Based on information gathered by Gunung Palung Orangutan Conservation Program (GPOCP) investigators, a team comprised of officers from the Ketapang Police Department, the Ketapang Natural Resources Conservation Authority (BKSDA), and International Animal Rescue (IAR) have successfully rescued four Bornean orangutans that were illegally held as pets by members of the local community. The Bornean orangutan is an endangered species and legally protected by Indonesian law.
The orangutans were rescued from four different counties, all in the Ketapang district of West Kalimantan, Indonesia. GPOCP investigators initially gathered and reported the evidence, which was followed up on by the Ketapang Police Department and BKSDA, who then coordinated the rescue operations with IAR.
The rescue of one of the orangutans in Manis Mata is an especially significant accomplishment, as GPOCP initially reported this case to BKSDA over a year ago. On October 18, after receiving information and photographic proof that the orangutan was still chained up and that he was given cigarettes and arak (a local type of rice wine), GPOCP media staff wrote an expose that was published on Mongabay Indonesia.
The rescues this month represent a concerted and ongoing effort by a team of orangutan conservationists, including GPOCP and IAR staff as well as local authorities, to address the problem of poaching orangutans for pets in this area of West Kalimantan. GPOCP has been working in the Ketapang district since 1999, with additional conservation programs in the district of Kayong Utara to the north, to protect and conserve the Bornean orangutan populations in and around Gunung Palung National Park.
GPOCP is one of the projects that the Orangutan Conservancy has helped to support. Read more about them here.