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Jakarta Post

Authorities rescue injured orangutan in oil palm plantation in Aceh

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan, North Sumatra   /   Sun, March 24, 2019   /   03:50 pm
Authorities rescue injured orangutan in oil palm plantation in Aceh Rescue team members take care of a malnourished orangutan found in an oil palm plantation in Aceh on March 19. (Courtesy of OIC/-)

A week after rescuing a heavily wounded orangutan, a joint team consisting of local authorities and wildlife conservation organizations rescued a malnourished female orangutan.

A team comprising members of the Aceh Natural Resources Conservation Agency, the Human-Orangutan Conflict Response Unit (HOCRU), the Orangutan Information Center (OIC) and the Wildlife Conservation Center Indonesia Program (WCS-IP) found a female orangutan in Namo Buaya village, Subulussalam, Aceh, on March 19. The orangutan, named Pertiwi by the team, was found near where a different orangutan was found with air rifle pellet wounds on its body.

Read also: Orangutan with 74 pellets in her body in recovery, but needs more surgery

The head of the Sumatra Lestari Orangutan Foundation (YOSL-OIC), Panut Hadisiswoyo, said Pertiwi was rescued without administering anesthesia since it might harm her vital organs due to her underweight condition.

“Our team managed to rescue the injured orangutan. Her condition is very worrying. Looking at her underweight body, we suspect that she was malnourished,” he told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

Panut also said the rescue process was conducted after the HOCRU-OIC team received a report from the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) on orangutans trapped at an oil palm plantation belonging to small farmers at Namo Buaya village. However, when the team went to the location, they only found the single orangutan with an injury on her left arm. Results from a medical check-up conducted by the team revealed that Pertiwi only weighed 5 kilograms, 15 kg less than the average weight of an orangutan.

“We are temporarily putting the orangutan at SOCP Sibolangit for a medical check up and treatment due to her injury and malnourished condition,” Panut said, adding the orangutan would be released back to her habitat once her condition is stable.

The head of BKSDA Aceh, Sapto Aji Prabowo, said his agency observed that many orangutans were isolated in oil palm plantations in Namo Buaya village.

“Our agency will take serious steps to overcome the conflict between humans and orangutans so that we can prevent more orangutan poaching and deadly conflicts,” he said.