BOSF's Orangutan Rehabilitation Centers Closed over Coronavirus

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Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The non-government organization BOS Foundation closes all of its orangutan rehabilitation centers for the public as per March 17, regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

    “Due to its close relation to human, we’re always trying to minimize the transmission from human to orangutan through a regular health check for staffs and a tight health test requirement for visitors even though there has been no case of Covid-19 transmission from human to apes,” BOS Foundation CEO Jamartin asserted in a press release received on Tuesday, March 17.

    However, he went on, the potential for the transmission is real and must be anticipated, especially since the effect of the coronavirus disease to orangutan has yet to be found. Jamartin said that the virus might lightly affect them, better than to humans, or vice versa.

    "It can be lighter or deadlier and BOSF won’t take the risk,” he said.

    The closure also applies to Orangutan Rehabilitation Center’s Information Office in Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan and Samboja Lodge in Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan.

    “We’re no longer accepting visitors or volunteers in these two locations until the risk of the disease has been completely eliminated,” Jamartin said.

    He also informed that the research and release sites, including the BOSF camps at Bukit Batikap Protection Forest, Bukit Baka National Park, Kehje Sewen Forest, and Tuanan Research Station, will not accept new volunteers or researchers.

    “We’ll re-evaluate the situation and decide whether to close or reopen the activities in every one month,” said Jamartin.

    The Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation in Kalimantan and Java is supported by more than 400 employees, manages three release sites, organizes two large-scale planting projects and a number of people development projects, as well as operates two orangutan rehabilitation centers. 

    KARANA WW