TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency rescued two orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) that were found abandoned at a rubber plantation near Sapihan River in Kotawaringin Timur district on February 14, 2021.
"The evacuation of an adult male and an infant orangutan took two-and-a-half hours to get done. The adult firstly had to be shot with an anesthetic to make him easy to capture," the agency's Sampit post chief, Muriansyah, stated on Monday.
The agency's rangers carefully shot the adult male orangutan, aged about 25 and weighing 40.9 kg, to get his infant, aged about 3, to safety, he said.
The evacuation of the pair of orangutans from the rubber plantation near Sapihan River in Basirih Hilir neighborhood of Mentaya Hilir Selatan sub-district took over two hours because a ranger had to climb a tree to bring them down, added.
Along with those from the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI), the two orangutans were taken to Pangkalan Bun, which is about a four-hour drive from the rubber plantation, he informed.
They will be rehabilitated in Pangkalan Bun before being released back to their habitat in the forest, he said, adding that the great apes native to Indonesia could be rescued thanks to information provided by locals.
Locals had informed the agency and OFI rangers that they had spotted six abandoned orangutans around the rubber plantation, but only two of them could be found, Muriansyah said.
He then urged local residents to participate in conserving and protecting orangutans that have been categorized as endangered by the Indonesian government.
Indonesia’s wildlife laws offer protection to orangutans as they prevent people from keeping them as pets, selling or killing them, he added.
The Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) and OFI have repeatedly saved abandoned orangutans in Kotawaringin Timur district.
On January 31, 2021, the BKSDA and OFI had rescued three orangutans that were found abandoned at a local rubber plantation and at a village in the district.
They included a mother-infant pair and an adult male, aged 25, according to Muriansyah.
The 20-year-old female orangutan and her 10-month-old baby were found hunting for food at a plantation located on Sampit's Sudirman Road KM 11, while the 25-year-old adult male was found abandoned in Lampuyang village, Teluk Sampit sub-district, he added.