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ASHA International cooperation for the animals’ good: The Swiss surgeon and an Indonesian veterinarian tend to the patient. Full view


«Asha» means «hope». And hope is what she the orangutan-lady needs. She arrived with severe injuries and is currently cared for in the rescue and rehabilitation station where she is fighting for a healthy and free life in the rainforest.

At the end of last year, Asha was found severely injured and almost dead. The rescue team were told a wild, hardly credible story about the orangutan: apparently she fell from a tree from exhaustion after giving birth. However, this is most unlikely judging by the severity of her injuries. She was immediately taken to the rescue and rehabilitation station of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme SOCP. The journey from where she was found to the station took eight hours and was not without risk; no one knew whether the animal would survive.

After arriving at the station the doctors gave her a blood transfusion to alleviate her acute anaemia. Leuser, an opulent male orangutan, who has been living in our rescue and rehabilitation station for some years, donated some blood to Asha. Leuser had become famous for the love story between himself and Gober: two rescued blind orangutans who got twins at the station. Four years ago there was a happy end for the female and her offspring: since 2016 they have been climbing the rainforest of Jantho as they will. Despite his blindness, the future of Asha’s donor look bright as well. He will be one of the five orangutans to move to an island in the orangutan haven to live out his old life.

Back to Asha: after the blood transfusion, it was concluded that the many fractures in her entire body could only be mended by surgery. Dr. Andreas Messikommer, an orthopaedic surgeon from Switzerland travelled to Sumatra to lead the six-hour-surgery. The operation was successful, but still, it was not certain whether Asha would recover completely. A few days later, the orangutan showed some appetite – a big relieve. As of now, her condition keeps improving. Today she is able to lift her arms and sit up by herself. It is our fervent hope that her rehabilitation will continue to make good progress, so one day she will be a free orangutan again.

> The story of Leuser, Gober and the twins
> Leuser’s new home: The orangutan haven