Indonesia has been the focus of much media attention recently as news of rampant forest fires made headlines across the world. We’ve seen haunting images of entire cities clouded with thick smog and smoke and heard the stories of people struggling to breathe and falling ill from the pollution, but there are many other victims of these fires who are being pushed to the literal brink of extinction.
The orangutan population in Borneo and Sumatra has dropped drastically in the past two decades due to an increase in palm oil plantations. Clear cutting and burning the orangutan’s forest homes, palm oil companies are taking away the orangutan’s only hope for survival. Life for the orangutan population is already difficult enough, but the added burden of the wildfires is causing unmitigated devastation.
International Animal Rescue (IAR) has been working diligently to save stranded orangutans. While the team has saved many lives, the rescue of Mama Anti and her baby illustrates the urgency of the situation.
Mama Anti and young baby were forced out of the forest by the fire and ended up in a village. According to IAR, the villagers were frightened by her appearance threw things at her before trying to tie her up and capture her. Thankfully, the rescue team was able to get to the mother in time and sedate her to ensure their safe rescue. After administering IV fluids and attending to her wounds, they set to work in getting the small family back to a safe part of the forest.
IAR reports, “the pair was loaded up and transported to the conservation area of PT KAL, where they are being monitored by the oil palm company’s conservation team and report they are both adapting well.”
For now, Mama Anti and her little one are safe and sound in the wild where they belong. Hopefully, they will continue to be safe as the fires continue to burn.