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Jakarta Post

Two Bornean orangutans rescued from illegal captivity in Central Java

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, August 10, 2020   /   05:34 pm
Two Bornean orangutans rescued from illegal captivity in Central Java A Bornean orangutan feeds her newborn child inside a cage in Taman Safari Indonesia in Bogor, West Java, on May 27. (Antara/Arif Firmansyah)

A joint team comprising members of the Central Java and West Kalimantan natural resources conservation agencies has rescued two Bornean orangutans previously subjected to unlawful captivity.

The two male orangutans were each recovered from different locations in Central Java.

One of the orangutans, called Samson, was rescued from an unlicensed "conservation center" located within a tourist park in Kendal regency. The other one, Boboy, was rescued from a private residence in the provincial capital Semarang.

West Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BSKDA West Kalimantan) head Sadtata Noor said the primates had since been transferred to the International Animal Rescue (IAR) Indonesia rehabilitation center in Muara Pawan district in Ketapang regency, West Kalimantan.

“[The animals] were transported via ferry from Tanung Emas Port in Semarang on Thursday morning,” Sadtata said in a written statement, adding that the two orangutans arrived safely at the rehabilitation center on Friday.

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He said the agency had ensured that all equipment and health facilities at the rehabilitation center were up to standards so as to guarantee the well-being of the protected animals.

Temia, a veterinarian at IAR Indonesia, said the two orangutans – presumed to be around 20 years of age – had shown signs of malnutrition, resulting in stunted growth and high susceptibility to disease.

Their poor health is due to their confinement within narrow, substandard cages, according to Temia.

“Based on our field observations, their rights as [protected] animals were not fulfilled,” Temia said, adding that several unusual marks were found on the bodies of the great apes.

Considering their health, the orangutans are likely to spend the rest of their lives at the rehabilitation center, said IAR Indonesia program director Karmele Sanchez.

Read also: More than meets the eye in photo of orangutan ‘offering help’ to man

Separately, BKSDA Central Java head Darmanto said the two protected animals had previously been identified and monitored last October.

The agency then reported the illegal captivity of the orangutans to the Environment and Forestry Ministry, he added.

Indra Exploitasia, director of the ministry’s biodiversity conservation, said animal welfare was essential to conservation efforts.

“Animal welfare needs to be guaranteed, as mandated by the law,” Indra said as quoted by

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Bornean orangutans – also known as Pongo pygmaeus – are critically endangered with a population of less than 105,000. (rfa)