LONDON, October 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
A UK animal charity has released footage of the rescue of two orangutans from the smouldering forest in Borneo and says the palm oil industry has a crucial role to play if the species is to survive.
Karmele Llano Sanchez, Programme Director of International Animal Rescue (IAR) in Indonesia, led her team on the rescue of a female orangutan and her infant from forest fires in Ketapang, West Borneo. They were accompanied by a ranger from the Agency of Conservation of Natural Resources of Ketapang (BKSDA).
The orangutans had been sighted in a village near a palm oil concession, in an area where the forest had been burning for the previous five days. Sanchez and her team darted and caught the orangutans before relocating them to a High Conservation (HCV) area within the PT KAL concession. The Conservation Task Force Team at the palm oil concession is committed to monitoring the orangutans after their release.
"We hope these two orangutans will get another chance in this new location," says Sanchez. "Although they will never be completely safe from fires or other threats, it is important that the orangutans can remain in this area where they belong, so we really thank PT KAL for their commitment to protecting it.
"With orangutan habitat disappearing rapidly because of forest conversion in Kalimantan, every remaining piece of forest is worth saving. The involvement of the oil palm industry in protecting orangutan habitat is crucial for the survival of the species."
The video released by International Animal Rescue shows Sanchez and her team carrying out the rescue and release of the mother while a second team captures the infant so that the two can be translocated and reunited in their new home. Both orangutans were given a veterinary check and treated for dehydration while they were sedated.
According to the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency in Indonesia, during September Ketapang Regency experienced 63 fires - the highest number in the whole province of West Kalimantan. Smog and smoke have forced the closure of the airport and there is no rain forecast in what is one of the longest dry seasons in living memory.
SOURCE International Animal Rescue