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Very sadly, young orphaned orangutans keep arriving. On February 1st, the BOS Foundation once again collaborated with the Central Kalimantan BKSDA to rescue another baby. This time a female orangutan from located 19 kilometers from Nyaru Menteng. The rescue mission was put into action after a report was received that an orangutan was seen held captive in an oil palm nursery facility.

On our arrival, the team immediately saw a very small sad infant orangutan chained to a door within the camp. The camp was used by oil palm nursery workers and the orangutan was chained to the door of a room which was full of fertilizers and pesticides. The orangutan was clearly weak and frightened and a very sad sight. The Central Kalimantan BKSDA confiscated the baby and during the investigation we discovered that this poor little mite had been held captive for 6 months in this terrible situation. The worker who was caring for her said he found her in a small forest area behind the nursery. We know that an orangutan mother would never leave her baby alone, and we have no doubt that her mother must have been killed.

Baby Kejora (Photo credit: Monterado Fridman)

Baby Kejora (Photo credit: Monterado Fridman)

Baby Kejora (Photo credit: Monterado Fridman)

Our Veterinary Coordinator at Nyaru Menteng, Agus Fahroni, was with the rescue team and checked the baby’s physical condition. She is around 1.5 years old, was malnourished, clearly neglected and very frightened. We immediately brought her to our Reintroduction Program at Nyaru Menteng.

We have named the little baby Kejora and she will go through a quarantine period under the dedicated care of our Babysitters. She has only been with us for two days, but has been showing very positive developments. She has already started to try rambutan fruit, although initially she only accepted bananas. She has also started to develop a love of milk. Her appetite has been good and her belly looks fuller now.

When she first arrived in Nyaru Menteng, Kejora would not let go of Agus. But after a couple of hours sensing the peaceful atmosphere in Nyaru Menteng she calmed. She sleeps quite well and her temperature has been stable. The trauma that we previously saw etched on her tiny face has dissipated. We hope that little Kejora will get better and join other orangutans of her age in the nursery. We can never replace her mother, but we do promise to do our utmost in providing her with all the love, care and support she will need over the coming months and years.

There is no time to rest for our rescue team at Nyaru Menteng. This week alone, we need to follow up on 3 more reports of orangutans being held captive in Kapuas and Gunung Mas Regencies. Although we are grateful for any information on orangutans being illegally held, we are always filled with a desperate sadness as ultimately we know that this means another baby has lost their mother and their forest home.

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