Orangutan Conservancy http://www.orangutan.com Orangutans are born with an ability to reason and think. Thu, 20 Aug 2015 12:00:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop Wrap-Up 2015 http://www.orangutan.com/ocovag-veterinary-workshop-wrap-up-2015/ http://www.orangutan.com/ocovag-veterinary-workshop-wrap-up-2015/#comments Sun, 16 Aug 2015 16:35:19 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5526  

Attendees at the 2015 OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop

Attendees at the 2015 OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop

by Tom Mills for the Orangutan Conservancy

The 7th Annual OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop, recently held in energetic Yogyakarta Indonesia, has concluded after a whirlwind week of presentations, clinics, team building exercises and labs.  The once a year event, co-sponsored by the Orangutan Conservancy and our friends at the Chester Zoo, was the largest gathering yet with upwards of 60 attendees on some days.  Not only did we have a large contingent of Indonesian wildlife veterinarians in attendance but OC/OVAG 2015 also saw rescue and rehabilitation center managers joining us this time out, along with some international vets to partake and learn more about captive and wild orangutans as well.

Seeing the annual event firsthand was a real eye opener as the schedule was a busy one from day to night. Over the five-day timeframe, there was enough information and strategies being shared to fill a laptop – knowledge that each attendee will utilize for the hard work ahead.

The vets obviously have a real affection for each other that is strengthened each year and that bond connects each of them in numerous ways.  As one told me, “This is really the only time we can be together to share.”  And that they did as these orangutan experts from the frontlines presented case studies and firsthand accounts to each other at both the workshop LPP Garden Hotel event central location and at the Veterinary Medicine campus at the University of Gadjah Maja not far away. The Internet also helps the vets to stay in touch once they all head back to their centers, but there’s no substitute for being together in the same place each year.

The work week at OC/OVAG 2015 began with a presentation to the Dean of the University’s Vet School, followed by days of activities that included a parisitology lab, a practical CPR lesson for resuscitating orangutans (with BeeGees soundtrack for tempo), an exciting role-playing exercise between vets-managers-and communications teams recreating a forest crisis situation in order to improve strategies when the real thing occurs, while the lighter aspects of the schedule included a tour of cultural Yogyakarta and an after-hours vet auction for medical supplies that were bid on not with money but with colorful stories from the field.

Dr Wendi Bailey's parasitology lab in full swing

Dr Wendi Bailey’s parasitology lab in full swing

Perhaps the real highlight of the week, though, was that this was the first year that the Indonesian orangutan vets themselves took full control of running the show.  Under the tutelage of OC’s Dr. Raffaella Commitante and Chester’s Dr. Steve Unwin for these past seven years, in 2015 the OVAG organizing committee made up of four in-situ orangutan specialists took the reigns of the event, and they did a terrific job in planning and running the busy five-day workshop. Kudos to Siska, Citra and Yenny and Ricko for a seamless transition.

OIC's drh. Ricko Laino Jaya  - an OVAG committee member-  presents

OIC’s drh. Ricko Laino Jaya – an OVAG committee member- presents

The future looks bright for the OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop!  In the coming weeks we’ll be showing video clips from several of the events at this year’s workshop.  Stay tuned.  And if you want to feel a bit of the energy from the workshop here’s a quick hello from the vets themselves.

On a personal note, this was the first workshop that I’ve attended and it was a real pleasure to meet so many dedicated, wonderful people that work day in and day out, often in over-burdened facilities with little funding or outside support, to ensure the survival of both captive and wild orangutans.  Thank you all for what you do throughout the year for orangutan conservation.

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In the Trees Soon Thanks to SOCP http://www.orangutan.com/in-the-trees-soon-thanks-to-socp/ http://www.orangutan.com/in-the-trees-soon-thanks-to-socp/#comments Sun, 16 Aug 2015 02:27:52 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5518 photo by Tom from the Orangutan Conservancy

photo by Tom from the Orangutan Conservancy

This young orangutan will one day call the wild home.  Currently being cared for with over 50 other orangutans at SOCP’s quarantine/rehabilitation center, she’ll eventually be released back into a safe forest area to live in the trees as have over 200 other orangutans that have been rescued, rehabilitated and taught how to survive and thrive in the rainforest.

