This undated picture taken late on February 2016 and released by Centre of Orangutan Protection on March 3, 2016, shows the body of an Orangutan after a forest fire at Kutai National Park in Bontang, East Kalimantan province.

Indonesia: Three Orangutans, including a baby, burnt to death in Borneo forest fire
3rd March 2016;

Three female Orangutans, including a baby, were burnt to death in Borneo after being caught in a fire believed to have been started illegally to clear land for farming, an official and protection group said on Thursday (March 3).

The charred bodies of the endangered Bornean Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus), believed to be a mother and her two daughters, were discovered among fire-blackened remains of trees, their limbs outstretched and grimaces of pain on their faces.

They were found in Bontang, in the Indonesian part of Borneo island, close to Kutai National Park. Park officials began investigating after seeing pictures of the animals circulating on social media, said park staff member Dede Hidayat.

“We went to the scene about one kilometre (half a mile) outside the national park and we found the Orangutans lying on the ground, badly burnt,” she told AFP.

Wildlife authorities and police are now investigating the case. No one has been arrested yet, but if convicted, a perpetrator could face up to five years in jail for breaking wildlife protection laws.

Environmental group the Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP), which is helping authorities investigate the case, believe the fire was illegally started by a farmer to clear a small area of land for cultivation.

Slash-and-burn forest clearance, mostly to make way for palm oil plantations, is common across Indonesia and environmentalists say it has contributed to the destruction of many endangered species’ natural habitats.

It was also blamed for causing huge forest fires that cloaked Southeast Asia in acrid smog last year. Many Orangutans had to be rescued from the blazes.

COP, which runs an Orangutan rescue centre in Borneo, carried out an autopsy on the apes after they were discovered last month. The group found they were all female, and aged around 20, 10, and less than one year, said COP founder Hardi Baktiantoro.

Protection group the International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the Bornean Orangutan as endangered.

Besides destruction of their habitats for agriculture, the primates face other threats. They are sometimes targeted by villagers who view them as pests, and caught by poachers who want to sell them as pets.

Source: AFP, on Coconuts Jakarta

Autopsy results for the 3 Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) bodies that were burned in a land fire in Bontang, East Kalimantan on 23rd Feb 2016. These bodies are in a rotting condition.

“The deaths of these Orangutans are classified burning condition 3 where the burned area covers 90%, causing loss of body fluids, electrolyte and even protein, causing severe dehydration and organ dysfunctions,” explained Dr. Imam Arifin, vet for Centre for Orangutan Protection.

Source: Centre for Orangutan Protection Facebook

Indonesia: Three female Orangutans have died in a land fire near a protected forest in Indonesia amid claims the blaze was started deliberately
The Orangutans were caught in a blaze in Bontang City, East Kalimantan
They were one twenty year old, one ten year old, and a baby Orangutan around age of one
Fire was ‘deliberately started to clear land for farming’ according to claims
Orangutans were discovered after resident posted a picture on Facebook

They were buried by a team of officers to prevent possible diseases
By Gianluca Mezzofiore, 28th February 2016;

These are the horrific pictures of three female Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) who were killed in a land fire in Indonesia.

The Orangutans – two twenty year olds (Actually, based on other sources, one was around twenty years old while the other was around ten years of age) and a baby around the age of one – were caught in the blaze near a protected forest in Bontang City, East Kalimantan.

The founder of the Centre for Orangutan Protection, Hardi Baktiantoro, claims the forest fire was deliberately started to clear the land for farming.

“It is completely illegal to clear forest land by burning it, and in this case the land that was burnt still had three Orangutans living there,” he said.

After investigating the death of the Orangutans, a team of officers from the Kutai National Park and the Bontang city police buried the three orangutans.

“The bodies of the Orangutans were decayed so we buried them soon after the investigation to prevent them from spreading disease,” the head of the Kutai National Park Office, Erly Sukrismanto, said.

The bodies of the Orangutans were discovered after a resident posted a picture of them on Facebook.

