Sintang Orangutan Center

The Orangutan Conservancy has awarded funding secured from the 2019-2020 Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) Grant to the Sintang Orangutan Center (SOC), based in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

The Sintang Orangutan Center, located in Sintang, West Kalimantan specializes in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of wild orangutans. They are also dedicated to the education of the local community, in an effort to end deforestation, hunting, and the orangutan pet trade in the area.

SOC achieves their goal of orangutan conservation by following their three-step rehabilitation process:

Prevention & Rescue

  • Public awareness & education
  • Information collection of orangutans in captivity
  • Evacuation

Along with the Foresty Police force of West Kalimantan, SOC aims to spread awareness and collect accurate information about orangutans both in the wild and in the hands of wildlife traders and private individuals. Since 2010 SOC has rescued more than 40 orangutans and has returned most of them to the wild.

SOC works with locals schools and villages to provide lessons and activities to improves the knowledge of the locals on sustainability and environmental conservation.

Credit: SOC

Rehabilitation & Forest School

  • Quarantine
  • Socialisation
  • Forest School

Rehabilitation and Forest School is just what it sounds like! This step in the program ensures an individual orangutan’s ability to survive in the wild. After being cleared by multiple health professionals, the orangutans are transferred to a socialization enclosure, closely followed by forest school where they will learn the necessary skills to survive in the wild.

Release & Monitoring

  • Site Survey
  • Release Process
  • Post release monitoring

The release of fully recovered orangutans makes up the final step in the rehabilitation process. Under the protocols of the IUCN and the Ministry of Environment and Foresty SOC releases rehabilitated orangutans at their primary release site at Betung Kerhun National Park, West Kalimantan. This pristine forested release site is 7 hours away from SOC and is divided into four sectors. One of these sectors is home to about 800 orangutans, and is called Embaloh. The planned release site is called Mendalam and is estimated to be able to support around 900 wild orangutans.

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Medical Funding

The Sintang Orangutan center intends to use the awarded funds to secure sufficient medical supplies for the care of the orangutans in the rehabilitation center.

Orangutan receiving a health examination at SOC

Upon arrival to SOC, all orangutans must undergo an extensive health examination. The purpose of this examination is to ensure that any orangutan entering the center does not introduce any infectious disease to the other individuals. If the orangutan passes their initial health examination they are admitted to the center and will undergo a yearly examination thereafter. If at any point during their initial or yearly examination(s) an infectious disease is found, the animal care team must effectively be able to treat the animal with the necessary equipment and medications. The medical funding provided by OC will allow SOC to secure adequate amounts of medications and lab tests to treat any orangutan in need.

SOC staff must have adequate equipment to be able to perform routine examinations like the one pictured above.

Orangutan healthcare and rehabilitation requires a significant amount of dedication and funding. We are so happy to be able to fund this grant to SOC and help them further their mission to conserve this precious species.

Stay tuned for more updates on the Sintang Orangutan Center!

Credit: Sintang Orangutan Center

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