Monday, 4 May 2009

Four baby orangutans await foster parents

Personal note: Truly extraordinary, exploitive action by the Taman Safari Park.

I hope I will not be the only one writing to the Jakarta Post about this. I imagine

the zoo has looked at other adoption programmes and now see this as a way they

can make money. is the page you will need. I suggest you copy your email to Tonny Soehartono - he is also responsible for zoos. (Yes, his first name is spelt correctly but he does use the English spelling as well.)

For those on this list who need some background information. Baby orangutans would normally remain with their mother for seven or eight years. Removing a healthy baby from its mother would have been traumatic for both. The Taman Safari Parks are a chain of large privately owned zoos in Indonesia.


The Jakarta Post | Sun, 05/03/2009 7:47 PM | Life

Four baby orangutans at the Taman Safari Indonesia II Zoo in Pasuruan, East Java are waiting for foster parents to help them develop.

Zoo manager Michael Sumampau said on Sunday that anyone could be a foster parent to the cubs.

“The baby Kalimantan orangutans, which are around two to seven months old, are currently being taken care of in the zoo's animal hospital,” he said, as reported by Antara state news agency.

Michael said by becoming a foster parent one will have the honor of naming the chosen baby and of visiting it at any time at the zoo.

“Foster parents will also have responsibilities, including that of donating Rp 3 million (US$ 282) once every three months to the conservation fund,” he said.

The zoo had separated the cubs from their mothers to speed up the growth of the orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) population.

“By doing so however, the costs for nursing the orangutan babies increase, which is why we need foster parents for them,” he said.

Environmentalists reported the population of Kalimantan orangutans in the wild was only around 54,000 in 2004 and warned that if no measures were taken to protect the animals, they would face extinction by 2015. There have been efforts to protect the orangutan species in the country since 1931. (adh)