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FOR THE 2ND TIME IN A WEEK, ORANGUTAN RESCUE IN NEIGHBOURING LOCATIONS


Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan

For the Second Time in A Week in Neighbouring Locations, the BOS Foundation Rescues Another Orangutan in Tumbang Tanjung Village, Central Kalimantan.

Yesterday, Tuesday October 29, 2013, the Orangutan Rescue Team from the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation in Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, together with the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority (BKSDA), rescued another female young orangutan.

The young orangutan who is estimated to be around 3-4 years of age was found by the residents of Tumbang Tanjung, Sub-district of Pulau Malan, Katingan Regency, nearby an oil palm plantation belonging to PT. Mitra Jaya Cemerlang (PT. MJC).  The plantation is located by the village, has been executing land clearance for the past 10 days.  The orangutan was caught and then kept by the residents for a few days.

The rescue and confiscation operation conducted by BKSDA and the BOS Foundation was the second operation performed in neighbouring locations, in less than a week.  On Thursday October 24, 2013, BKSDA and the BOS Foundation also carried out a confiscation operation for a male orangutan infant, aged approximately 8-10 months old, in Telok village, Sub-district of Katingan Tengah, Katingan Regency, which is only two villages away from Tumbang Tanjung. The two villages are separated by villages of Tura and Tumbang Lahang.

Both orangutans who were rescued yesterday and last Thursday, allegedly came from the forest that is just being newly cleared by PT. MJC, which causes orangutans to lose their natural habitat and who are then forced to forage for food in nearby locations. According to data from the Central Kalimantan Agricultural Office, PT. MJC which is a subsidiary of Sarana Prima Multi Niaga group, has not obtained the necessary license to operate yet. If that is indeed the case, the land clearing operation taking place should be questioned and punishable by law. The Rescue Team had visited the camp of PT. MJC to request information and met the maintenance manager, however they couldn’t obtain any further information.

The newly rescued female young orangutan was immediately brought to the BOS Foundation Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program in Nyaru Menteng for further medical examination.  According to Vet Barlian Purnama Putra, behavioural observations have shown that this orangutan still retains her wild nature, meaning she was only kept for short time by humans.  Along with the infant male orangutan who was rescued earlier on Thursday, hopefully she will be able to undergo the rehabilitation process successfully and grow into an independent adult orangutan and be able to be reintroduced in a safe and suitable forest.

The orangutan still retains her wild nature

A young female orangutan was handed over by residents of Tumbang Tanjung

Location map

Location map

However, needless to say that rescue and rehabilitation program is not a long term solution to overcome orangutan conservation issues we are facing at the moment.  Moreover, the orangutan is a protected species according to Law No. 5 Year 1990 on Conservation of Natural Biodiversity and the Ecosystem.  According to the Law, orangutans are a protected species, within and beyond conservation areas, and people are prohibited to catch, keep, trade, do harm, or kill orangutans.  Law offenders are subject to a maximum five years prison sentence and can be fined a maximum of 100 million rupiah.
But in reality, lately many non-governmental organisations working in orangutan conservation, including the BOS Foundation, have been preoccupied by the increasing number of cases of illegal capture, keeping, tormenting and killing of orangutans. Rescue and confiscation operations are, in return, also increasing. Not all end well; many of those orangutans were found dead.

The only long term solution is a strict law enforcement, both towards the private sector who are exploiting natural resources for profit and towards the general public.  A company must have obtained a legal license before performing their operations.  It is hightime the powers that be strongly consider not only economic, social, and cultural factors, but also ecology and the environment within the licensing process.  If an integrated and long term solution is not found or supported by all parties, the commitment of the Republic of Indonesia upon launching the Indonesian Orangutan Action Plan and Conservation Strategy 2007-2017 will fail.

Orangutan conservation can not be guaranteed without the strongest efforts in place to strictly enforce the law, along with preservation of the forest which is their natural habitat. Therefore, along with the completion of yesterday’s rescue operation, we urgently press the Ministry of Forestry, BKSDA and related officials to proactively enforce the law and aim towards the successful completion of  the Indonesian Orangutan Action Plan and Conservation Strategy 2007-2017.

Editors Note :

Contact:
Monterado Fridman (Agung)
Education and Communication Coordinator - Nyaru Menteng
Email: agungm@orangutan.or.id
 
Paulina L. Ela
Communication Specialist
Email: pauline@orangutan.or.id
 
Meirini Sucahyo
Communication Advisor to the CEO
Email: meirinisucahyo@gmail.com



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