TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The land and forest fires in East Kotawaringin Regency, Central Kalimantan, pose a threat to wildlife. Orangutans (pongo pygmaeus) for example are forced to flee to locals' gardens to save themselves and look for food.
"We received two more reports about the appearance of orangutans in different locations. We visited the locations yesterday but we did not see them," Muriansyah, guard commander of the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA) at the Sampit Post, said on Wednesday, September 18.
The first report was received on Monday (9/16). A resident named Yayan said he saw a big orangutan in an area near shrubs and a oil palm plantation at Baamang District. The orangutan is assumed to be an adult male.
The second report came on Thursday (9/12) where an orangutan was spotted at the northern ring road towards Kandan Village, and an area filled with shrubs, rubber plantations and oil palms. The orangutan is assumed to be a young male.
"Near those locations, we also found traces of other large wildlife, most likely sun bears," Muriansyah said.
The fire is still blazing in Kalimantan forests, and it is feared that more wild animals would flee to residential and community garden areas as they have no other place to find safety.
Muriansyah asked the public to immediately tell them if they see protected animals such as orangutans, bears, proboscis monkeys near their residences. He asked them not to capture or injure these animals.
"We will evacuate them properly so that no harm comes to these protected animals," he said.