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Fifteen Javan slow lorises have been returned to their natural habitat in the Mount Sawal Protected Forest on the island of West Java.The shy, nocturnal primates will spend between two and four weeks in a habituation cage recovering from their long journey up the mountain and adjusting to their new environment.The fifteen lorises consisted of five males and ten females. The males are named Jagara, Dores, Gaza, Rusma and Budiman, while the females are Cisa, Gemblong, Kumal, Jona, Gini, Elsa, Also, Kucel, At and Lola.[[{"fid":"13571","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":320,"width":480,"style":"width: 400px; height: 267px; float: right;","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"1"}}]]The little primates were all victims of the illegal pet trade and had been confiscated during law enforcement operations conducted by the police force in Bandung and Tasikmalaya, West Java in 2016. Since then they have been undergoing treatment and rehabilitation at our Primate Centre in Bogor. Our facility is the only rehabilitation centre for slow lorises in Indonesia.Wendi Prameswari, our Animal Care Manager said: “The lorises have all completed a lengthy recovery and rehabilitation process. They have progressed through quarantine, a series of health checks, regular behavioural monitoring and feed enrichment until they were all finally pronounced healthy and ready for translocation to the habituation enclosure.”The rehabilitation process is vital to restore the lorises’ natural instincts and behaviour. Wendy explains: "The condition of slow lorises that have been victims of the illegal pet trade is generally very poor,” she said. “They are stressed and malnourished after being stowed away in dirty, confined spaces and transported over long distances in airless containers with no access to food or water."Karmele Llano Sanchez, Programme Director of IAR Indonesia, said: "The habituation area is a piece of natural forest enclosed within a mesh barrier. Inside it there are various types of trees and vegetation that provide food and shelter for the lorises. The lorises spend between two and four weeks in the enclosure adapting to their natural habitat.“During habituation, our team will observe and record the behaviour of the nocturnal primates during the night. If during this period they are active and don’t display any signs of abnormality, then they can finally be released into the wild.”The preparation for reintroducing the lorises into the wild is a lengthy and costly one and must be carried out in line with strict operational procedures. In addition, habitat assessments are carried out at the release sites and post-release monitoring is used to ensure the successful survival of the lorises once they are back in the forest.[[{"fid":"13576","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"2":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":320,"width":480,"style":"width: 480px; height: 320px; float: left;","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-left","data-delta":"2"}}]]Post-release monitoring lasts for at least six months and is carried out using a ‘radio collar’ fitted around the neck of the loris. The radio transmits a signal to the receiver used by our monitoring team. This tool helps to locate the loris and monitor its progress in adapting to its new natural surroundings.The slow loris conservation programme at Mount Sawal Protected Forest is a collaboration between the Centre for Conservation of Natural Resources West Java (BBKSDA) and International Animal Rescue (IAR) Indonesia. The programme is just one aspect of wider efforts to support local ecology, as well as to maintain and increase the population of this Critically Endangered primate species.The Head of the Centre for Conservation of Natural Resources (BKSDA) Region III Ciamis, West Java, Himawan Sasongko said: “Since 2014 as many as 39 slow lorises that have been surrendered to the BKSDA and undergone rehabilitation at IAR’s centre in Bogor have already been released on Mount Sawal."Mount Sawal Protected Forest is known to be an important natural habitat for the Javan slow loris. From the results of the IAR and BKSDA field team study, this area has great potential in terms of availability of food and shelter for the species."Our CEO Alan Knight, said: “The release of these fifteen individuals is a real cause for celebration and congratulations are due to everyone involved. It is the culmination of two years’ intensive treatment and care in order to return these Critically Endangered primates to their natural habitat, in a place where they will be far from human settlements and free from further harm.”[[{"fid":"13581","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"center","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"3":{"format":"large","alignment":"center","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":320,"width":480,"style":"width: 480px; height: 320px;","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-center","data-delta":"3"}}]]
