Orangutan Conservancy http://www.orangutan.com Orangutans are born with an ability to reason and think. Tue, 21 Jul 2015 20:02:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 7th OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop Approaches http://www.orangutan.com/7th-ocovag-veterinary-workshop-approaches/ http://www.orangutan.com/7th-ocovag-veterinary-workshop-approaches/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 20:02:29 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5496 OC OVAG 2015 LOGOby Raffaella Commitante for the Orangutan Conservancy

Well, it is that time of the year again! Time for our 7th Annual Orangutan Conservancy/Orangutan Veterinary Advisory Workshop!

This year we have over 50 people attending from Indonesia, Malaysia, the U.K., the U.S., and Germany. We are also inviting managers for a short two day seminar of their own this year in addition to orangutan center veterinarians. We will also have some zoo vets join us from Indonesia as well as from the U.S. and the U.K.

This year’s workshop not only will we focus on orangutan health and well-being, but we are also making preparations to begin some education backed short courses for wildlife vets – our hopes being that we can begin the initiation of a Wildlife Veterinary or Conservation Medicine Master’s program in Indonesia – the first.  We will also be focusing on formally evaluating our program for effectiveness to make sure we are doing what we set out to do.

Stayed tuned, more will be coming as we move closer to our start date of August 2. Right now we are in the planning stages with all of the pre-prep being organized by an Indonesian Vet Committee and for the first time they are organizing it on their own – it is after all their workshop.

Daily updates from the vet workshop will begin here on August 2nd along with video coverage on our Facebook page.


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Orangutan News: Orangutan Finds Home in Protected Forest http://www.orangutan.com/orangutan-news-orangutan-finds-home-in-protected-forest/ http://www.orangutan.com/orangutan-news-orangutan-finds-home-in-protected-forest/#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 04:45:01 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5492 Kindly treated: Volunteers from the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation check on an orangutan, after immobilizing it with a tranquilizer dart, in Nehas Liah Bing village, Muara Wahau district, East Kutai regency, East Kalimantan. The orangutan was later relocated to the Wehea protected forest on Friday.(Courtesy of Chris Ringgi)

Kindly treated: Volunteers from the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation check on an orangutan, after immobilizing it with a tranquilizer dart, in Nehas Liah Bing village, Muara Wahau district, East Kutai regency, East Kalimantan. The orangutan was later relocated to the Wehea protected forest on Friday.(Courtesy of Chris Ringgi)

by N. Adri for The Jakarta Post

An orangutan recently trapped on a oil palm farm in Nehas Liah Bing village in Muara Wahau district, East Kutai regency, East Kalimantan, around 500 kilometers north of Balikpapan, was relocated to the Wehea protected forest on Friday.

Members of a team from the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) left their facility in Samboja, located 60 km north of Balikpapan, to go to the location specifically to relocate the orangutan.

“As the Wehea protected forest is located only around 70 km from here, we will relocate the orangutan there,” said Yatim, a Petkueq Mehuey staff member and Wehea protected forest keeper.

The orangutan was found sleeping in a durian tree on a farm owned by Jum Lehat. It was eventually lured to climb down from the tree and was paralyzed with a tranquilizer dart.

After a thorough examination by the BOSF team, the orangutan was placed in a cage and the team immediately left for the protected forest.

This excerpt from a news story appeared in and is courtesy of The Jakarta Post.  To read the full article click here.

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OC Featured Project: The Orangutan Kutai Project in Borneo http://www.orangutan.com/oc-featured-project-the-orangutan-kutai-project-in-borneo/ http://www.orangutan.com/oc-featured-project-the-orangutan-kutai-project-in-borneo/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:14:45 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5486 Putri, Pur and a new baby are an orangutan family that the researchers at OKP follow

Putri, Pur and a new baby are an orangutan family that the researchers at OKP follow

Every so often the Orangutan Conservancy likes to feature one of the projects that we help to support right here on our landing page.