Professional photojournalist Yuli Seperi said: “I saw a friend post a status on Facebook about the deaths so I went the location where the three Orangutans were.”

“The deaths made me extremely upset as Orangutans are a huge icon to Indonesia.”

The forest fires are claimed to have started around 14.30 Saturday 20th February.

The founder of the Centre for Orangutan Protection said: “It is not clear why the three Orangutans could not escape the fire as they usually can. Perhaps they were afraid of the humans that surrounded the fragmented forest.”

“The three dead are believed to be a family of all females, one twenty year old, one ten year old, and one baby Orangutan around the age of one.”

Source: The Daily Mail

Today, The Ministry of Forestry, Police and COP start the autopsy to find out the cause of death for 3 Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) at the burned out area, not far from Kutai National Parks and Bontang Protected Forest. The Orangutan corpses are taken and bought to the office of Bontang Police. COP’s vet team will conduct the autopsy. Stay tuned for updates.

Source: Centre for Orangutan Protection Facebook


We are sorry to inform you that we have just received a report from a local: an Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) mother with her baby as well as a third Orangutan have been burnt in East Kalimantan. Our APE Crusader Team and the Wildlife Authority are investigating this case now. Stay tuned for the updates from the field.

Source: Centre for Orangutan Protection Facebook

Updates on BLACK SUNDAY‬ case

There were 3 Orangutans being killed during fires yesterday. It is a forested area that neighbouring with sand mining. Wildlife Authority and Police with support from COP are doing legal investigation. We have suspects already and police manage to arrest them. Meanwhile, COP’S vet will do an autopsy.

Source: Centre for Orangutan Protection Facebook


This morning the BOSF rescue team from Nyaru Menteng and Mawas found the body of a female Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), estimated to be 15 years of age, dead on the bank of the Mangkutub River, Central Kalimantan. This female is suspected to be have been purposely killed. The BOSF Nyaru Menteng vets present at the scene conducted an initial examination and found a gunshot wound to the lefthand side of her chest, and a 10 cm wide cut to her hip. Currently we are moving her body to Nyaru Menteng for a full necropsy to confirm the cause of death. Keep following our timeline for further information!

Source: Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation Twitter

  1. The 50-year-old Orangutan died at a clinic after veterinarians spent several hours trying to save him
  2. Despite their best efforts, they could do little to stop the infections and severity of the injuries caused by being shot 22 times
  3. He was declared dead a few hours after arriving at the clinic run by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program
  4. The orangutan’s right eye had been irreparably damaged in the shooting, while it also suffered a large wound on its shoulder and multiple fractures
  5. The injured Sumatran Orangutan was tracked and captured by officials after it was shot by local hunters
  6. It’s believed he was shot by hunters because he liked to eat from the locals’ durian fruit trees
  7. There are an estimated 7,000 Orangutan left living freely in the north of the island of Sumatra, Indonesia

Photos: Sutanta Aditya

Indonesia: Endangered Orangutan dies after being shot with an air rifle 22 times, including once in the eye, because it was eating crops in Indonesian national park
By Corey Charlton, 4th November 2015;

A critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii)has died after being shot 22 times with an air rifle for eating fruit taken from local crops.

Veterinarians worked to save the life of the 50-year-old male Orangutan for several hours, but could do little after discovering 22 air rifle bullets riddled throughout its body.

One had destroyed the sight in its right eye, while it also had a large gash on its shoulder, several fractures and was suffering from severe infections.

The injured creature was tracked by officials in Mount Leuser National Park, Indonesia, after they became aware it was shot by hunters for eating the sweet fruit durian.

Andi Basrul, the head of the national park centre, told the Jakarta Post: “Many Orangutans have been shot before, but it is only this time that one has died so tragically, with so many gunshot wounds.”

He told the paper it was hunted by locals because it liked to eat from the durian trees they owned in the area. Although officials had tried to rescue it earlier, it evaded capture by climbing trees.

He added: “A week ago we tried to save it. But when we tried to catch it, it climbed up to the top of a tall tree.”