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As part of the Great Bear Rescue campaign in Armenia we recently rescued two brown bears from a cage in an alabaster factory.Undercover footage taken several years ago shows the pair still as young cubs, desperately trying to reach their distraught mother who has been moved into a cage apart from them. Their mother is seen clawing frantically at the separating door and climbing up the bars of the cage in an attempt to reach them.Four years on, when we went to rescue the bears, tragically the mother was no longer with them, having apparently been sold by the factory owner. However, we were at least able to rescue the cubs from their miserable existence and take them into quarantine for assessment and health checks – the first step on their journey to a new life.[[{"fid":"12666","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":270,"width":480,"style":"float: right; width: 480px; height: 270px;border:none","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"1"}}]]The Great Bear Rescue campaign, launched at the end of September by IAR and local Armenian organization FPWC (Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets), aims to rescue and rehabilitate all the caged bears in Armenia and give them the care and the life they deserve. We are carrying out the rescues with the support of the Armenian government on behalf of Armenia’s Ministry of Nature Protection, RA Environmental Inspectorate and the practical assistance of the emergency rescue services (Ministry of Emergency Situations.)[[{"fid":"12671","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"2":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":270,"width":480,"style":"float: left; width: 480px; height: 270px;border:none","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-left","data-delta":"2"}}]]Alan Knight OBE, IAR Chief Executive, said: “These poor bears have never felt the warmth of the sun on their backs or sniffed a cool mountain breeze. They have spent their entire lives behind bars, pacing back and forth on a hard concrete floor. But at long last we can change that and work to give them a life worth living.”Ruben Khachatryan of FPWC said: “We’re delighted to have rescued these two bears from the factory. However, there are still many other bears in urgent need of our attention. We are keeping focused on the job in hand and trying to reach as many caged bears as possible, as soon as we possibly can. With all these sad cases we have now, I hope people realise that it’s not fun to see a bear kept in a cage in a restaurant or resort because this is just not the place where they belong.”  
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We have launched a teddy bear selfie campaign in support of our Great Bear Rescue project in Armenia. Using the hashtag #thisbearcares we’re aiming to raise awareness and funds for the rescue of dozens of brown bears living in misery and squalor all across the country. The social media campaign has already won the support of a range of celebrities who will be spreading the word by posting a selfie of themselves with their teddy bear and tagging two friends, thus nominating them to do the same. We’re asking them also to share a link where people can make a donation in support of the rescue operation.Among the celebrities supporting the campaign are TV presenter Fearne Cotton, singer-songwriter and children’s author Tom Fletcher; West End actress, author and vlogger Carrie Hope Fletcher; author, actress and TV presenter Giovanna Fletcher; TV personality Sophie Newton and West End actor Scott Paige.Phily Kennington, our Fundraising and Digital Community Officer, says: “Celebrity support will make a huge difference to the success of this social media campaign. Well-known figures with a large following can help us reach thousands, even millions of people, enabling us to spread the word about the plight of the bears in Armenia and secure the support we need to rescue them.[[{"fid":"12566","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":480,"width":305,"style":"font-size: 13.008px; width: 280px; height: 441px; float: right;border:none","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"1"}}]]“Our Great Bear Rescue campaign is already underway and, by working with the support of the Armenian government and in collaboration with our partners FPWC, we have successfully rescued a number of bears that are now in the care of the FPWC veterinary team. But there are dozens more bears being kept in appalling conditions and in urgent need of our help. The more awareness and funds we can raise, the sooner we can save them. So we’re urging everyone please to get on board with the campaign and support #thisbearcares.Follow these steps if you would like to get involved: 1. Find a teddy bear 2. Take a selfie with your Teddy bear3. Upload it onto a social media account4. Use the hashtag #thisbearcares and include a link to www.internationalanimalrescue.org/thisbearcares5. Make a donation at www.internationalanimalrescue.org/thisbearcares6. Tag two friends and ask them to do the same!   
