Pelangsi, the orangutan that was rescued from a snare that kept him a prisoner without food or water for 10 days in an Indonesia forest, continues to progress miraculous. International Animal Rescue sent an update that he survived an intensive surgery to save his life.
“Pelangsi is recovering after a five-hour operation to remove his withered hand and arm. The young male orangutan is making good progress: he is alert and eating well,” stated IAR Indonesia.
Pelangsi was in critical condition when he was rescued by IAR last month. He developed a serious infection as a result of injuries to his right hand. The orangutan was found trapped in a snare and tried to gnaw off his hand in an attempt to set himself free.
Karmele Llano Sanchez, Veterinary Director of IAR Indonesia, said, “The operation went smoothly and we were able to amputate the arm below the elbow joint. However we still don’t know how the arm will react to the surgery. If there are any signs of infection, we may have to remove more of it, but for now we are keeping the wound clean and dry and keeping the limb under close observation using an x-ray machine.”
“Pelangsi is a young male orangutan who was clearly fit and healthy before he got trapped in the snare. While it is a tragedy that he has lost a limb, far better that than to lose his life through septicaemia. 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 with the darts and blowpipe to sedate 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.”
The surgery was performed by IAR veterinarian, Dr. Adi Irawan under the guidance of Dr. Paolo Martelli, Chief Veterinarian at Ocean Park Hong Kong. If there are no complications, Pelangsi could be released in two months.
Alan Knight OBE, IAR’s Chief Executive said, “Pelangsi’s story is a graphic illustration of the plight of so many orangutans in Borneo. He was driven from the forest when it was destroyed to make way for a palm oil plantation and forced into an area where wildlife and human beings are competing for space and for food. Pelangsi spent ten days caught in a snare before the team was alerted to his plight and set off immediately to cut him free. Their help came too late to save his damaged hand but they have saved his life.”
The organization’s emergency center cares for 51 orangutans that have been rescued or confiscated.
Members of IAR are working with local group, Yayasan Palung, to identify potential release sites for Pelangsi so he can live in an area of the forest that is free from snares and other man-made threats.
The team also plans to carry out an educational campaign to raise awareness among local villagers about the terrible suffering caused by snares. They will share Pelangsi’s story.