The species is considered Critically Endangered.

Found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, there are estimated to be around only 7,000 left scattered throughout the island’s northern rainforests.

However, the population is coming under severe pressure from desforestation – much of which is driven by the need for palm oil.

Source: The Daily Mail

Veterinarian Ian Singleton ponders the condition of a critically wounded male Orangutan, which died after an hour receiving emergency treatment.

Sumatran Orangutans threatened by forest destruction
By Sutanta Aditya, 3rd November 2015;

A series of deaths of Orangutans further confirms the destruction of Indonesia’s forests, contributing to the problem of global climate change.

The country’s biodiversity, including protected species such as Sumatran Orangutans, Elephants (Elephas maximus sumatranus) and Sumatran Rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), is currently under grave threat as a result of habitat devastation.

Amid wildfires and the ongoing haze crisis, coupled with unplanned population distribution for economic reasons, Sumatra’s forests are rapidly disappearing, with profit-seekers benefiting from conflict between humans and wild animals.

A recent medical examination by a veterinarian team from the Medan-based Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program (SOCP) found an adult Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) in critical condition. Despite hours of treatment, the ape was declared dead from stab wounds and 23 bullets lodged in its body.

A spokesman for the North Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BBKSDA) in Medan, Evansus R. Manalu, confirmed the incident. “Our field officers received a report from residents on Oct. 21 about a severely wounded Orangutan. Mount Leuser National Park [TNGL] and the Orangutan Information Center [OIC] referred the case to the SOCP in Sibolangit,” said Evansus.

"In the Bukit Lawang tourist area between Langkat regency and TNGL, an Orangutan was found in a critical state by TNGL and OIC personnel,” said OIC director Panut Hadisiswoyo, adding that the ape had been killed as a result of conflict with humans, an increasingly frequent occurrence.

Intense Human-Orangutan conflict recorded around Mount Leuser is, besides deforestation, the area’s most urgent issue, prompting the OIC to step up its precautionary efforts. “We deplore the recurrent killing of Sumatran Orangutans, because the location is a tourist spot, and the dead Orangutan indicated traces of the use of sharp weapons and guns,” he added.

Based on SOCP X-ray results, some of the bullets had entered the Orangutan’s right eye, while its left shoulder was badly wounded by sharp blades. “We did all we could, but sadly the Orangutan died an hour after receiving first aid,” said SOCP veterinarian Yenny Saraswati via social media.

If Sumatran Orangutans continue to be killed and the species becomes extinct, the Leuser protected forest will lose a link in its ecosystem chain. As noted by the SOCP, Kalimantan (Bornean) Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) belong to the Endangered category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), while Sumatran Orangutans are categorized as Critically Endangered, with only 6,600 left in the wild on the North Sumatra-Aceh border, according to SOCP director Ian Singleton.

Source: Jakarta Post

Indonesia: Sumatran Orangutan dies after being shot 22 times

By Apriadi Gunawan, 24th October 2015;

A 50-year-old male Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) has died from 22 gunshot wounds in Mount Leuser National Park (TNGL) area, Langkat regency, North Sumatra, after being caught eating durian.

TNGL officers took the animal to the Orangutan quarantine center in Sibolangit, Deli Serdang regency, North Sumatra, for medical treatment, but it died on Thursday after several hours of treatment administered by the veterinary team of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program (SOCP).

SOCP director Ian Singleton said that the Orangutan was brought to the quarantine center on Wednesday night in a critical condition. The following morning the veterinary team anesthetized it, gave it medication and cleaned its gunshot wounds.

“The X-ray result showed that there were 22 air rifle bullets spread throughout the Orangutan’s body, one of which destroyed its right eye,” Singleton told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

He said that apart from the gunshot wounds the animal had also suffered from fractures and a large wound on its left shoulder. In such a condition, he added, it was difficult for the Orangutan to survive as it had also suffered from severe infections, with worms found in the wounds all over its body.

“Finally, despite the team’s hard work trying to save him, he died at around 6 p.m. yesterday,” Singleton said.