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A wild orangutan rescued from a community garden in West Borneo has been treated for a bullet wound to his face before being moved to safety and released into a National Park.The orangutan’s capture and translocation was carried out by our team in collaboration with the Natural Resources Conservation Centre (BKSDA) and Gunung Palung National Park (GPNP) where the ape was released.There had been sightings of an orangutan in a community garden in the village of Riam Berasap back in July 2017 and our Orangutan Protection Unit started carrying out regular patrols in September.  At that time the team found evidence of damaged and half-eaten fruit in the gardens but there was no sign of the orangutan itself. At the end of the year, when there was fruit on the trees, there were more frequent reports of orangutans in the plantation. During routine patrols our unit often found orangutans in the area and drove them back into the forest.[[{"fid":"13186","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":320,"width":480,"style":"border-width: initial; border-style: none; font-size: 13.008px; width: 480px; height: 320px; float: right;","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"1"}}]] However, one orangutan started paying frequent visits to the garden to eat the fruit. At this point local residents asked the BKSDA to translocate it.The orangutan was finally found on a plantation owned by residents near Jalan Ketapang-Siduk. We mobilised a rescue team immediately and coordinated plans with the GPNP and BKSDA to translocate the orangutan to a safe place. It took two hours to capture the ape. Once the orangutan had been anaesthetised, our medical team moved quickly to check his condition."In general, this orangutan’s condition is good. But there is quite a significant wound on his right cheekpad which we need to sew up before we move him anywhere,” said vet Sulhi Aufa, coordinator of our  medical team in Indonesia.Judging by his teeth, the orangutan, whom the team named Lulup, was estimated to be more than 25 years old. "It’s likely that Lulup’s injury has been caused by an airgun,” Sulhi added. “We often find bullets in orangutans that venture into community owned gardens." In 2015 our team saved another male orangutan, Jambu, whose body was riddled with bullets.Just two weeks after Lulup’s rescue the decapitated, mutilated body of an orangutan was found floating in a river in Central Borneo. An autopsy revealed that there were 17 airgun pellets lodged in the ape’s body which had ruptured its heart, lungs and stomach.[[{"fid":"13191","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"2":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":320,"width":480,"style":"float: left;","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-left","data-delta":"2"}}]]Alan Knight OBE, our Chief Executive said: “It is heartbreaking to see these Critically Endangered great apes being subjected to persecution, mutilation and even murder when they lose their forest home and go in search of food. We always encourage rural communities to call on us or on the forestry department when they have a problem with a wild orangutan and fortunately for Lulup, that is what the villagers did. However, judging by the injury to his cheekpad, he had a lucky escape and our team arrived in the nick of time.”Four local men acted as porters and carried Lulup’s transport crate on the two hour journey to the release site in the National Park.  On arrival, at about 7.15pm, Lulup was released smoothly into his new home.“Conflict between people and orangutans is increasingly common owing to large scale destruction of the forest,” said Karmele L Sanchez, our Programme Director of in Indonesia. "But there is no simple answer to the problem. On the one hand, people feel threatened and scared. On the other hand, orangutans only enter gardens and plantations because humans have destroyed their habitat and left them without food and shelter.""Translocation is only a temporary solution to this kind of conflict," Sanchez added. "Situations like this will be repeated if the problems associated with the landscape are not resolved. Landscape conservation requires the cooperation of all stakeholders, not just local communities and governments, but also companies that have plantation land in or around orangutan habitat. Currently we are working with BKSDA Kalbar and GPNP to focus on long term solutions related to such problems in the area so that future human-orangutan conflict can be prevented.”Dadang Wardhana, Head of the Gunung Palung National Park, said: "I greatly appreciate the cooperation between IAR, GPNP, [[{"fid":"13196","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"3":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":320,"width":480,"style":"font-size: 