, severely infected tissue. We sedated him, freed him from the snare and gave him fluids as he was severely dehydrated before we transported him back to our clinic. He is given the name Pelangsi, after the area in which he was found. His condition is still very critical and he is not yet stable and strong enough to undergo surgery. Our medical team is working around the clock and we hope that Pelangsi will recover as soon as possible.

Ceria finished her quarantine period with flying colours last week and is now enjoying the playground in the baby school area. Albeit a bit hesitant in the beginning, now she seems to enjoy the company of her new friends. She has a bit more wild nature than our other babies and is bringing more speed in the game by climbing high and fast!

Sigit and Ujang were moved from the baby school to the back transit area with the older babies. This means going from an environment where you are the biggest and toughest to being the smallest! Sigit is adapting very well, but Ujang is not leaving Sigit’s side (or foot) and needs a bit more time to feel confident in the new area.

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