This month we shine the light on the long-running Orangutan Kutai Project.

The Orangutan Kutai Project began in 2009 as a long-term science-for-conservation project on orangutans in Kutai National Park, E Kalimantan, Indonesia.  

Founder, Dr. Anne Russon, an OC Board member, designed it around a multi-year knowledge-building core with two linked goals: adding to scientific knowledge of orangutans in Kutai National Park, the only remaining large population in E Kalimantan of the endangered East Bornean orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus morio, and to enhance the effectiveness of morio conservation efforts in and around the park.

Read more here.

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Our Mission at the Orangutan Conservancy http://www.orangutan.com/our-mission-at-the-orangutan-conservancy-2/ http://www.orangutan.com/our-mission-at-the-orangutan-conservancy-2/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 01:13:57 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5473 Gracia+infant2-1024x680

Our Mission Statement

The Orangutan Conservancy (OC) is dedicated to the protection of orangutans in their natural habitat through research, capacity building, education and public awareness programs, and by supporting numerous on-the-ground efforts to save Southeast Asia’s only great ape.

Today it is estimated that 27,000 species are extinguished every year in the world’s rainforests – or 74 species a day. Orangutans are found only in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. The population of wild orangutans has declined by more than half in the last 50 years, and approximately 80% of their natural habitat has been lost in the last half century.  Our current research suggests that there are only about 40,000 left in the wild.

The Orangutan Conservancy works to protect orangutans in their natural environment, and if we can help this great ape to survive for the future, many other native species, including plants and insects, will also be here for generations to come. 

Please support our mission today.



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Commentary: New Approaches Needed to Save Orangutans in Indonesia http://www.orangutan.com/commentary-new-approaches-needed-to-save-orangutans-in-indonesia/ http://www.orangutan.com/commentary-new-approaches-needed-to-save-orangutans-in-indonesia/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 15:59:44 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5468 2015-05-31-1433107581-561731-aba4-thumb

orangutan photo courtesy of Huff Post Green

by Robert Hii for Huff Post Green

It was disheartening to read the headlines from this news report that said Kansas City and elsewhere, zoos brace against the threat of species extinction. It’s as if the orangutans are doomed to an existence merely in zoos located thousands of miles from their natural habitats.

We can’t let this happen. Their population levels have plummeted for sure in the past two decades as timber, palm oil and mining ripped apart their habitats in Malaysia and Indonesia where these animals are found. If the situation in both countries remained in “business-as-usual” mode where forests were removed with zero regard for what lived in them, then yes, the orangutans are doomed but these are different times and we have to take new approaches to ensure their survival outside of zoos…

Of the three subspecies of orangutans on Borneo island the Pongo pygmaeus morio in Sabah state and Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii in Sarawak, Malaysia both survive in a relatively stable environment. The two thousand plus orangutans in Sarawak are reported to be in new safer environs. This is due mostly to the new Chief Minister of the state, Adenan Satem, who has stunned the public in wanting to protect the remaining natural environment in Sarawak. Declaring recently in London, England that the state has enough palm oil and timber plantations, his government played a key role in freezing three hundred and seventy bank accounts belonging to companies suspected as being involved in illegal logging in the state. All of this bodes well for orangutans in Sarawak and I hope the CM will heed the advice of conservation groups that have called for the protection of its remaining forests.

This excerpt from a commentary piece appeared in and is courtesy of Huff Post Green and can be read in its entirety here.

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Video: Sumatra Burning: The Heart of Palm Oil http://www.orangutan.com/video-sumatra-burning-the-heart-of-palm-oil/ http://www.orangutan.com/video-sumatra-burning-the-heart-of-palm-oil/#comments Thu, 28 May 2015 02:00:17 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5463

In Coconuts TV’s film, “Sumatra Burning: The Heart of Palm Oil,” a documentary team travels to Indonesia to investigate the palm oil industry and the forest clearance fires that cause environmental, economic, political, and health problems throughout Southeast Asia and the world.  This balanced and insightful film is a must-watch for those who care about orangutans and their rainforest homes.