13.008px; width: 480px; height: 320px; float: right;","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"3"}}]]BKSDA Kalbar, and all those people who are helping to tackle the problem of wildlife conflict. I urge the community not to install traps because orangutans are critically endangered and protected by law. We also appeal to anyone who finds an orangutan in their garden or plantation to report it to IAR, the officers of the National Park or the BKSDA.”Sadtata Noor, the Head of West Kalimantan BKSDA, also expressed his gratitude to all parties who participated in the translocation operation, saying: "Conservation work requires cooperation. The government can’t do this work effectively without the participation of groups like IAR and the assistance of local communities. "
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Max Farrugia (pictured below), our Chairman in Malta, reports that twelve Maltese hunters have been arrested by officers from the Guardia dei Finanza at the Port of Pozzallo in Sicily as they were about to board a catamaran and return to Malta.They were caught carrying a quantity of dead birds of various protected species, as well as illegal arms and ammunition.Among the seabirds and shorebirds that were confiscated  were species that are on the verge of extinction. Reports confirm that the men did not have hunting permits and some of them also had guns in their possession without valid licences. Other goods connected to hunting were also confiscated: among these were laser lights, birdcallers, and other light systems used during hunting.This hunting equipment is used mainly to attract the birds, making it much easier to hunt and kill them. All the equipment, plus 12 hunting guns and ammunition,  were confiscated by the Italian Police.  The case is being investigated by Sicilian officials from the Customs department and the Police unit which deals with illegal hunting in Sicily.   [[{"fid":"13101","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"alt":"Max Furrugia","height":216,"width":180,"style":"border-width: initial; border-style: none; font-size: 13.008px; width: 200px; height: 240px; float: right;","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"1"}}]]“The cold weather experienced by most of Northern Europe during recent weeks caused a large number of birds to migrate further south in search of a warmer climate, making them vulnerable targets for illegal hunters,” Farrugia explained.Alan Knight, our Chief Executive, added: “We congratulate the officers and officials at the Port of Pozzallo on the arrest of the twelve men. Their apprehension must send a strong message to other criminals intent on shooting and smuggling protected species out of the country. A high level of vigilance by Customs officials and rigorous law enforcement by the police are vital if these highly endangered species are to stand any chance of survival.” 
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Five slow lorises have been returned to the wild into a protected forest of Gunung Tarak. The slow lorises are called Bulan, Lana, Honey, Jejes and John and had previously been kept as pets.The five lorises were released after Melky the orangutan was set free into the same park. Their journey consisted of a 4 hour car journey followed by a 4.5 hour walk to the release site. 12 local residents worked as porters to transport the animals in their transportation cages to the release points.The released slow lorises will be monitored by our monitoring staff. As slow lorises are nocturnal, the team monitoring them will work by night and sleep by day. "Monitoring is a vital part of the rehabilitation and release process. It is carried out to ensure the released animals thrive when they are back in the wild. It also gives the medical team the chance to step in and give treatment to an animal if necessary,” explained Argitoe Ranting, our Release and Monitoring Manager. [[{"fid":"13091","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"3":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":360,"width":480,"style":"width: 480px; height: 360px; float: right;","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"3"}}]]Sadtata Noor, Head of the West Kalimantan BKSDA, expressed his appreciation of the release operation, saying: "We’re well aware that the government can’t carry out this type of conservation activity on its own and needs the support and cooperation of partners like IAR Indonesia. We hope that, by raising awareness in the community, we can eventually stop people from keeping rare or protected animals like orangutans or slow lorises as pets.”  Watch the moment one of the slow lorises climbs free into their new environment.
