This year’s workshop, funded in part by the Orangutan Conservancy and The Chester Zoo and hosted by Gadjah Madah University, has unfortunately come to an end, but the knowledge that we have gained and shared will benefit orangutans around the world! In total, we had over 90 participants from 5 different continents here for the workshop in Jogjakarta. This was the 11th annual Orangutan Conservancy’s/Orangutan Veterinary Aid Group’s Workshop!
On the first day of the 5-day long workshop conference, the opening presentation was given by Kevin Cooper, a forest fire strategist. Forest fires are a significant threat to orangutans and their fellow forest inhabitants. Due to poor forest management, specifically in Borneo, forest fires on peatland swamp forests have been rampant. Since July there have been over 800 fire alerts on Peatland grounds in Central Kalimantan. The Sebangau National Forest, a peatland, is home to the largest population of wild orangutans, nearly 7,000 individuals.
Kevin Cooper – forest fire strategist (left), Steve Unwin – Vet Officer at Chester Zoo (middle), and Siska Sulistyo (right) at OC/OVAG 2019
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Another amazing presentation that the veterinarians of OVAG 2019 got to experience was a live stream of health checks on two orangutans and one gibbon at the Jogja Wildlife Rescue Center! This allowed the attendees to get an up close experience from a unique wildlife center. Our hope is to use this as a training video for young vets entering the conservation community in partnership with the university (UGM).
OVAG 2019 vets watching the livestream from Jogja Wildlife Rescue Center (OC)
On the last day of the workshop our very own president, Dr. Rafaella Commitante gave a presentation on Wildlife Forensics, followed by a talk on a case currently in the courts.