In early May, when the owner of a gas station noticed a moving sack tied to the back of a clients motorbike in Bengalon, Borneo, he knew something was not right. Inside the sack was a little orangutan orphan, scared and confused. The client explained that he was taking the little orangutan to abandon in the rainforest, where for certain the young infant would have met a certain death. With much compassion, the gas station owner convinced the client to hand the infant over to him, where he sought out the best solution for the orangutan's survival. The Indonesian Wildlife Authority BKSDA were able to intervene, and contacted FOUR PAWS for assistance.
He was rescued 75 years to the day after the allied victory in WWII, and so when the little orangutan arrived at the ORANGUTAN FOREST SCHOOL, the team named him Damai, meaning peace in Indonesian. The infant is just two years old and has already suffered trauma during his short life. Within his first few days at the ORANGUTAN FOREST SCHOOL, located in Samboja, East Kalimantan, he bonded quickly to his surrogate foster mother, and the team have been very pleased to see him relax and settle quickly at the Forest School. For the next 60 days, the orphan will remain in the Forest School quarantine, being closely monitored by the team and undergoing a series of health checks before being allowed to interact with the other 8 orphan orangutans at the school.
During times of COVID-19, the caregivers at the school are taking extra precautions to ensure that the orangutans are not put at risk of contracting the virus.
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Update 22nd May: Damai is getting used to forest food but does not seem to like vegetables yet! The caregivers have already observed he has good climbing skills and is getting more confident every day. Within the safety of the quarantine area at the Forest School, he can already climb quite high and gets a lot of enjoyment from this natural ability. He comes back down to his caregiver when he is hungry or thirsty, which is a good indicator that he's already quite trusting of the team.