OC Co-sponsors Indonesian Vet’s Training in America


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.




posted by: Tom


Orangutan News: Orangutan Rescued Amid Sea Of Palm Oil

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.

posted by: Tom


Dr. Anne Russon to be Keynote Speaker at OC’s 10th Anniversary Fundraiser

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.

posted by: Tom


Earth Week Activity for OC

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.

posted by: Tom