The veterinary team from International Animal Rescue in Indonesia has been sharing updates and photos about the miraculous recovery of a wild orangutan named Pelangsi who was found close to death last April. IAR rescued the young male from an illegal poacher’s trap and carried him in a makeshift sling from the forest. At the IAR clinic, veterinarians discovered the orangutan’s right arm was too mutilated and infected to save, so the brave animal endured five hours in surgery to amputate it. Since that time, Pelangsi has won each hurdle of his recovery.
The team working on Pelangsi’s rehabilitation at the IAR center in Ketapang, West Kalimantan has always envisioned that one day he would be healthy enough to return to the wild. Their biggest concern was how well he would be able to move and climb with one arm.
Dr. Karmele Llano Sanchez, Veterinary Director for IAR and Pelangsi’s surgeon, said, “Pelangsi is very active and hopefully it won’t be too much longer before he can return to the forest and show us all how well he can cope with his handicap. He is eagerly gathering the leaves and branches provided for him and making nests as well as he can, so he definitely hasn’t forgotten the skills he will need to survive in the wild.”
“While it is a tragedy that he has lost a limb, far better that than to lose his life through septicemia. There is no reason why he shouldn’t eventually return to the wild and fend for himself once more. As a wild orangutan, he is finding it quite stressful to be in captivity and tries to hide under the foliage in his cage whenever we approach him. We are keeping disturbance to a minimum but obviously we need to keep a close eye on him until we know his arm is healing properly and he is completely in the clear.”
Pelangsi is one of 50 orangutans being cared for by IAR Indonesia. Each of the animals has become homeless as palm oil companies move into their territory cutting down and destroying their forest habitat to make room for large plantations to grow crops.
Palm oil is used to produce many food products and personal care products. A list of manufacturers can be found at this Palm Oil Product List.
As Pelangsi prepares to be released, his caregivers are keeping their contact with him to a minimum. Recently he was close enough in his enclosure for a rare photo. It shows he is able to climb and care for himself regardless of his handicap. Hopefully the next installment of Pelangsi’s miraculous journey will be his reintroduction to his homeland.
Photo Credit: InternationalAnimalRescue