Orangutan Conservancy OC/OVAG Workshop Updates

Here we are on our last day, posing with our new head lamps, courtesy of Barbel Khoeler and ABAXIS.
Here we are on our last day, posing with our new head lamps, courtesy of Barbel Khoeler and ABAXIS.

Day 5 – Final Day

by Raffaella Commitante

Well, we have wound up the final day of OVAG 2016 and it has been an amazing workshop – full of many challenges. Eye work was the definite top winner in the challenge contest as many orangutans do suffer from eye issues and the vets were hungry for more training.

ocovag final day 2016 2

Dr. AJ Marlar, one of the few (perhaps the only) wildlife ophthalmologists is meeting that challenge – she promises to come back next year as well as visiting center’s individually to address specific eye issues!!! 

Though it was not all work! We did have our new resident barista, vet Ricko Jaya brought his hand grinder, espresso coffee pot and burner (yes, he makes espresso in the field!!!) and made us all cups of the most delicious Sumtran coffee…WOW!!!!

Mr. Cool – OVAG barista, RIcko (forget it ladies – he is taken as he is Yenny’s husband)
Mr. Cool – OVAG barista, RIcko (forget it ladies – he is taken as he is Yenny’s husband)

Next year we will be back in Jogja, but Ricko has extended an invitation to hold our 2018 (and 10th workshop) in Aceh, Northern Sumatra.

Day 4

ocovag 2016 yenny and steve
Steve Unwin (OC/OVAG co-founder) of Chester Zoo congratulating Yenny on her upcoming trip to present at IPS (he will meet her there as he is attending as well!!!)

by Raffaella Commitante

Today was a very exciting day as we were able to see the benefits of our OVAG network in real time. Yenny, one of our OVAG vets (from SOCP), had her abstract accepted for this year’s IPS (International Primate Society) meeting in Chicago.  Sadly, she was not able to find funding to go and present – until our OVAG meeting!  Thanks to our friends Nancy Lung (Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine) who was at this year’s OVAG and Joe Smith of Ft. Wayne Children’s Zoo (who has attended OVAG in the past) – within 24 hours – funding for Yenny came through!!!! She will leave in two weeks for America where she will be not only able to attend the IPS meeting but also attend the Orangutan SSP meeting in Wisconsin.  Her journey will continue when she flies to Seattle as the guest of Dr. AJ Marlar, a wildlife ophthalmologist who was also at this year’s OVAG – our network of friends helping friends is truly an amazing resource.

ocovagday 4 breakout group
One of our break out group sessions – diligently working together!!!!
Here I am giving a presentation on Orangutan Behavior (explaining how similar it can be to Human behavior)
Here I am giving a presentation on Orangutan Behavior (explaining how similar it can be to Human behavior)

Days 2 & 3

 

Sabah 3

by Raffaella Commitante,

Hello again OVAG fans!!!!

Days two and three were packed with work!!!! A very intense respiratory disease presentation and some very interesting orangutan case studies along with an OVAG strategy meeting where we discussed design options for a new logo and possibilities for our vets to go to conferences !!!! A very, very fun and informative orthopedic session where I was the wounded orangutan needing emergency fracture care followed by mammal eye issues and ways to identify specific lesions that appear on and in the eye, with a focus on orangutan eyes. Most orangutan eye issues seen by our vets are due to gun pellets that either get lodged and cannot be removed (as long as the tissue is healthy they do not necessarily need to be tampered with); or the damage to the eye is so severe that it needs to be removed.

Sabah 4

A very intense day – but we had some relief when we visited the Sabah Wildlife Department genetics lab while there was a down pour!!!! Wet but fun and informative  – AND it was our group photo day as you can see we are all wearing our OVAG t-shirts!!!!!!

Day One

 

 

Here I am with members of the Sabah Wildlife Department wearing my honorary SWD t-shirt!!!!
Here I am with members of the Sabah Wildlife Department wearing my honorary SWD t-shirt!!!!

by Raffaella Commitante

Hello from Sabah, Malaysian Borneo for our 8th annual Orangutan Veterinary Advisory Group Workshop!!!! This year, we have been invited to Sabah by the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) in Kota Kinabalu. On our opening day, we had a speech prepared by the Director of SWD, a welcome by Steve Unwin and me (Raffaella!!!!) all handled beautifully by our master of ceremonies, Ricko Jaya.

This year we will be focusing on respiratory diseases, ophthalmology, orthopedics, primate evolution and orangutan behavior as well as continuing our work with Disease Risk Analysis and review of case studies at the various orangutan centers presented by our team of Orangutan Rehabilitation Center veterinarians.

sabah 2

Here are our vets hard at working taking their pre-workshop quiz which we use as part of our evaluation for the effectiveness of our workshops. They looked much happier after it was done! They will take the same quiz again at the end of the workshop.

 

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