A mother organgutan and her tiny baby who have been named Mama Rindi and Baby Rindi, were rescued by Borneo locals, after finding their way onto a rubber plantation.
This was a dangerous situation to be in as many people do not tolerate the animals which can result in them being brutally attacked or killed. The pair was lucky enough to be discovered by local residents from a nearby village who took compassionate action and contacted International Animal Rescue (IAR), which immediately sent members of its Human Orangutan Conflict (HOC) team to find them.The following morning, the entire rescue team set out to capture the pair. IAR’s marksman successfully hit Mama Rindi with the first shot of his dart gun and she and her baby both landed safely in the net stretched out below them.After being captured by IAR’s rescue team, they were examined by a the organization’s veterinarian who confirmed their good health and approval of relocation and release.The pair was loaded into a carrier and relocated to a safer place in the rainforest where they would be released. Finally, the pair was safely released. “This mother and baby are safe now but their story could have ended in tragedy had it not been for the actions of our team. Although some people know to contact us if they spot an orangutan near their village, others still react aggressively to the apes’ presence. By searching for food in the rubber tree plantation, the mother ran a serious risk of being attacked and killed, leaving her tiny baby to be taken and sold as a pet. It’s a great relief to know they are safe,” said IAR CEO Alan Knight.The reason that this and other rescues like it are so important for the state of orangutans is that the population of Bornean orangutans has declined by more than 80 percent over the past 75 years and unfortunately, there is little awareness or understanding of the problem locally.
Because of a heightened state of concern for the Bornean orangutan population, they have been moved from Endangered to Critically Endangered, which is just a step away from extinction, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, while the outlook for Sumatran orangutans does not look to be any better.
The number of orangutans in need of rescue sadly continue to grow due to deforestation and land clearing for palm oil and rubber plantations, logging and mining. The loss of habitat is also making it harder to find safe places to release those who can be returned to the wild. However, rescue teams are hard at work trying to improve the state of the rainforest and abolish palm oil plantations, which are critically harmful to orangutan habitats.
“While the situation for orangutans is a bleak one, we wouldn’t be working to save them if we didn’t still have hope for their future. Our teams in Indonesia will continue their lifesaving work during the year ahead with as much determination as ever to fight for the orangutans’ survival,” added Knight.
Photo Credit: Care2, International Animal Rescue