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February 21, 2017
Palangka Raya, Kalimantan Tengah, 21 February 2017. In late 2015, huge swathes of orangutan habitat were destroyed by forest fires, and two large-scale orangutan emergency rescue missions were mobilised by BOS Foundation and BKSDA over a 24-day period to rescue 76 orangutans. Seventy-five of those orangutans were and translocated (moved into safer forest) from Mangkutub River area to forest near Mantangai River and Mawas camp in Bagantung, Kapuas Regency where food resources are sufficent to sustain orangutans. One orangutan was found severely injured with air rifle shots leading to permanant loss of sight; this individual is still undergoing care and rehabilitation at BOS Foundations Nyaru Menteng Rehabilitation Center.The long-term impacts of these firestare still being felt. BOS Foundation’s team at the Mawas Conservation Program have encountered at least 20 new wild orangutans roaming along the banks of Mangkutub River in Kapuas Regency. These 20 orangutans must be moved to new suitable habitat immediately, and today, a joint team from Central Kalimantan BKSDA and BOS Foundation – Mawas and Nyaru Menteng Programs – once again embark on a large-scale rescue mission for the third time.
Jhanson Regalino, Mawas Conservation Program Manager said, “We were not expecting to find another 20 stranded wild orangutans in the same area in which we rescued 76 orangutans last year. We have mobilised another team to rescue and translocate these orangutans. This is a large number of orangutans to move, and the sooner we move them out of this situation to avoid conflict with humans, the better. Moreover, we frequently encounter illegal loggers in the area which pose a significant risk to the safety of these orangutans. The Mawas Conservation Program will do whatever it takes to ensure wild orangutans in our working area can live safely in their natural habitat.”
Ir. Adib Gunawan, Head of the Central Kalimantan BKSDA, are highly supportive of these efforts and said, “Rescue is the one of several available options we have to support orangutan conservation. When orangutans are forced out of natural habitat, to avoid conflict with humans, rescue is often the best or only option. In all conflict situations, orangutans become the victim. We therefore need to work together with all parties. Illegal logging is commonly found along the Mangkutub River, and this has pushed out orangutans from their habitat. This needs immediate resolution, and we are ready to help the Kapuas Regency Office to save and protect orangutans.”
Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, BOS Foundation CEO, said, “We, humans, have caused significant habitat destruction and the loss of biodiversity in Central Kalimantan. We were shocked by the recent case of an orangutan being killed and eaten in Kapuas Regency. This unfortunate orangutan was clearly a victim of disorderly land clearing and in his attempt to find new safe habitat, this tragically resulted in conflict with humans and the loss of his life. The forest fire outbreaks in Mangkutub in 2015, also led to similar situations. Last year, we found one orangutan dead from a spear wound, and several others injured by air rifle shots. Not only do we have to act quickly to save stranded orangutans, we also need to increase public awareness on the importance of orangutan conservation. As I highlight in every forum, orangutan and habitat conservation is a collective effort for all stakeholders to combat together. I also praise the affirmative actions taken by law enforcers on several cases of illegal exploitation of natural resources. Without strict justice, these kinds of cases will endlessly continue.”
The BOS Foundation is extremely grateful to all parties who have given donations to support this rescue mission and we specifically created an online donation campaign to generate funding for this emergency situation. The BOS Foundation also calls on all parties to immediately stop practices that cause forest fires and other forms of destruction in years to come.
Mawas Conservation Program Manager
ABOUT BOS FOUNDATION
The BOS Foundation is a non-profit Indonesian organization dedicated to conservation of Bornean orangutan and its habitat, working together with local communities, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia and international partner organizations.
Established in 1991, currently the BOS Foundation is rehabilitating more than 700 orangutans with the support from 400 highly dedicated staff and experts in primatology, biodiversity, ecology, forest rehabilitation, agroforestry, community empowerment, communications, education, and orangutan welfare. For further informations please visit www.orangutan.or.id.
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