Film: Toward Tomorrow with the Orangutan Conservancy


Orangutan News: The Orangutan Who Escaped Indonesia’s Blackmarket Pet Trade

Krismon in his cage at the time of his confiscation by authorities. Panut Hadisiswoyo, left, founded the Orangutan Information Center, which participated in the operation. Photo courtesy of the OIC

by Philip Jacobson for Mongabay

Kabanjahe, Indonesia — Zulbaidah used to take her family’s pet orangutan on road trips. He’d ride in the back with the kids.

“He was like my own son,” the 55-year-old woman said at her home in this North Sumatran town. “Who wouldn’t love him?”

Those were the good times, when the ape, Krismon, was small and cute. But as the years passed, and he grew more mammoth and strong-willed, the family began to use a cage to keep him under control. Eventually they threw away the key.

By June 2016, when authorities confiscated Krismon, then aged around 20, he had been confined to the tiny enclosure for so long, his legs had wasted away to the point he could no longer stand.

He is now relearning to climb and move at a rehabilitation center near Medan, the capital of North Sumatra province. But he lacks the skills to survive in the forest, and his caretakers doubt he can ever return to the wild.

This excerpt from an article appeared on and is courtesy of and can be read in its entirety here.

posted by: Tom


Conservation News: Sumatran UNESCO World Heritage Site Facing New Wave of Destruction

Active clearing going on in the Leuser Ecosystem

The 2.6 million hectare Leuser Ecosystem, located in the provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra, in Indonesia, is recognized as one of the world’s foremost “irreplaceable protected areas” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. It contains a large part of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS) World Heritage Site within its borders, a site that has been on UNESCO’s “List of World Heritage in Danger’’ since 2011 due to ongoing destruction of its rainforest ecosystem.

Today, a wave of major new industrial projects being fast tracked for development within the Leuser Ecosystem threaten to destroy the integrity of the site, despite the fact that they will violate Indonesian laws and make a mockery of the World Heritage Site listing.

A consortium of NGOs focused on the protection of the Leuser Ecosystem submitted a report on Monday 20th March 2017 to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre (WHC) critiquing the Indonesian State Party’s 2017 report to the WHC about the state of conservation of the TRHS.

A Turkish-­‐owned company, PT Hitay Panas Energi, has been lobbying the Indonesian government to remove protections from a ‘core zone’ of the World Heritage Site to allow a power plant to be built in the heart of the Leuser Ecosystem. Their request was supported by the outgoing Governor of Aceh province, Zaini Abdullah.

However following last month’s elections, new Aceh Governor-­‐elect, Irwandi Yusuf, has stated publicly that he will cancel the Hitay project.
Continue reading »

posted by: Tom


Orangutan News: Video Captures Conservationists Saving Orangutan in a Raging River

from Coconuts Jakarta

It’s impossible to know why the orangutan in this video was trying to cross this perilous section of the Lesan River in East Kalimantan. It might have simply been exploring, but we’d venture to guess that it was driven by hunger or fear caused by the loss of its natural habitat, a danger more and more of Indonesia’s endangered orangutans face every day.

What we know for sure is that this primate was pretty lucky that a group of conservationists from the Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP) happened to come across it while it hung for dear life to save itself from being swept into the raging river’s waters.

This excerpt from a news article appeared in Coconuts Jakarta and the video can be seen here.

posted by: Tom


Orangutan News: Alarms Raised as Timber Firm Said to Pierce Orangutan Stronghold

Photo courtesy of International Animal Rescue

Photo courtesy of International Animal Rescue

by Basten Gokkon for Mongabay

A timber plantation company is illegally clearing one of Indonesia’s last coastal peat swamp forests, a carbon reservoir and biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endangered orangutans, say observers who are imploring President Joko Widodo’s administration to intervene.

The company, PT Mohairson Pawan Khatulistiwa (MPK), did not respond to numerous requests for comment. But locals report the firm is digging a drainage canal through the peat soil in alleged violation of a moratorium on peatland development enshrined by Jokowi, as he is known, into law last December.

Draining peat soil — a deposit of decaying organic matter that can extend deep below the ground’s surface — is a prerequisite to planting it with the fast-growing pulpwood species that feed Indonesia’s paper mills, a huge industry in the archipelago country. But the practice dries the soil out, rendering the peat highly flammable. Its widespread usage is the main underlying cause of Indonesia’s annual fires which often reach crisis proportions. In 2015, they sickened half a million people and pumped more carbon into the atmosphere than the entire EU during the same period.

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

posted by: Tom