As the film states, “Deforestation, mostly for commercial agriculture, releases more carbon into the atmosphere than all of the cars, trucks, ships, trains and airplanes on the planet combined.  In 2012 Indonesia overtook Brazil as the country with the most rapid deforestation n the world.” 

The film shows how and why this is happening and what might be done to turn things around in the future for the people, animals and ecosystem in that part of the world.

OC applauds this filmmaking team and encourages our supporters to view this powerful, short documentary.


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OC Co-sponsors Indonesian Vet’s Training in America http://www.orangutan.com/oc-co-sponsors-indonesian-vets-training-in-america/ http://www.orangutan.com/oc-co-sponsors-indonesian-vets-training-in-america/#comments Wed, 20 May 2015 20:21:23 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5445 US TRAVEL REPORT

Along with a Fort Wayne Zoo veterinarian, Yenny does a procedure on a Sumatran Tiger as part of her US training

Along with our colleagues from the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP), and the Ft. Worth Zoo the Orangutan Conservancy was pleased to sponsor Indonesian wildlife veterinarian Yenny Saraswati on her recent trip to America for vocational vet training.

The joint effort brought Yenny halfway around the globe to further her veterinary expertise at the Indiana and Texas facilities as well as at other locales.  Guided by top vets at those facilities Yenny gained new knowledge that she’ll be able to bring back to SOCP where hundreds of captive orangutans have been rescued, healed and many released successfully back into the wild.

The eight-week training trip focused on developing Yenny’s overall veterinarian capacity through medical procedures and field activity.  It involved critical health issues of various animals, especially orangutans, which require effective and skilled handling on-site.

According to Yenny, “I learned more about emergency response, vital signs and anesthesia that will be extremely useful for my field work.  We had numerous conversations about orangutan  diseases, styles of medicine and suitable equipment. Seeing the treatment of captive animals here has given me a new set of concerns and knowledge. From knowledge that I gained, I would like to adopt a better medical style, preferred drug uses, and intense medical recording in order to improve procedures.”

At Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo Yenny was involved in medical procedures for orangutans, a Sumatran tiger, red pandas, and various birds, reptiles and primates. At Fort Worth Zoo, she worked on gorillas, cheetahs and  birds. The whirlwind of activity didn’t stop there as Yenny also honed her skills at Detroit Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo, Louisville Zoo, Cleveland Metropark Zoo and Buffalo Zoo.

Thank you to all who participated in this international exchange of veterinary knowledge.  Wildlife veterinarians and the orangutans they care for in Indonesia will certainly benefit from it for years to come, as Yenny will no doubt share her experiences with many other vets at this summer’s OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop.

Veterinarians are paid very little in Indonesia for the incredible work they do.  If you’d like to help the Orangutan Conservancy sponsor future training visits like this one please click on our donate now page.




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Orangutan News: Orangutan Rescued Amid Sea Of Palm Oil http://www.orangutan.com/orangutan-news-orangutan-rescued-amid-sea-of-palm-oil/ http://www.orangutan.com/orangutan-news-orangutan-rescued-amid-sea-of-palm-oil/#comments Tue, 12 May 2015 16:03:31 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5436 A large male Sumatran orangutan is seen in the canopy of the Leuser Ecosystem in the province of Aceh. Photo: Paul Hilton for OIC

A large male Sumatran orangutan is seen in the canopy of the Leuser Ecosystem in the province of Aceh. Photo: Paul Hilton for OIC

by Rhett A. Butler for Mongabay.com

Conservationists rescued another orangutan stranded in Sumatra by expanding oil palm plantations, spotlighting continued fragmentation and destruction of red ape habitat on the Indonesian island.