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An orangutan that spent eight years learning how to behave like a wild ape has completed his rehabilitation and returned to his home in the Bornean rainforest.Melky the orangutan was only two years old when he was rescued in 2009 by our specialist team. Since then he has been undergoing rehabilitation at our Orangutan Conservation Centre in Ketapang, West Borneo which is home to more than 100 rescued orangutans. After eight years’ rehabilitation in the centre’s ‘baby school’ and then ‘forest school’, learning to climb and play with the other rescued orangutans, Melky was released in time to start 2018 back in the forest where he belongs.[[{"fid":"13046","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"3":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":320,"width":480,"style":"width: 460px; height: 307px; float: right; border: none;","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"3"}}]] The release operation was carried out by another one of our rescue teams, in cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Centre (BKSDA) and the Forestry Department of West Kalimantan. Melky is the first orangutan from our centre to return to the forest after such a lengthy period of rehabilitation.  The process enables orangutans that have been taken from the wild as babies and kept in captivity to develop the natural skills and behaviour they will need to survive in the forest.[[{"fid":"13041","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"2":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":320,"width":480,"style":"font-size: 13.008px; width: 460px; height: 307px; float: right;","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-left","data-delta":"2"}}]]“In the wild baby orangutans learn their survival skills from their mothers,” said Karmele Llano Sanchez, our Programme Director in Indonesia. “They stay with them until they are six or seven years old, learning how to climb, forage for food and build nests. But Melky was taken from his mother when he was still a baby and kept in captivity as someone’s pet, so he never had the chance to learn from her. “The length of the rehabilitation process depends on each individual,” Sanchez added.“Some are fast learners, others need longer, as was the case with Melky. Indeed, sadly some of the orangutans in our centre have completely lost the ability to fend for themselves which means they will need lifelong care and can never be released.”Before they are released, candidates like Melky spend a final period on ‘data island’ – an island enclosure where the orangutans are closely monitored by a team gathering behavioural data on each individual. It is this data which determines when each orangutan is finally ready for release.[[{"fid":"13051","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"4":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":320,"width":480,"style":"float: right; font-size: 13.008px; width: 480px; height: 320px;","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"4"}}]]Melky’s journey home involved a four hour trip by road, followed by more than four hours on foot to the release site deep in the  protected forest of Mt Tarak. Five slow lorises had also been brought from our centre for release and 12 local men had been enlisted as porters to carry the transport crates.A team of local villagers will remain in the forest to track Melky’s movements and monitor his behaviour back in the wild. His release provides the opportunity to gather extremely useful data on how he adapts to his natural habitat after such lengthy and comprehensive rehabilitation. The monitoring team will follow Melky’s movements for as long as one or even two years. There are also already a number of other orangutans that we have released in the area which the team is still monitoring.
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During the first week of December we successfully rescued three more caged bears living in abject misery in Armenia. As temperatures started to fall in Armenia and winter showed signs of setting in, the three bears were rescued from deplorable living conditions.The first bear was hidden away in a tiny cage in the corner of a dark building. In one place the floor of the metal cage had completely rusted through, leaving a sharp jagged hole. It was a relief to everyone when that sad creature was safely removed from such a dark hell hole.[[{"fid":"12911","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":270,"width":480,"style":"font-size: 13.008px; float: right;","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"1"}}]]Next was a female bear of about ten years old surrendered by the owners of Shant restaurant in Yerevan. She has spent her entire life in captivity. Sadly her teeth are so badly damaged that she barely has any left.Consequently, she is being fed entirely on soft food and chopped fruit and vegetables. The poor bear is also extremely overweight, having had very little space to move around in her cage and been fed on a highly unsuitable diet.Like all the rescued bears, her physical and mental condition are being monitored closely by the medical team.[[{"fid":"12916","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"2":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":270,"width":480,"style":"font-size: 13.008px; float: left;","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-left","data-delta":"2"}}]]Finally, as heavy snow fell, the team came to the aid of a third bear at the Golden Hill restaurant in Gyumri. As the vet prepared to sedate her, she paced frantically around her small cage, desperate for the freedom and the life she deserves.Thankfully she too is now safely in the quarantine quarters of Yerevan zoo and receiving expert attention and care from IAR’s partners FPWC.Alan Knight OBE, IAR CEO, said: “It’s a huge relief to see three more bears removed from their lives of misery and neglect and [[{"fid":"12921","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"3":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":270,"width":480,"style":"width: 480px; height: 270px; float: right;","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"3"}}]]safely in our care. The support we have received for the Great Bear Rescue campaign so far has been absolutely heart-warming. It has enabled us to work with FPWC to end the misery of these beautiful brown bears that have suffered for years behind bars.At long last we can give them the care and the attention they deserve. And with the help of the public we are determined to rescue dozens more that are still waiting for their torment to end.“Anyone who would like to make a special seasonal gift today so that we can come to the aid of more desperate bears can do so here.