Other orangutans that have severe injuries and illnesses and couldn’t survive in the forest will have Orangutan Haven to call their semi-wild home.  SOCP’s Orangutan Haven is in its early stages not far from the quarantine center and the Orangutan Conservancy is pleased to be able to help support the development of this much needed sanctuary.

Read more about SOCP’s work to save orangutans and about Orangutan Haven, and join us with your support to help these important projects.

IMG_2455 resize

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OC Wraps-Up Visit to Indonesian Orangutan Projects http://www.orangutan.com/oc-wraps-up-visit-to-indonesian-orangutan-projects/ http://www.orangutan.com/oc-wraps-up-visit-to-indonesian-orangutan-projects/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 10:46:10 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5511 photo by Tom for the Orangutan Conservancy

photo by Tom for the Orangutan Conservancy

It’s been a busy two weeks for OC as we’re just wrapping up our visit to several projects that we help to support in Indonesia.  We’ll be reporting in-depth on all of them soon, and there’s plenty of video coming, but for now have a look at this little one who is currently a resident of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) where we just visited yesterday.

No doubt this curious youngster is in great care at the sprawling quarantine center and will one day be released back into the wild.

For those orangutans that are too injured or ill to ever be released again, there is also SOCP’s Orangutan Haven which we saw before visiting the rehabilitation center.  Orangutan Haven is a pristine former rice patty that over the next several years will be transformed into a semi-wild home for those orangutans that need some extra help.

Before we had that Sumatran adventure we spent an exciting three days in the Sabangau Forest in Borneo watching wild orangutans and seeing the work of the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop).  This impressive rainforest facility is working on all biodiversity fronts at the same time and OC is thrilled to help them in their work.

The journey began in Jakarta as it always must when visiting Indonesia where we boarded a domestic flight for Yogyakarta for the 7th annual OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop.  Over 50 veterinarians, healthcare workers and facility center managers attended this year and the once-a-year gathering is growing in ways our organization couldn’t have imagined when it first started in 2009.


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OC Visits OuTROP in Sabangau http://www.orangutan.com/oc-visits-outrop-in-sabangau/ http://www.orangutan.com/oc-visits-outrop-in-sabangau/#comments Sun, 09 Aug 2015 04:42:34 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5508 photo by Berni Ripoll at OuTrop

photo by Berni Ripoll at OuTrop

OC had an amazing three days with our friends at the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop). Wonderful people, a breathtaking environment, and a forest research site that sets the high mark.

Thank you all for the work you’re doing for biodiversity in Sabangau.

And yes, wild orangutans are increasing in population in this protected environment – a model for other forest areas!

OC is pleased to be a supporter of the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project.


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7th OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop Begins http://www.orangutan.com/7th-ocovag-veterinary-workshop-approaches/ http://www.orangutan.com/7th-ocovag-veterinary-workshop-approaches/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 11:02:29 +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 the workshop progresses. 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.

Updates from the vet workshop will begin on August 2nd on our Facebook page.


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OC/OVAG Pre-Workshop Update http://www.orangutan.com/ocovag-pre-workshop-update/ http://www.orangutan.com/ocovag-pre-workshop-update/#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:06:56 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5504 a_002by Raffaella Commitante

Hello OC/OVAG fans!

Well, Citra and I are in Jogjakarta with Siska and conducting our pre-workshop preparations. The rainy season has begun in Borneo (where I was recently), but here in Jogja it is pleasantly sunny and dry. Today will be a shopping day for items needed to conduct our biggest meeting thus far. Luckily, having a permanent home in Jogja allows us to store items bought last year so we do not have to purchase some things again.

We have had some great news. The Indonesian Veterinary Association (IVMA) has given OC/OVAG a great honor!!! All participants get 7.5 education pts to add to their Veterinary degrees. Those vets that will present and/or facilitate sessions will earn 8.5. This is huge as it means we are accepted by a government body.

Above is a picture of this year’s organizing committee which has brought this about (we began working on this recognition for two years) with our mascot Gavo. You can follow Gavo on his own Instagram account.

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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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