23 January 2013

Primate diaries from International Animal Rescue's primate centre in Ciapus, Java

Slow loris Marta’s successful return to her natural habitat
On 12 January 2013, a rescued and released Javan slow loris, Marta, had her radio collar removed and was once again free in her natural habitat. Since being released into the Gunung Halimun-Salak National Park in December 2011, she had been carefully watched for a period of 13 months by the IAR loris monitoring team.
Marta's radio-collar is finally removed
Marta was among a number of lorises confiscated from the illegal trade and brought to the IAR Rescue Centre in Java in 2010. She spent a number of months in rehabilitation before she was deemed a suitable candidate for the systematic release programme currently underway. Equipped with a radio-collar, she was first released on Salak Mountain back in May 2010. Unfortunately, after only three weeks she travelled down the mountain and into a village, where there was a risk she would be captured again and sold in one of the notorious pet-markets located nearby. She was caught by the IAR monitoring team and brought back to the centre where she received further rehabilitation. In December 2011 she was released again in a different area of the mountain.

Undergoing further rehabilitation
This time she travelled across the mountain from the habituation cage and quickly established a home range in which she remained for the next 12 months. The monitoring team recorded her movements, her feeding habits and her social behaviour allowing an evaluation of the success of the rehabilitation-release process.
Climbing confidently into the canopy

During the monitoring period she was seen on numerous occasions in close proximity to wild lorises and on one occasion was seen copulating. After a year the IAR medical team climbed up the mountain to give Marta one last check-up and ensure she was fit and healthy and ready for life on her own. Marta’s condition was extremely good and her body weight had remained stable over the 13 months. After her collar was cut off she confidently and quickly climbed up into the canopy and disappeared from sight.

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