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Our team in Indonesia and officials from the Natural Resources Conservation Centre of West Kalimantan rescued a baby orangutan from Sinka Zoo in Jalan Malindo, Coral Bay in Singkawang Regency, West Kalimantan.The rescue took place on the 25th of November after the team received information that there was a sick baby orangutan at the zoo. The young male named Badul was reported to have a high temperature and so our medical team and members of BKSDA Kalbar travelled to the zoo to give him emergency medical treatment. Badul, who is about 18 months old, had been at the zoo since 5 November 2017. Our vets’ medical examination indicated that Badul was suffering from a problem with his respiratory system and was having difficulty breathing. “We can detect abnormal sounds coming from his lungs and he is also coughing quite a lot,” said our vet Dr Temia. "He needs a more thorough examination to identify exactly what the problem is,” she added.[[{"fid":"12871","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":320,"width":480,"style":"width: 480px; height: 320px; float: right;border:none","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"1"}}]]Humans and apes are genetically very similar and consequently are very susceptible to picking up human diseases. On many occasions our team in Indonesia has rescued orangutans that have fallen ill while in the care of human beings.And some of the diseases they were suffering from actually came from the people keeping them captive. Some diseases passed from humans to young orangutans can kill them if left untreated."Ordinarily, orangutans live in the wild, high in the trees in the forest and far away from human beings. So they are not exposed to the illnesses that afflict human beings," explained Dr Adi Irawan, our  Operations Manager in Indonesia.[[{"fid":"12881","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"2":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":320,"width":480,"style":"font-size: 13.008px; width: 450px; height: 300px; float: left;border:none","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-left","data-delta":"2"}}]]"When they are kept by humans, they are vulnerable to diseases such as Tuberculosis which can be transmitted between humans and animals. Such diseases are very dangerous for orangutans and often prove fatal.That’s why the quarantine process is very important for orangutans coming into our rehabilitation centre.As vets we recommend that people don’t ever keep orangutans because the risk of disease transmission is too great and poses a danger to both animals and people." Our team and baby orangutan Badul spent one night at the BKSDA Kalbar to break up the journey to our centre in Ketapang.  The vets accompanying him kept a close eye on Badul to ensure he was eating and drinking and wasn’t too stressed by the move.[[{"fid":"12886","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"3":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":320,"width":480,"style":"float: right; font-size: 13.008px; width: 440px; height: 293px;","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-left","data-delta":"3"}}]]They finally reached our rescue centre when night was falling and settled Badul into the quarantine quarters for baby orangutans. He will spend eight weeks in quarantine and undergo two complete medical checks before he is able to meet any of the other orangutans at the centre. This is to ensure that he is healthy and not carrying any contagious diseases that could jeopardise the health of the other orangutans.Karmele Llano Sanchez, our Programme Director in Indonesia, said: “Wild baby orangutans like Badul still have a chance of returning to the forest after undergoing the quarantine and rehabilitation process at our centre. Orangutans do not belong in captivity and Badul deserves the chance to return to his natural habitat.”Through its own social media outlets BKSDA Kalbar made an official appeal to the people of West Kalimantan not to keep wildlife as pets. They urged anyone who knew of a protected wild animal being kept as a pet to report it to the BKSDA so action could be taken to confiscate it. 
