Seeing stories about people helping and saving animals makes any crummy day turn around. Meet Rose, an Orangutan from North Sumatra, Indonesia. Last month, authorities that were working for the Gunung Leuser National Park alerted wildlife rescuers.
They informed them about an emaciated orangutan that was wandering around a farmland. Usually, when humans approach a wild animal, they typically run. However, not Rose. She didn’t move a muscle. Why? Maybe because she was too weak. Or maybe because she just wasn’t afraid of people.
But clearly, something was up with Rose. The Dodo reported that the founding director of the Orangutan Information Center, Panut Hadisiswoyo, organized a rescue team to get Rose off the farmland as fast as possible. In any case, having Orangutans on a farmland in North Sumatra is bad news because they can get shot by farmers.
Orangutans are known to eat farmer’s crops and so they are often brutally murdered because they are seen as pests, according to a report by The Telegraph. This is a serious, horrific issue for the wildlife. In Rose’s case, the rescue team was also worried about her health.
When they saw her at the site, up in a tree, they noticed that she wasn’t just very thin, she was also injured. Panut told the Dodo, “We noticed that her fingers had been damaged and almost broken.”
He continued, saying, “We observed that the Orangutan was malnourished, and indeed looked very weak. Our team was aware that her condition cannot be fixed in the field, so our vet recommended to bring her to quarantine for further intensive treatment.”
To get Rose down from the tree, they had to hit her with a sedative dart. As soon as she fell from the tree, the rescuers were waiting at the bottom to catch her with a net. So her fall was fairly safe.
Panut added, “This is always the critical moment in every rescue situation. I’m glad we managed the net very well, and that she felt right into the net”. Once the team was able to see what was going on with Rose, they noticed that not only was she seriously injured on her hand, but there were two air rifle bullet holes in her torso. At that point, they knew Rose needed immediate help.
They rushed her to the quarantine center that was run by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme. After taking a few X-rays, it was discovered that Rose didn’t have two bullets inside of her, she had FIVE. Luckily, none of the bullets hit any organs so the medical team believes that she’ll fully recover. She’ll also have her teeth treated, and this will help her gain weight.
Sadly, Rose’s situation is not a unique one. More and more forests in Indonesia are cut down to make palm oil plantations as well as other types of farms. These orangutans are losing their homes and are forced to go to the farms to look for food. That’s where the farmers chime in and shoot them in order to protect their crops.
Rose is not yet ready to return back into the wild. Rescuers are worried that she will continue to look for crops in those dangerous farms. Yenny Saraswati is a senior veterinarian with the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme. He told the Dodo, “It seems that Rose was not feeding on natural food from the forest. It seems like she had been feeding on human food for quite a long time.” Hopefully, Rose will be fully recovered in no time!
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