OC Joins With Several Orangutan Organizations to Sponsor Indonesian Debate

The future for orangutans will be on the agenda at the discussion/debate

The future for orangutans will be on the agenda at the discussion/debate

Collaboration of Orangutan Organizations Support Debate/Discussion of Environmental Position of Candidates for Next President of Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia.  

In advance of the upcoming Indonesian presidential elections on July 9th, OC has joined a group of nonprofit organizations with a focus on orangutan conservation to co-sponsor a debate and discussion on the environmental position of the two candidates for Indonesia’s highest office. Representatives for the president/vice-president teams of Prabowo Subianto/Hatta Rajasa and Joko Widodo/Jusuf Kalla will face off on Thursday, July 3, 2014, at the Gallery Cafe Taman Ismail Marzukiin Jakarta.

The debate/discussion was suggested by members of the Indonesian group, Yayasan Inisiatif Pendidkan Orangutan Indonesia (YIPOI)  to their sister organization, Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) during a recent visit to Indonesia by OURF president Dr. Gary Shapiro. Shapiro was able to enroll other orangutan organizations to help sponsor the debate/discussion in an effort to better clarify how each presidential team plans to address the environmental and natural resource challenges facing Indonesia over the coming years.

“The Indonesian people deserve to know how their future president will prioritize the environment, natural resources and wildlife issues in addition to the usually discussed topics of development, jobs, law, and the economy,” stated Shapiro.  

The organizations sponsoring the educational event with OURF are The Orangutan Project (Australia), Orangutan Conservancy (USA), Orangutan Outreach (USA), and Orangutan Land Trust (UK). All organizations have been supporting conservation and education programs in Indonesia for many years in an effort to save the orangutan from extinction. 

posted by: Tom

 

Final Day Update: 2014 OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop Wraps Up

On the last day, Steve Unwin reviews a group session.

On the last day, Steve Unwin reviews a group session.

Endangered, there’s still time.  Extinct, they’re gone forever.

Those strong words are on the banner of the 2014 OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop and a reminder to us all why we must bring together the wildlife veterinarians each year in Indonesia.  The battle to save orangutans has reached a pivotal time and we all must work harder and better to ensure their survival.  The frontline hero vets do that every day at their rescue and rehabilitation centers in the wild, and it is our honor to host them once a year for OC/OVAG. 

T.M.

Final Day Update by Dr. Raffaella Commitante

Well, we have reached the final day of our workshop.  Today was about tying up loose ends and planning for next year.  What is really exciting is that toward the close of the meeting, we chose new committee members.  Sumita has just had a baby and may be quite busy this year and Drh, Anta has left for Australia to work on her PhD.

We clearly needed some new committee members.

Chosen were Citra and Siska representing Kalimantan and Ricko and Yenny representing Sumatra.  The surprise for everyone was that Steve and I decided to turn over the organization of next year’s workshop to these new committee members!

So, OC/OVAG 2015 will be completely organized and run by the OVAG vets.  Steve and I will be at their beck and call of course – but the ball is in their court.  Exciting stuff.

After the meeting we were driven to another hotel where we had our conference closing dinner.  There was much laughing and karaoke along with distribution of the certificates and the awarding of GAVO III (our stuffed animal mascot) to Siska for assisting in the logistics of this year’s workshop.

ocovag final day banner

posted by: Tom

 

Day Four Highlights from the 2014 OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop

After two orangutans           "found' each other they had twins.  Here the mother holds her babies.

After two orangutans “found’ each other they had twins. Here the mother holds her babies.

by Dr. Raffaella Commitante

Continuing on with our adventures in Jogja at the 2014 OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop!

After a bit of administrative housekeeping announcements we moved right into husbandry and enrichment.  This year’s focus was on husbandry and welfare issues.  Claire from Chester Zoo and Yenny from the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) gave a joint presentation on specific issues in their respective locations.

The participants then broke apart into groups again to continue to work on various scenarios. This time they were challenged with designing a new enclosure for animals that have special health challenges (blind, arthritic etc.).

One of the groups working on enclosures for un-releasable orangutans wearing our “Winny” designed OC/OVAG shirts for 2014.

One of the groups working on enclosures for un-releasable orangutans wearing our “Winny” designed OC/OVAG shirts for 2014.

We then moved on to some really interesting case studies.  The highlight was about two blind orangutans – a male and a  female “finding” each other – yes, they were in separate enclosures that were close to each other – and the female unexpectedly giving birth to twins!

The proud papa.  See photo of mom and the babies at top.

The proud papa. See photo of mom and the babies at top.

In the afternoon I gave a talk on Wild Animal Welfare which  I think really interested our OVAG  members.  I wanted to be sure that they all understood that this is not an issue targeting Indonesia – but that all countries worldwide struggle with providing proper welfare for animals in their care.

Raff gives her presentation on wild animal welfare.

Raff gives her presentation on wild animal welfare.

 

posted by: Tom

 

OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop Day Three Highlights

DNA extraction in process

DNA extraction in process

By Dr. Raffaella Commitante

Today was a very interesting day for me personally at the 2014 OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop as we were first going to be working in the parasitology lab, and then we were going to the PCR/DNA extraction lab.

I had never seen the process done so it was very interesting.  A PhD student was running a genetic sequence.   We were able to watch the very detailed work as he added dye using a very fine pipette to the gel that held the extracted DNA.  We were then given a lecture on the entire process by the professor in the lab Prof. Dr. Wayan.  It was very cool!

Prof. Wayan explains the DNA extraction process

Prof. Wayan explains the DNA extraction process

After sitting through two lab sessions and a parasitology quiz, the OVAG delegates relaxed a bit by taking a selfie while waiting for transport back to the hotel from the University.  They used the latest fad – a Bluetooth enabled extension pole which you attach to your cell  phone.

OC/OVAG delegates take their photo from an orangutan perspective

OC/OVAG delegates take their photo from an orangutan perspective

 

posted by: Tom