Two Orangutans Released By IAR In Borneo!

Two Orangutans Released By IAR In Borneo!

Posted by Connor Whelan on 20th Jul 2016

The team at the IAR Orangutan Rescue site in Borneo were delighted to be able to release two orangutans back into the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park in Western Borneo earlier this year.

Both of the orangutans were rescued from the fires which tore through he forests of Borneo last year. Mata, a male orangutan was rescued last December form a village called Sei Mata-mata, and Mynah, an adult female, was rescued from farmland not far from IAR’s centre in Ketapang.

The release operation, which is the first of many which are planned, was done in association with the Conservation of Natural Resources Agency and the National Park into which the orangutans were released.

IAR Indonesia Programme Director Karmele Llano Sanchez said: "Based on our surveys in 2013, the area we have chosen has a very low population of resident orangutans and is far from any human settlement, reducing the risk of conflict between local communities and orangutans. “

The two apes, Mata and Mynah, took part in some final medical checks and after they had been given the all clear they embarked on their new journey.

After an arduous 52 hour road journey, the team reached the village of Mengkilau and this is where the Orangutans were transferred into boats to be taken to the release site upstream. Every care was taken to ensure the animals safety at this crucial point, and the transportation cages were equipped with large floats should the boat suffer from the rapids on the journey.

Once the boats had docked at the release site, the cages were placed down and opened and the release team were greeted with the magnificent site of the two fully grown orangutans scrambling away up the trees to forage for food.

Alan Knight, CEO of International Animal Rescue, concluded: “This is a momentous event for our team in Indonesia. The journey to the release site involved almost two days on treacherous roads, several hours on a raging river and then a trek on foot into the National Park – and everything went off without a hitch. The reintroduction programme has taken two years to plan and the success of this first release augurs well for our efforts to conserve this magnificent species.

“During the fires in 2015 our team rescued nearly 50 orangutans from the burnt forest. The National Park provides the prospect of a safe haven for these survivors, as well as a glimpse of hope for the species as a whole. We are already putting plans in place to cope with further fires during the year ahead and appealing for funds from the public to help us save more orangutans if their forest home is destroyed.”


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