Posted by: Wisnu | December 17, 2017


This was where Felix lived tied up with a tight two-metre chain around his neck without anything to rest on or to play with for three long years. During these years, Felix basically only got rice as food and as a result he is malnourished and thin. His hair lacks the shine of oil that normally protects the orangutans from rain reaching their skin in the rainforest. Felix originally came from an oil palm region in Central Kalimantan and was kept by a family in the Erna plantation area several hours from the Sanggau city in West Kalimantan from the age of one year. He now is four years old and does not look at all like a normal 4-year-old orangutan baby.

It was quite interesting how we first found out about Felix. A local NGO staff put up a WhatsApp message that included a picture of the orangutan he had seen inside the plantation area living with this family. Dudung, our Sintang Orangutan Centre director, came across this message and immediately followed up trying to find out where this orangutan might be hidden so he could organize a rescue operation. After he found out through social media, where he uploaded the picture, he contacted the forestry conservation office of West-Kalimantan, with whom we have an official cooperation, and on Sunday morning a joint team of forestry police and our Sintang Orangutan Centre staff immediately left for Sangau. Bayu, our paramedic, was the one to take off the chain from the neck of Felix when after The ‘owner’ was asked to “voluntarily” hand over the orangutan and the forestry police just made a report of the confiscation and handed over the orangutan to the Sintang Orangutan Centre.

Felix is not very strong. But when I met him about two weeks after his confiscation at the Sintang Orangutan Center, he was very approachable. He was still on his own in the quarantine facility of the orangutan clinic where he was undergoing a range of medical tests and parasite treatments. He already looks a lot better and he is very interested in things around him. So, actually, I have hope he will quickly join a group of youngsters and start the learning process to return to his forest home in our Betung Kerihun release area.

Here are a few pictures of the rescue operation for Felix.


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