Sunday, 16 August 2009

COP frees Jojo from living over waste water

COP frees Jojo from living over waste water

(see further down for photos of "Jojo".)

The Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP) frees an orangutan named Jojo from being domesticated as pet by a family in Pontianak, West Kalimantan. He was brought to the Agency of Conservation and Natural Resources (BKSDA) of Pontianak on August 4, 2009 to be taken to a temporary shelter owned by the agency.

Jojo was brought tranquilized to the BKSDA office, accompanied by veterinarian Adi from Sinka Zoo of Singkawang city and was received by BKSDA officer Adelina from the Forest Ecosystem Control division. Jojo was then taken to Rasau Jaya, Pontianak, to stay about a month to be later released to his natural home in a safe forest after BKSDA prepared all the required papers.

The handover was part of COP's efforts to maintain the continuance of orangutan's life as an endangered species protected by the laws.

Jojo has been living over waste water and trash for years. His leg was chained and he was placed in a crooked wood cage without roof. He has black thick dirt water as the floor. A skinny tree was near, but that was all and with the chain he could not climb to the tree anyway. No greens or dry and clean soil to sit on either. Only several tires placed under the cage for him to play, but they are also wet from the black dirty water.

The family who kept him keep saying that they love Jojo, and that they give any kind of food including instant noodle and coffee to the orangutan. They also said that Jojo was very intelligent and liked to imitate whatever human activity around him such as showing movements of doing the laundry. Clearly Jojo has brought laughter and happiness to the family, but he himself is virtually living in hell.

Seto Hari Wibowo, COP Coordinator for Captivity Program, said, "The keeping of Jojo was not only against the law but also breaking all the rules in upholding animal welfare. The way they care for Jojo was just inhuman."

"Representing the State, BKSDA has to be responsible in finding a safer place for endangered animals, including those kept illegally at citizens'

homes," Seto said.

"We will keep watching Jojo's progress and we also ask the public -- including the media -- to keep an eye on orangutans in captivity, whether in zoos or in human homes, since they cannot defend themselves," he said.

COP had submitted earlier a report of orangutans in captivity -- those kept as pets in homes and also those kept in animal parks in a number of cities of West Kalimantan -- to BKSDA Pontianak, as one of the State's delegates that has responsibility for endangered animals' protection.

Several months have passed without any response from BKSDA. This has forced COP to accelerate the process to actively rescue the orangutans who have been forced to live in human dwellings.

"The main issue here is the absence of law enforcement. The Law no.5/1990 on Conservation has stated that it is against the law to keep state-protected animals, but many people are having the freedom to keep endangered animals in their homes without being arrested," Seto said.

"There are still a number of orangutans in captivity in West Kalimantan cities, one of them is Kenthung, who is kept by Agro Park in cage with bad

condition: full of trash thrown by visitors," Seto said.

"Even if it is only one orangutan rescued, its life is worthy to be saved."

"We will keep observing while still give recommendations to animal parks or zoos that keep orangutans to let them know the decent guidance to care for orangutans, and at the same time we put all efforts to relocate them to a better place that assures their welfare."