Friday, 18 July 2008

A close shave

Location: West Kalimantan (Borneo). Date: First week of July 2008.

Following our visit to this same area in February this year, Hardi (Director/Founder of the Centre for Orangutan Protection) and I returned on a mission. We were determined to help locate and rescue orangutans that local investigators had identified but were unable themselves to rescue for fear of 'blowing' their cover which would make their work even more dangerous in the future.

The following sequence of photographs concern an orangutan we were told was being kept behind the home and workplace of a hairdresser. The first thing we needed to do was to check out the report, which meant Hardi having his haircut in the salon whilst I wandered out the back to see what I could find.

To cut a long story short we then chatted to the 'owner' about the orangutan, but as we had no power to confiscate it we left and reported the matter to the local and very helpful Forestry Police; they agreed to rescue the orangutan as soon as we could provide a carrying crate and the promise of a new life in a rescue centre.

I am pleased to report "Haibi" was rescued earlier this week, is now in a transit centre and will shortly be taken to a rescue and rehabilitation centre to begin its new life with his own kind.

This picture shows Hardi sacrificing his hair in the name of orangutan conservation. It looked to me as the hairdresser had a policy of 'one size/style fits all'!

This and other rescues are only possible thanks to
supporters and sponsors of COP - the Centre for Orangutan Protection.