27 March 2013

International Animal Rescue: Back to back rescues!

By vet Christine Nelson

Amin has finally arrived! It took nearly 24 hours of travel over a great distance and bumpy roads, but he has found a new home in Sungai Awan. The rescue team took the long journey through some areas of destroyed forest to the staff quarters of a mining company where Amin was kept as a pet for 2 years.  He was purchased by the company’s owner and mostly spent his time chained around the hips with a tree house for shelter.  Once he got a little older and a bit more destructive, he was moved to a platform in a tree, and the chain was put around his neck. 
Amin is gently lifted out of the
elevated platform he had been chained to

Amin is about 5 years old now and seems to be in good health despite his previous diet of rice and fried chicken with some fruits.  His behaviour has been a little unpredictable, but he is calming down and settling in fairly well. He has gone through some initial testing, but he will have to be re-evaluated, especially because of his long period of contact with humans.  

Soon after plans were made to pick up Amin, International Animal Rescue was made aware of another baby in need of rescue. It was hoped that this next new addition could be picked up the same day, but the team would have arrived too late in the night, so the operation had to be postponed. A couple of days later, a team was able to return and found a male orangutan named Onyo, aged between a year to 18 months old. This little one had lived with a man for about 7 months, and had been drinking milk and eating rice. The man stated that he likes to keep animals and that he found Onyo at the bottom of a tree after seeing the mother run away. This is highly unlikely, females orangutans do not simply leave their babies, so it is assumed that his mother met with a more unfortunate end. 
Little Onyo is bold and brave out in
the safety of the forest enclosure

Onyo is quite agreeable and has allowed us to do some health screening without sedation. He has a couple of dry skin lesions, but is in good health otherwise.  Onyo is having fun climbing in the trees and shaking the branches, as well as trying lots of new foods.  He seems to have no problem being in front of the camera, and he likes to offer many poses.  

Watch out for further updates on the progress of Amin and Onyo, as we will have more stories to tell after their quarantine is fulfilled and they can be introduced to the rest of the orangutans.

No comments: