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Jakarta Post

More albino orangutans believed to be living in Kalimantan forests

  • Moses Ompusunggu

    The Jakarta Post

Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan   /   Tue, May 2, 2017   /   12:04 pm
More albino orangutans believed to be living in Kalimantan forests In this undated image taken from video, conservationists from the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) carry a tranquilized orangutan in Muara Wahau, East Kalimantan. (AP/ -)

A conservation group in Central Kalimantan believes there are a number of albino orangutans living in the wild in Borneo after the discovery of the first of its kind last week .

Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) CEO Jamartin Sihite said Monday it was confirmed that the five-year-old white-furred female orangutan was an animal carrying albinism after a test conducted at the facility’s medical team found that “its eyes are very sensitive to light”, which is one of the symptoms of the congenital disorder, and that it was not "a new orangutan species."

“There must be orangutans living in the forests from whom the albino orangutan inherited the disorder, for it is genetic,” Jamartin said.

The BOSF took the orangutan on Friday from a local peasant in Tenggirang village, Kapuas regency, Central Kalimantan, who found the animal walking in a forest near the area.

(Read also: 2 orangutans confiscated, handed over to conservation agency in West Kalimantan)

Workers at the BOSF orangutan rehabilitation center in Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, where the animal is currently being treated, estimate that they need at least one month to take care of the animal before releasing it into the wild. Apparently, the animal was in a physically “weak condition” when it was found.

Arga Sawung Kusuma, a BOSF veterinarian taking care of the albino orangutan, said the animal was suffering from helminthiasis (a worm infection) and severe dehydration.