The rescue, which took place in early April, was conducted by the Orangutan Information Centre (OIC) in response to a report of an adult male orangutan isolated in an fragment forest surrounded by oil palm plantations. The orangutan was found to be in poor health, according to Krisna, OIC’s Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit field coordinator.

“Our vet checked his condition and after being trapped in such a small area of forest lacking food, he was found to be very underweight. He also had a bullet in his chest which we removed on the scene,” the conservationist said in a statement. “It’s clear that had we not been able to conduct the rescue, his future was to die starving here, or make a run for it where he could have been shot at and killed.”

This excerpt from a news article appeared on and is courtesy of Mongabay.com and can be read in its entirety here.

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Dr. Anne Russon to be Keynote Speaker at OC’s 10th Anniversary Fundraiser http://www.orangutan.com/dr-anne-russon-to-be-keynote-speaker-at-ocs-10th-anniversary-fundraiser/ http://www.orangutan.com/dr-anne-russon-to-be-keynote-speaker-at-ocs-10th-anniversary-fundraiser/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 20:01:19 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5427 Dr. Anne Russon shown here at her current research effort - the Orangutan Kutai Project

Dr. Anne Russon shown here at her current research site- the Orangutan Kutai Project

World-renowned primatologist and OC board member Dr. Anne Russon will be the keynote speaker at the “A River Runs Through It” fundraiser to be held in Los Angeles on September 19th.

Since 1989, Dr. Russon has conducted scientific research on orangutan intelligence and behavior in the forests of Indonesian Borneo.  She has served as a scientific advisor for several orangutan documentaries and orangutan support organizations (e.g., Alchemy Films, New Zealand Natural History Unit; Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation–Indonesia, Orangutan Conservancy-USA) and is the Executive Director of the Borneo Orangutan Society of Canada. Since 2009, she has been studying the behavior of wild orangutans in Kutai National Park, E Kalimantan at her Orangutan Kutai Project.

She is the author of several popular books dealing with Great Apes including Orangutans: Wizards of the Rainforest, Reaching into Thought: The Minds of the Great Apes, and The Evolution of Thought: Evolution of Great Ape Intelligence.  Dr. Russon was recently profiled in a New Yorker magazine article.

Attendees of our 1oth anniversary event will have a wonderful opportunity to hear and meet this global leader in the field of orangutan conservation.  See you there.

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Earth Week Activity for OC http://www.orangutan.com/earth-week-activity-for-oc/ http://www.orangutan.com/earth-week-activity-for-oc/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2015 01:07:37 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5414

The Orangutan Conservancy had the great pleasure of extending Earth Day into a veritable Earth Week as we attended two separate events this past week to spread the world about orangutans and their rainforest home.

Having the opportunity to attend live events and explain more about orangutans is one of the things that OC always strives to do here in the USA, and we’re able to do that more often with our colleagues from the California Orangutan Alliance who joined us at the two events at the JPL/NASA Earth Day Fair in Pasadena and the next day at California State University Northridge for their “Earth Fair”.  Here’s some footage from the CSUN event and you can see some JPL footage on our Facebook page too.

One thing is for sure, no matter where the venue, we’re seeing an increase in public awareness to the orangutan’s plight.  A growing number of people are now aware of the main threat to orangutans  – palm oil – and are making educated, sustainable  choices when they shop, and more and more companies are finally hearing the message.  Just this past week McDonald’s pledged to eliminate deforestation from its entire supply chain, and that occurred because of increasing public pressure on the fast food giant.

As public pressure to better protect orangutans increases so too will the numbers of these great apes living free in the wild.  That’s why we encourage our supporters and all that care about orangutans to use social media to let others know what is happening to our forest friends in Indonesia and what they can do at home to make a lasting difference for orangutans.

The threats of deforestation, palm oil, poaching and the illegal pet trade that orangutans face certainly haven’t diminished, but the response from a more demanding public is now showing real results.

We look forward to seeing many of you at future events in and around California.

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