Officers of the East Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) and Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) have taken an orangutan from a resident of Bontang, East Kalimantan.
The resident told conservation officers he had taken care of the orangutan for four years. The orangutan, one of a critically endangered species, was evacuated to Samboja Lestari, a rehabilitation center managed by BOSF on Thursday evening.
“We took the orangutan so we could rehabilitate it, restoring its wildlife survival ability before returning it back to its natural habitat”, said BKSDA East Kalimantan head Sunandar Trigunajasa on Friday.
It is estimated that the female orangutan named Riana is five years old. Riana is tame because she has long been living with humans. It is reported that although she had been domesticated, Riana's keeper had kept her chained by her neck all the time.
“She will stay in our quarantine facility for a period of time and we will continue to monitor her condition”, BOSF director Jamartin Sihite said.
Orangutans in a poor condition such as Riana need to attend forest schools to learn the skills required to survive in the wild.
“Orangutans are just like human beings. They will not be able to master a skill if they are not taught. In the wild, mother orangutans teach their children how to forage for food, identify dangers and build a nest. In the forest schools, the role of the mother is replaced by our instructors”, said Sihite. (ebf)
In the sanctuary: Two orangutans play at Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation's (BOSF) rehabilitation center in Samboja Lestari, around 45 kilometers north of Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. (JP/N. Adri)