Orangutan Conservancy http://www.orangutan.com Orangutans are born with an ability to reason and think. Thu, 21 May 2015 18:01:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 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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Earth Day Arrives and Orangutans Watch http://www.orangutan.com/earth-day-approaches-and-orangutans-watch/ http://www.orangutan.com/earth-day-approaches-and-orangutans-watch/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2015 18:12:59 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5408 Photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli

Photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckli

Every day is earth day to the Orangutan Conservancy, but we put even more emphasis on our amazing planet each April 22nd.

One particular part of the globe that we focus on is Indonesia – the only remaining home to wild orangutans on the planet.  Indonesia is increasingly under threat from palm oil, deforestation, mining and over burdening on its natural resources.  Orangutans call Borneo and Sumatra home, and only with continual work can we help to ensure that there will be enough rainforest conserved in the future to give these great apes a real chance for survival.

On this Earth Day 2015, we ask all of our supporters to take one step toward helping orangutans find a better future.  Visit our How to help page for ideas.

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Orangutan News: 26 Orangutans to be Released Into Wild http://www.orangutan.com/orangutan-news-26-orangutans-to-be-released-into-wild/ http://www.orangutan.com/orangutan-news-26-orangutans-to-be-released-into-wild/#comments Tue, 14 Apr 2015 05:06:33 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5405  

OC archive photo of Samboja Lestari rescue center

OC photo of Samboja Lestari rescue center

The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation is set to release 26 orangutans into their original habitat in Kehje Sewen forest, Muara Wahau, East Kutai regency, East Kalimantan.

“Twenty Pongo pygmaeus morio are ready to be released in May and six others in the middle of this year,” the foundation’s Samboja Lestari land rehabilitation and program manager

Agus Irwanto said in Balikpapan on Monday.Agus said the foundation was currently preparing the orangutans and arranging support for the release.

The foundation’s CEO Jamartin Sihite said the release of the orangutans would cost at least Rp 4 billion (US$307,000).

This article appeared in and is courtesy of The Jakarta Post.

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Save the Date for the Orangutan Conservancy 10th Anniversary Fundraiser http://www.orangutan.com/save-the-date-for-the-orangutan-conservancy-fundraiser/ http://www.orangutan.com/save-the-date-for-the-orangutan-conservancy-fundraiser/#comments Mon, 06 Apr 2015 23:29:17 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5386

Cross a bridge, see a river, all in the middle of Los Angeles at our upcoming fundraiser

Though September 19th is still quite a ways ahead, the Orangutan Conservancy is hard at work planning out our upcoming 10th anniversary fundraiser. The event will be a special day for all at OC, and the outdoor festivities will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 at a beautiful home in the Brookside neighborhood of Los Angeles. 

The “River Runs Through It” theme is appropriate as the home’s expansive backyard and garden has an actual stream that flows right through the environment.

Our Indonesian-inspired fundraiser will offer a lot of treats for our guests, including gourmet food from chef Judy Segami, wonderful live music, an amazing selection of silent auction items, and there will be several speakers who will share stories of orangutans and their rainforest home.  Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Anne Russon who is one of the world’s leading primatologists.

We’ll be adding details right here in the coming months about the September 19th event, but for now please mark the date on your calendar, and feel free to let us know if you’d like to be placed in our future ticket list. This fundraiser will only be able to to accommodate about 75 guests so please contact OC if you are interested in joining us for this special day.

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OC Interactive Presenters at 65th Annual L.A. County Science Fair http://www.orangutan.com/oc-interactive-presenters-at-65th-annual-l-a-county-science-fair/ http://www.orangutan.com/oc-interactive-presenters-at-65th-annual-l-a-county-science-fair/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 02:46:04 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5381

The Orangutan Conservancy had the pleasure of spending this weekend as presenters at the 65th Annual L.A. County Science Fair in Pasadena, California.

The wonderful Pasadena Convention Center hosted the two-day immersive event.

OC got to meet and speak with many booth visitors about orangutans.

Board member Juanita Kempe, along with volunteer Diane, provided a wealth of information to those who stopped by our interactive exhibit.  We look forward to meeting more of you at future events. 

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Conservation News: New Protected Peat Area Established Where Controversial Palm Oil Company Operated http://www.orangutan.com/conservation-news-new-protected-peat-area-established-where-controversial-palm-oil-company-operated/ http://www.orangutan.com/conservation-news-new-protected-peat-area-established-where-controversial-palm-oil-company-operated/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 22:53:11 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5373 IMG_3342

edited by OC’s Tom from a press release

Banda Aceh

At a historic ceremony this week in the middle of Sumatra’s Tripa peat swamps,
Mr. Husaini Syamaun, the Head of the Aceh Forestry Department, formally declared a new 1,455 hectare Protected Peat Area in the Tripa peat swamp region of the Leuser Ecosystem in Sumatra, Indonesia.

The ceremony marked the successful conclusion of an Aceh government program to block 18 illegal canals draining the peat. Mr. Husaini unveiled a signboard marking the official boundary of the new protected area and symbolically planted a tree on one of the recently constructed dams blocking the canals. Husaini confirmed “Aceh’s Government is firmly committed to protecting all peat areas deeper than three meters”.

