Update: OC/OVAG Workshop Days 4 and 5

This live update comes to us from Dr. Raffaella Commitante who runs the OC/OVAG Workshop for the Orangutan Conservancy.

Day 4

This was a full day of labs for the OC/OVAG 2012 participants.  A cardiology session , a post mortem session, a bio security session, an ultrasound session, an orthopedic surgery session, and ended with a group discussion on releases of rehabilitant orangutans – quite a full day.

Day 5

The last day of the workshop focused on risk assessment, bio security and welfare issues based on Wednesday’s visit to Zoo Negara and  problems faced by rehab centers and wild sites.  Participants divided up into groups to work on each issue.


At the lunch break, participants divided up into groups of three to come up with three words that would describe the OC/OVAG Workshop.

After lunch we continued working in groups, and then a release video was shown from the latest orangutan release in East Kalimantan, from BOS Samboja Lestari – Citra, who showed the video, gave a very moving speech about how without the OC/OVAG workshops, she and the other vets would have never had the courage to stand up to management and delay the release until the vets felt the orangutans were truly ready based on recommendations made by past OC/OVAG meetings! It really was an amazing tribute to these workshops.  Toward the end of the day – we began to wind down a bit and presented everyone with their OC/OVAG certificates, gifts were given to Dr Sumita Sugnaseelan  and Dr Reuben Sharma of Univerisiti Putra Malaysia for doing such an amazing job hosting this year’s workshop.  I received the best gift of all – I got to keep GAVO, our mascot!

But our work was still not complete as we worked until 10:58!  We discussed the upcoming Indonesian Veterinary Association meeting in October where OC/OVAG in situ vets will present OC/OVAG to the Association – this will make us even stronger as a group if we are recognized by the Association.

Then it was time for goodbyes and promises to keep in touch and continue to help each other in bringing about effective long term orangutan conservation.

OC Note:  It’s hard to believe that our 4th OC/OVAG Workshop has come and gone already.  It will not be long before Dr. Commitante and the OC team start planning next year’s gathering of wildlife veterinarians.  If you would like to help OC continue this important tradition please visit our how to help page.

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