He said that cases of Orangutans being shot by illegal hunters occurred frequently, but this was the first time in which an Orangutan had been shot with so many bullets and in such a violent manner.

The most recent shooting case involved less than 20 bullets.

“This is really tragic. Its body and even its eyes are full of gunshot wounds,” said Singleton, predicting that the Orangutan could have been shot a week before it was found, considering the watery wounds, especially in its eyes.

He said that shooting Orangutans was a crime that carried a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of Rp 100 million (US$7,142) according to Law No 5/1990 on conservation.

Head of the TNGL center, Andi Basrul, said that many of the Orangutans in the national park had been entering people’s plantations looking for food as big trees in the forests had been illegally logged and turned into oil palm plantations.

Some residents consider the mammal to be a pest and therefore hunt them.

“Many Orangutans have been shot before, but it is only this time that one has died so tragically, with so many gunshot wounds,” Andi said at his office on Friday.

Andi said he suspected that the dead Orangutan was one that had been hunted by locals over the last month, because it frequently ate from durian trees belonging to people in the area.

According to Andi, TNGL officers had long tried to save the Orangutan, but as it was a wild animal and liked to climb tall trees, they could not catch it.

“A week ago we tried to save it. But, when we tried to catch it, it climbed up to the top of a tall tree,” Andi said.

It was only on Wednesday, he said, that they succeeded in catching the Orangutan after waiting for a week for it to climb down from a tree. It was caught in the TNGL area in Bukit Lawang, Langkat regency, North Sumatra.

“Its physical condition was very weak when we handed it over to the orangutan quarantine center in Sibolangit for medical treatment,” Andi said.

Source: Jakarta Post

Indonesia: Sumatran Orangutan dies after being shot 22 times

Malaysia: Orangutan dies from injuries
28th July 2015;

The 20-year-old male Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) that was attacked by an Indonesian oil palm plantation worker died nearly two weeks after undergoing intensive medical treatment at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Quarantine and Clinic facility in Sandakan on Sunday.

Veterinarians and other medical experts did everything they could to save the Orangutan named by wildlife officials as Gedau after Ladang Gedau, Beluran, about 65km from Sandakan, where it was found lying near an oil palm tree by plantation workers on July 13.

“(But) I regret to say that we have lost the poor injured Orangutan due to severe complication, initially caused by the savage attack by the plantation worker,” said a sad State Wildlife Director, William Baya.

Gedau was found with a long slash wound on his back caused by a parang (machete) as well as several smaller wounds on his head.

Baya said Gedau seemed to be improving after receiving medical treatment for the first few days and was reported to have been able to eat a banana.

Unfortunately, he said when Gedau was further observed and monitored it became obvious that the parang wound to the back was so deep that it had punctured the air sac, causing a severe infection.

The air sac is a loose pouch located around the throat of the Orangutan for vocalising.

“Even with all our expert care and medical treatment the results of the post mortem confirmed that the Orangutan died of an acute and severe septicaemia caused by the initial parang wound and also the smaller secondary wounds that were probably caused by the same parang,” said Baya.

With the death of the Orangutan, he said the case has now escalated to “a killing (murder) of a fully protected species.”

“I have directed my Prosecution Officer to discuss this case with the court to consider appealing for a much heavier punishment to be meted out to the Orangutan killer,” said Baya.

Last Friday, an Indonesian, Syam bin Sul, aged 38, was sentenced to 12 months behind bars by the Sandakan Magistrate’s Court after admitting to wounding the Orangutan with a machete because he claimed the Orangutan tried to chase him while he was on his way back to his kongsi from work.

The charge was framed under Section 37 of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment 1997, which provides for a penalty of a fine of RM20,000 or imprisonment for two years or both for causing reckless injury to protected animals.

The maximum penalty for killing a fully protected species under Schedule One of the Wildlife Conservation Enactment is five years’ jail or a RM50,000 fine or both upon conviction.

Source: Daily Express