The event was attended by local government and law enforcement agencies, local community leaders, NGO’s and the press. Community representative, Cut Erlianda, explained, “Local people support the government’s initiative to protect Tripa and hope to be actively involved in its management.”

Over 60,000 trees have already been planted in the newly protected area, with another 120,000 scheduled to be planted over the next month. The area declared as a Protected Peat Swamp was previously awarded illegally to the company PT Kallista Alam, as an oil palm concession area, but in a case that garnered global media attention, a high profile legal challenge against the permit by Acehnese environmental group WALHI Aceh (Friends of the Earth Indonesia) was successful, resulting in Aceh’s Governor formally cancelling the concession in 2012.

Today’s clear statement of intent by the Aceh government swings the international spotlight now onto Indonesia’s Supreme Court in Jakarta, which in a few weeks will deliver its ruling on an appeal by PT Kallista Alam and its directors, previously sentenced to 9 month and 3 year prison sentences and ordered to pay approximately USD 33 million in damages in additional cases against the company brought by Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment.

The Leuser Ecosystem has been listed as one of the “World’s Most Irreplaceable Places” and is the only place in the world where endangered Sumatran orangutans, tigers, elephants and rhinos live side by side.

The Tripa Peat Swamp Forest first came to the world’s attention in 2012, when massive illegal fires raged throughout the area, “destroying the forest, killing everything in their path, and threatening to totally extinguish one of the orangutan ‘capitals of the world’”, according to Dr. Ian Singleton of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP). “Tripa is one of only three remaining peat swamp forests on the west coast of Aceh that host the highest densities of orangutans anywhere in the world,” he emphasized.

Besides the legal actions against PT Kallista Alam, several additional cases filed by the Ministry of Environment against other companies in Tripa are also ongoing.

“The successful lawsuit against Kallista Alam set a major and much needed legal precedent in Indonesia, and paves the way for others to stand up against dubious concessions elsewhere in the country,” proclaimed TM Zulfikar, of Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari (the Indonesian ‘Sustainable Ecosystem Foundation’). “The blocking of these canals and the establishment of the new protected
peat area represents another historic milestone in the battle to restore and conserve the Leuser Ecosystem, a National Strategic Area protected under National Law for its critically important environmental function.

“As the Governor has stated, the law must be enforced,” reiterated Mr. Husaini, “That also means that even though the illegal PT Kallista Alam concession has been withdrawn, other people cannot now claim this land. On the contrary, the court’s decision states very clearly that it must be restored to its former condition.”

“We cannot allow our forests and peatlands to be destroyed in this way. Most of the destruction is purely for quick short-term profits for just a few already extremely wealthy companies and people,” stated Rudi Putra, of the Leuser Conservation Forum. “We’ve had enough of that already. What we
want to see is proper long-term management based on the realities of the environment here to ensure sustainable long-term economic development that benefits all of Aceh’s people,” he added.

Nyoman Suryadiputra, Head of Wetlands International Indonesia, also welcomed the blocking of these illegal drainage canals, explaining how critical peat swamp forests are in protecting local people from disasters and providing livelihoods, and how their destruction and drainage has far reaching global consequences due to the release of CO2 to the atmosphere, fuelling global warming. “In
natural conditions peat swamps like Tripa are essentially 80-90% freshwater.

Drainage canals destroy the water regulation function of the swamp, causing flash floods and droughts, seriously jeopardizing biodiversity and community livelihoods. Drainage dries the peat itself out too, of course, making it susceptible to fires and allowing its carbon content to oxidize and escape into the atmosphere. It’s exactly this kind of irresponsible destruction that we have seen throughout Tripa to date that has led to Indonesia being one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world.”

“This is certainly a monumental occasion in Sumatra, and even in Indonesia as a whole,” reiterated Dr. Singleton. “Tripa has been devastated by the plantations operating there. Back in the early 90’s Tripa’s forest covered more than 60,000 ha and probably harbored over 3,000 orangutans, not to mention tigers and countless other rare and endangered species, many of which depend entirely on
swamp forest habitats for their survival. Today there are probably only around 100 to 200 orangutans remaining in Tripa, if we’re lucky, and we need to do everything we possibly can to reclaim and restore the damaged forests if we are to have any hope of keeping any orangutans surviving here.”

The blocking of canals and restoration of the area is a major step forward.



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Conservation News: Watch How a Gadget in Your Pocket Is Helping Save Endangered Orangutans http://www.orangutan.com/conservation-news-watch-how-a-gadget-in-your-pocket-is-helping-save-endangered-orangutans/ http://www.orangutan.com/conservation-news-watch-how-a-gadget-in-your-pocket-is-helping-save-endangered-orangutans/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 17:01:59 +0000 http://www.orangutan.com/?p=5369

By  for takepart

Koalisi Peduli Hutan Aceh is a network of indigenous community activists in Aceh province, at the far western end of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Around 4.7 million people live in the Aceh forest, depending on it for clean water, food, and protection from flooding and drought.

KPHA members are using smartphones to crowdsource data on the health of the forest.

In collaboration with a Washington, D.C.– and London-based group called the Environmental Investigation Agency, KPHA developed smartphone apps that let members collect their observations, geotag the information, and transmit it to a website for near real time mapping and display alongside other data, such as the boundaries of protected areas.

This video and excerpt from a news article are courtesy of takepart.com and can be read in its entirety here.

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