Two young orangutans named Utu and Joy were rescued last week by International Animal Rescue from small wooden cages where they had been housed for five years in West Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.
This marked a total of four Bornean orangutans saved in Indonesia this month!
As reported by The Gulf Times, a third orangutan named Tomang was also moved from a village in the same province.
“Joy and Utu will now spend years learning to fend for themselves before being released into the wild, while Tomang has been set free into Gunung Palung National Park,” noted the news outlet.
This is some much-needed positive news regarding the critically endangered species who have increasingly fallen victim to human greed and the palm oil industry.
Rescuers in West Borneo also previously freed a baby orangutan from ”a wooden cage the size of a cupboard” where he had been living for more than a year after being found on land cleared to make way for a palm oil plantation.
As noted on the International Animal Rescue website, members of its team recently joined other local organizations to travel to Muara Baru village, in Sungai Raya District, Kubu Raya Regency to rescue a baby orangutan, estimated to be approximately 15-months-old, named Muaro.
His ‘owner’, Anwar, explained that he had come across the young primate when an area of land was being cleared for a palm oil plantation. Feeling sorry for the displaced animal, Anwar claimed to have felt sorry for Muaro and decided to bring him home.
Fortunately, Muaro, who was suffering from a skin disease and a respiratory problem, was immediately treated by an IAR vet and animal keeper.
After 16 hours, the team, including Muaro, returned to the rescue center where the baby orangutan is currently undergoing a series of medical tests to assess his mental and physical condition and ensure that he is free from contagious diseases.
“Muaro is yet another victim of the terrible impact of the palm oil industry. His mother was almost certainly killed for him to be all alone in the devastated forest,” IAR’s Alan Knight OBE stated on the organization’s website. “Happily, he is in safe hands now. Once he is out of quarantine, he will join more than 100 other orangutans undergoing rehabilitation at our center and begin his long journey back to freedom.”
The IRA website also pointed to a recent report by a team of international conservationists which revealed a dramatic decline in the Bornean orangutan population and 150,000 of the primates have been lost in the last 16 years alone.
“Every individual counts in our efforts to save this Critically Endangered species from extinction,” Knight added. “The lives of Muaro and all the other rescued orangutans in our center are so precious if orangutan populations are to be preserved for future generations.”