Thursday, 10 June 2010

Ten orangutans to be released into Jambi forest

Ten orangutans to be released into Jambi forest

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 08:59 WIB Environment

Jambi (ANTARA News) - Ten Sumatran orangutans (Pongo Abelii) will be released into their natural habitat in Bukit Tigapuluh forest, Jambi Province, an environmentalist said.

The reintroduction of the primates to the wild was expected to increase the population of Sumatran orangutans in Jambi, Julius Paolo Siregar said here Tuesday.

The manager of Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS)`s Sumatran Orangutan Reintroduction Station said the population of these great apes in Jambi tended to decrease as a result of deforestation.The natural habitat of these primates was threatened by the opening of plantations in the province, he said.Siregar said there were only 6,000 orangutans currently living in the wild.

Therefore the reintroduction program was so important to increase the orangutan population in Jambi.The seizure of orangutans from the hands of people was also necessary, he said.About the presence of 10 orangutans, they had been transported by a truck from the Batu Mbelin quarantine station, Sibolangit, North Sumatra Province, on Monday afternoon. They were expected to have arrived in Jambi on Wednesday morning.

"The orangutans have been transported by a truck, accompanied by a number of veterinarians and rangers," he said.Shortly after arriving in Tebo district, Jambi Province, the orangutans would be loaded to two off-road vehicles to be driven to the Orangutan Reintroduction Station.To reach the station, the drivers need six to eight hours, Siregar said. Meanwhile, Yenny Saraswati, a veterinarian, said the average ages of the orangutans being sent to Jambi was six years old. "There is only one whose age is over ten years old," she said.They consisted of six females and four males. Most of them were seized from Aceh region.

One of the orangutans was named "Virina" by a farmer in Kutacane village who found him inside a wild boar trap, she said.The reintroduction of Sumatran orangutans to their natural habitat was part of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program, co-organized by three NGOs. The NGOs were Pan Eco, Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari (YEL Foundation), and FZS. They closely cooperated with the Indonesian Forestry`s Directorate General of Forest Protection and Natural Conservation. According to Siregar, since 2002, FZS had received 139 orangutans. As of March 2010, the FZS had released 116 orangutans to their natural habitat. (*)