Several days ago we received a report that a baby orangutan was being kept illegally in a village called Lawang Uru, a 2-hour drive from Nyaru Menteng in Central Kalimantan. On October 24, a joint team from the Central Kalimantan BKSDA and BOS Foundation established a rescue mission and successfully confiscated a 3-year old baby boy weighing 7.3 kgs, who we named Uru.
Based on information provided by a local resident Ido Dasit, this infant was a victim of the 2015 forest fires. Reportedly, Ido had found Uru alone near a burned forest area and taken him home. As with almost all of these cases, the likelihood is that this infants’ mother was killed and he was taken as a pet. For two years, Uru has been kept in a wooden cage and given human food like rice, instant noodles, and syrup, instead of a natural diet of fruit, leaves, bark and other forest foods.
During his two years in captivity, the local children played with Uru, and he is said to have suffered from coughs, influenza and diarrhea, with his captors often giving him paracetamol to treat his symptoms, the same as they would give to their own children.
Once Uru arrived safely at our rehabilitation centre in Nyaru Menteng, a thorough examination was conducted by our vet team, which suggest that despite Uru’s weight measuring within normal range for an orangutan his age, his overall health is quite poor due to inadequate nutrition. Our team are providing 24-hour care to Uru in the quarantined section of our Baby House together with two other babies recently rescued, Susanne and Topan (Read about Topan and Susanne here). At Nyaru Menteng, our team will nurse Uru back to health, gently transition him to a natural diet and start to help him learn natural orangutan behaviours.
Uru is the 6th baby orangutan rescued from Pulang Pisau Regency, and is the 21st baby to come to Nyaru Menteng this year alone. This number is extremely high and we are devastated that this Critically Endangered species continues to decline in the wild. Orangutans are not pets and this situation must be tackled urgently if we are to have a hope of saving Borneo’s remaining wild orangutan population.
Text by: BOS Foundation Communications Team
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