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Four critically endangered orangutans have made an epic journey back to freedom in the Bornean rainforest.They were taken home by our team in collaboration with the Natural Resources Conservation Centre (BKSDA) of West Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) and Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR.) The animals being released were Lisa and Vijay, two rehabilitated orangutans, and a wild orangutan mother and infant called Mama Laila and Lili.Male orangutan Vijay had been rescued from someone’s home in November 2015 when he was four years old. He was still very wild and so did not need to spend long in rehabilitation at our rescue centre in Ketapang, West Borneo. The young orangutan was already adept at climbing, making nests and foraging for food - and he was still very wary of humans. Lisa, a six year old female orangutan who entered our centre in January 2015, displayed the same wild behaviours, making her another good candidate for release.[[{"fid":"12811","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":320,"width":480,"style":"width: 480px; height: 320px; float: right;border:none","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"1"}}]]Mama Laila and her infant Lili had been rescued by our team and the BKSDA in September this year. They had been driven from their forest habitat by logging and land clearance operations and strayed onto a community plantation in Jalan Tanjungpura in search of food.The release team departed from our centre in Ketapang on Monday, 20 November on a journey that would involve a 20 hour drive, followed by a one hour boat ride and an eight hour trek on foot deep into the rainforest.The medical team had confirmed that all four orangutans were fit and ready to return to their natural habitat. Lisa and Vijay had undergone all the necessary checks and procedures.One of our vets, Sulhi Aufa, said: "The rehabilitation process at our centre is extremely rigorous, involving a number of stages during which each orangutan is carefully assessed. Only individuals who display all the appropriate natural behaviours will be considered for release. Fortunately Lisa and Vijay passed all the tests with flying colours!”During the journey every care was taken to keep the orangutans comfortable and well fed and ensure they were not unduly stressed. Heavy rain made some of the route even more hazardous than usual and the road vehicles had to be pulled or pushed out of the mud on a number of occasions.Once the convoy reached the office of Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park in Nanga Pinoh, they rested for one night before continuing on their way. After then completing the road and river stages of the journey, the team arrived at the release site the next morning at 8 am. [[{"fid":"12816","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"2":{"format":"large","alignment":"left","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":320,"width":480,"style":"float: left; width: 480px; height: 320px;border:none","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-left","data-delta":"2"}}]]Awaiting the arrival of the orangutans was a team of 12 porters from the nearest village, ready to carry the transport crates which included one containing Mama Leila and Lili weighing between 100kg and 150kg. Karmele Llano Sanchez, our programme director, said: "We’re very grateful to the residents of Mawang Mentatai and Dusun Nusa Poring who helped us get this cage to the point of release," said Karmele. “Incredibly, they helped us carry that heavy cage over a mountain and across a river, nine miles into the forest. Without them we simply wouldn’t be able to undertake these release operations.""The best moment of all is when we see orangutans returning to their home in the wild," said Uray Iskandar of the BKSDA. “The orangutan is one of the most prestigious animals in Indonesia and it is our duty to maintain the sustainability of the species and its habitat."We will now field a team to monitor the orangutans from the moment they wake in their nests in the morning to when they build new ones in the afternoon. This monitoring activity is vital to ensure the health and safety of the orangutans post-release.International Animal Rescue has been carrying out orangutan release activity in TNBBBR since 2015. Seventeen orangutans have been released - nine orangutans that have undergone rehabilitation at IAR’s centre and eight wild orangutans.   "This activity plays a vital role in improving the sustainability of orangutans in their natural habitat," Uray concluded.[[{"fid":"12821","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"3":{"format":"large","alignment":"right","field_caption[und][0][value]":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"height":320,"width":480,"style":"float: right; width: 480px; height: 320px;border:none","class":"media-element file-large media-wysiwyg-align-right","data-delta":"3"}}]]Toto, functional officer of Forest Ecosystem Control in Nanga Pinoh, applauded the release activity. He said, "The reintroduction activities carried out in the park have been going well and have been well studied. Hopefully there will be further research in future to demonstrate the benefits to the surrounding community of having orangutans in the region.” “IAR is also committed to providing assistance to the communities of Nusa Poring and Mawan Mentatai so that we can conserve forests and orangutans and manage forests sustainably,” Sanchez added. "By keeping orangutans, forests and communities around the park, we can strike a balance between nature and humans - because the two can bring benefits to each other," she concluded.
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