Orangutan Named ‘Boncel’ Is Rescued & Translocated For A Second Time Due To Loss Of Habitat In Indonesia

An adult male orangutan, that was given the name Boncel, was recently rescued for a second time in West Kalimantan Province (Indonesian, Borneo).

The Wildlife Rescue Unit (WRU) of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA Kalbar) and International Animal Rescue (IAR) teamed up to help capture Boncel after he wandered into a village. He was then taken by the rescue team to a more remote part of the forest to ensure that he doesn’t return to the village.

The threat to the survival of orangutan species has increased due to the widespread fires that destroyed vast swathes of their rainforest habitat in the Ketapang area in 2019, as well as logging and the palm oil industry.

Orangutans were driven out of their natural habitat after their forest homes were destroyed. They then strayed into local villages in search of food and shelter, bringing them in contact with local people which resulted in conflict that risked harming both the orangutans and the villagers.

The Head of BKSDA Kalbar, Sadtata Noor Adirahmanta, expressed his appreciation for the quick response to this situation. “The repeated translocation of this orangutan shows that efforts to preserve wild endangered species require the cooperation of all parties. The community can support these efforts by themselves by working to repair wildlife habitats and prevent further damage to them.”

In mid-August of last year, Boncel had been translocated from land belonging to residents in the village of Sungai Besar, to the surrounding forest. The translocation was done in order to mitigate conflict with local villagers and release the orangutan safely back into its forest home.

Although these translocations save the lives of individual orangutans, these actions are only a temporary solution.

This was proved in early November 2020, when IAR’s Orangutan Protection Unit (OPU) patrol team received information regarding Boncel entering Sungai Pelang Village.

The team immediately set off to verify the report, and on November 11, 2020, they discovered one individual male orangutan eating the villagers’ pineapple plants. After observation and identification, they were able to confirm that this was in fact Boncel, who had previously been rescued from the village of Sungai Besar, and translocated by a team from the WRU of BKSDA Kalbar and IAR Indonesia on August 18th.

The operation, which took more than seven hours, went smoothly. IAR’s veterinarian examined Boncel’s condition and stated that the orangutan, who is estimated to be around 30-40 years old, is thankfully in good health.

You can help save the last orangutans in Indonesia by looking on the back of all products and packaged foods and commit to not purchasing anything containing Palm Oil or non-recycled paper products.

#PalmsOffPalmOil 

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