Orangutan Foundation

Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, Borneo

Support started

Bornean Orangutan

The Orangutan Foundation is the world’s foremost orangutan conservation organisation. They are saving Asia’s endangered great ape by protecting their tropical forest habitat, working with local communities and promoting research and education.

Donations go towards the vet’s annual salary. It will also help support the costs associated with trans-locations such as, transport fuel, medication and food.

The Orangutan Foundation, founded in 1990, work to protect the orangutan’s tropical forest habitat, support local communities, who are as dependent on the forest as the orangutans, and promote research and education. Beyond the protection of orangutan, the Orangutan Foundation recognises that orangutans play an essential role in their habitat, which is unique in its rich biodiversity.

The Orangutan Foundation’s Lamandau Wildlife Reserve in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, is protected by nine manned guard posts, strategically located at important waterways, enabling the team to report any illegal activity. The Foundation also operates five orangutan post-release monitoring camps where field teams care for orphaned orangutans within the soft-release reintroduction programme and continue to monitor orangutans post-release.

Through their reintroduction programme, the Orangutan Foundation has helped to create and maintain a viable, self-sustaining orangutan population of over 600 individuals in the reserve, as well as increasing the area of prime forest habitat under conservation by 29%.

Within the reserve, the Foundation operates five orangutan post-release monitoring camps. At these sites, field teams care for orphaned orangutans in the soft-release programme and continuously monitor orangutans in the surrounding forest.

From time to time, situations arise outside of the protected Reserve that require the team to help with the rescue and translocation of wildlife in need. These rescues normally involve orangutans spotted in or near community lands or plantations potentially putting them at risk of human-animal conflict. Additional veterinary care and expertise in these operations is therefore paramount.

Colchester Zoo’s charitable arm has donated £54,500 to the Orangutan Foundation since 2010. In 2023, we will be making an additional contribution of £7,500 to help support the vet’s salary, post-release monitoring of the Bornean orangutan population in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve and veterinary equipment for a wildlife clinic.

The Lamandau Wildlife Reserve is a conservation area spanning over 158,000 acres in western Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.

Colchester Zoological Society funding helps support the Orangutan Foundation with veterinary care, post-release monitoring of orangutans within the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve and veterinary equipment for their wildlife clinic. This funding is crucial to covering the vet’s annual salary; the vet’s assistance is integral to their work, and as habitat loss and forest fires continue to encroach into forests year on year, the need for wildlife veterinary aid becomes more critical.

Field staff are located at forest camps at all times to maintain facilities, monitor orangutan activity, and provide supplementary food as and when required. One of their vets visits each camp weekly to provide medical monitoring and care for orangutans and other animal species when required. Costs therefore consist of contribution towards the vet’s salary, orangutan food, and corresponding logistical and transport costs.

The rescue team meanwhile are always ready to respond to reports of an animal in need of translocation. They respond immediately to notifications from the local government’s wildlife department (BKDSA), most commonly when an orangutan is discovered close to community lands or plantations or being kept as a pet. The costs of these rescues include: – Conducting an initial survey of the rescue site to determine logistics – Performing the rescue, including nets and holding cage – All associated transport and fuel costs, often by car and boat – Food and accommodation if needed for rescue staff

The recently opened wildlife clinic is equipped to perform minor and major surgery as well as necropsies as and when required. Our funding covers dart syringes and needles for rescues and two transport cages to assist with translocations and transport to the clinic if required as well as stethoscopes and a centrifuge to aid medical examinations
This project will use funding to continue with the Veterinary Care Programme and improve the services for the future. The funds will contribute towards the salary cost of the Orangutan Foundation’s Indonesian veterinarian, which the foundation currently fund, along with vital equipment to aid in the translocation of orangutans.

L-R: Acuy with her third generation infant born in Lamandau Wildlife Reserve in mid July 2023. Sinta, one of the orphaned orangutans on the soft release programme. A mother and her infant are translocated to the safety of the forest having been found near an airstrip.



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