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NOTHING BEATS HEALTH Scenes of an operation: Little Siska is in the best hands with the vets (from left to right: Dr. Meuthya, Dr. Saraswati, Dr. Patriwi, Dr. Nente). Full view


She is not even two years old and already had to go through (too) much. Young Siska is a female orangutan.
She lives in the sanctuary of our orangutan conservation program in Sumatra.

Already when she arrived at the sanctuary she was weak and seemed to have trouble breathing. As if that were not enough, she seemed extremely depressed psychologically. No wonder, since orangutans are actually dependent on their mothers until they are about eight years old. Siska, however, was found alone and brought to the sanctuary. She was immediately given medical care by our veterinarians on site. She was quickly given medication, which fortunately immediately helped with her breathing problems.

Unfortunately, breathing problems were not the only health problem Siska was struggling with. In the following months she was plagued by a fungal infection of the skin, a cold and a gastrointestinal illness. From the latter she recovered only with difficulty. After her digestion did not function normally even after days of medication for the infection, Siska was x-rayed. From the images, the vets detected an abnormality of the intestinal mucosa. Since this could quickly become dangerous, our team acted quickly. A surgeon from Jakarta flew to Medan and Siska underwent surgery. Since this had to take place during the Corona pandemic, Siska was transported from the reception and care center to our program office in Medan, where she underwent surgery. The security measures inside the reception and care center prevented the doctor from coming there. Just three days after the surgery, it became clear that Siska’s gastrointestinal tract was fortunately functioning normally again. We now hope that she will be able to rest and that good health will help her to develop optimally.

More than a year ago, on April 8, 2020, Siska was found in the north of the island of Sumatra, in the province of Aceh. Siska, who was only one year old at the time, was reportedly found all alone. However, due to her young age, this is hard to believe. It seems much more likely to us that the mother was killed or driven away. In any case, our team brought the little one to our rescue and care center as quickly as possible.

> Is Corona a danger for the orangutans?
> Help us to be there for orangutans like Siska! Thank you very much.