More and more often we confiscate young orangutans or even baby orangutans. There is a market for great apes for Russian and Chinese tourists. The young ones are easier to transport than adult monkeys. They require a lot of maintenance and are also physically strong and dangerous for people. Parents are killed by people working on the palm oil plantations or in surrounding villages. There they look for food and an alternative living environment. Their habitat is destroyed by cutting and burning down virgin forests.
We perform medical checks as well as a DNA test on rescued orangutans to see which one of the three is involved. For example, we determine which monkey group the animal belongs to and we approach a partner party such as The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program. They take care of the rehabilitation process before they bring the monkey back to their species in nature. We arrange transport in large transport enclosures by plane.
The genus Pongo has three species: the Bornean orangutan, the Sumatran orangutan and the Pongo Tapanuliensis which was only discovered in 2017. The great apes do not only end up with us because we catch the smugglers, customs also come across animals at the airports. Recently a stunned monkey was found in a suitcase. The case was checked by chance. After paying a fine and showing regret, the offender was allowed to travel further. Wildlife Watchdogs is working hard to make sure that there will be stricter punishments in Indonesia for smugglers. Without these punishments it is too easy for people to continue this horrible business.
Hope was found in March 2019 with 74 bullets from an air pressure rifle in her body. The thirty-year-old seriously injured animal was discovered in a forest area near the city of Subulussalam. In addition to the gunshot wounds, the orangutan female also had several fractures and cuts. Wildlife Watchdogs has taken the animal under its wing and handed it over to a partner organization that takes care of the rehabilitation process.
A wounded baby was found in her neighborhood and died a short time later. "The mother and her baby were chased by plantation workers for three days, called "The Jakarta Post".
According to her rescuers, the orangutan female was in a bad condition. "Her eyes were so badly hit by the bullets that the medical team decided to remove both eyes," said Yenny Saraswati, one of the staff who takes care of the animal. She was given the name "Hope".
Action against the hydro-dam
Action for orangutan: specie is in danger of extinction due to hydro-dam construction On December 4, 2018, activists from Wildlife Watchdogs asked the Bank of China, together with an” orangutan”, to immediately stop all finances for a planned hydro-dam. The construction of this hydro-dam is planned to take place in the Batang Toru forest. This is the habitat of the newly discovered Tapanuli orangutan.
It is estimated that only 800 of the Tapanuli orangutans are left. The hydro-dam project will cause enormous damage in the most important area for the Tapanuli. The plan is to build a 15-km long tunnel with a diameter of 10 meters across the rainforest. Roads and electricity lines are laid around it.
This project is a disaster for the primary rainforest area where the world's most endangered human ape lives. It also causes the farmland of local residents to flood. The last Tapanuli orangutan populations will be fragmented and other species will not survive either.