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ORANGUTAN SAVED AT THE LAST MINUTE Dr. Ian Singleton and veterinarian Dr. Pandu Wibosono transporting the sedated «Salah». (Photographer: Nanang Sujaya) Full view


In a spectacular operation, the Sumatra-Orangutan-Conservation-Programme SOCP saved a wild orangutan. The fact, that this was necessary, points out severe problems.

The habitat, where «Salah», the rescued orangutan, originally lived in, is under serious threat. The peat swamp rainforests of Tripa are increasingly giving way to palm oil plantations, even though the whole area, which is located in the Leuser ecosystem, is under protection. In 2012, these forests obtained notoriety, as whole landscapes with incredible biodiversity were destroyed by illegal fire clearances, which also caused huge CO2-Emissions. Today, the responsible palm oil producers have still not been held accountable, thus the illegal logging rapidly continues.

It was due to those clearings, that on the 30th of August, employees of our Sumatra-Orangutan-Conservation-Programme SOCP, along with Indonesian authorities, evacuated a 30-year-old male orangutan. His habitat consisted of no more than a few trees surrounded by palm oil plantations. A medical check showed, that luckily he was in good health. Therefore, the SOCP was able to immediately reintroduce «Salah» into the wild in Jantho, a nature reserve.

Dr. Ian Singleton, Director of SOCP, feels sorry about having to rescue orangutans from such predicaments. «It is a clear indication that the protection of the wild populations in their natural habitat is not working. » For Salah, however, this evacuation is a stroke of luck. In his new territory, his chances of survival are much better and at the same time, he assists the reintroduced population in Jantho in gaining a foothold.

> Our reintroduction work
> SOCP page on the Leuser Ecosystem
> Dr. Wibosono on the problem of isolated orangutans