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Orangutan Rescue-Thailand Appeal

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  • Michelle Desilets
    Orangutan Rescue-Thailand Appeal Last year more than one hundred, almost certainly illegal, baby orangutans were discovered in one zoo in Bangkok, Thailand.
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2004
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      Orangutan Rescue-Thailand Appeal

      Last year more than one hundred, almost certainly
      illegal, baby orangutans were discovered in one zoo in
      Bangkok, Thailand. For a long time nothing happened,
      despite several letters and many appeals by BOS and
      the network of Indonesian Animal Rescue Centers to the
      Ministry of Forestry in Indonesia. Pressure was also
      made by Monkey World from England. Because nothing
      happened, BOS then worked together with several Thai
      NGO’s, led by Wildlife Friends of Thailand, and Dr.
      Willie Smits went over to Thailand himself. He managed
      with police support to enter the zoo to see the many
      orangutan babies behind their orangutan boxing show.
      His report and a group meeting with people from
      Thailand, England and Indonesia with the Indonesian
      Ministry of Forestry finally led to official action to
      bring the smuggled orangutans back to Indonesia to be
      reintroduced by BOS in accordance with CITES
      regulations.

      Tragically, these one hundred babies are but a small
      fraction of the many orangutan babies that were
      smuggled out of Indonesia in 2003 and 2004. Many more
      orangutan babies were discovered in other places in
      Thailand but also in Cambodia, Vietnam, Kuwait,
      Malaysia and several other countries in South East
      Asia. These babies are normally smuggled on large
      timber boats. Once near their destination, they are
      transferred to local fishing boats. From the report by
      Dr. Willie Smits, it seems most probable that most of
      these babies came from Central Kalimantan, more
      specifically from the oil palm plantation
      land-clearing operations. It is from these same
      operations that BOS, on an almost daily basis, is
      trying to rescue and relocate the wild orangutans that
      have lost their forest and are threatened to lose
      their lives.

      We have already taken in some one hundred orangutans
      so far this year and now there will be a huge addition
      to those numbers, more than doubling the number of new
      arrivals for 2004. It costs us about $4500 US to
      rescue just one confiscated baby, take care of its
      health and emotional needs for about 3 to 4 years, and
      teach it the forest survival skills to return to the
      forests that BOS protects. This, in itself, represents
      an enormous figure to be raised. To compound the
      difficulty of the task at hand, the present facilities
      are no longer large enough to take in so many new
      arrivals.

      We are completely stretched to the limits for space at
      the present locations. Many of the orangutans are
      taken out to the forest every day and because there
      are so many orangutans on such a relatively small
      piece of land, much damage is done to the forests of
      the Nyaru Menteng orangutan station. Therefore, we
      urgently need to secure an additional location where
      the orangutans can learn in the trees, not from behind
      bars. The excellent news is that we have found a
      suitable piece of forest about 15 minutes from our
      Nyaru Menteng station. The bad news is we need to
      invest a lot of money to set it up.

      We have the opportunity to purchase some 50 hectares
      of land where we can build a facility to cope with an
      additional 150 orangutan babies, with the possibility
      to extend it further with more forest patches next to
      this location. The location is sufficiently close to
      our clinic and quarantine facilities so that we do not
      need to build a complete new station and facilities.
      Also, we can use most of the other transport
      facilities of Nyaru Menteng. However, we still need to
      construct night quarters and a security post, and
      purchase an additional car, and more. So although we
      can do it at a lower cost here than anywhere else, it
      is still going to take a significant sum of money to
      build and to operate. The first fifty or so babies are
      expected within a very short time, so we need to take
      immediate action.

      There are many other urgent things that need to be
      done and we will work on those, like how to set up a
      joint task force to deal with the intricate network of
      animal smugglers. Even though we managed to jail
      several traders last year, the numbers of smuggled
      orangutans prove that we are not making enough of an
      impact to stop them. And they are tough and well
      organized. One witness involved with the international
      smuggling, who could have brought down the system, was
      murdered before he could testify.  We also received
      many, many death threats. Additionally, we need to
      deal with the oil palm plantations that cause so many
      problems for the few remaining wild orangutans. And
      there we also appeal to you to immediately help us
      with one area from where some 600 wild orangutans have
      to be rescued before they will be killed and their
      babies shipped off for commercial exploitation to
      international destinations.

      We know we are asking a lot, but please try to help.
      BOS is working consistently in developing
      comprehensive programs, including providing
      alternatives to local people as the basis for
      protecting the remaining forests and developing the
      forest monitoring systems to deal with illegal
      logging. But this program is an emergency that needs
      support NOW. Please have a look at the attached
      proposal and consider helping BOS to take care of
      these internationally smuggled orangutan babies.


      What is needed?

      We need to buy some 50 hectares of land near the Nyaru
      Menteng station and build sleeping quarters for the
      babies to sleep in at night. We need generators,
      communication equipment, transport facilities and
      staff quarters to provide 24-hour care on location. We
      need a small clinic for daily checking of things like
      parasites and for treatment of sick orangutans. We
      need a food storage facility, a security post and we
      have to make a road into the land with the remaining
      forest. We need other equipment as well and more
      operational funds. We will need to hire some 30
      additional staff to take care of these orangutans. We
      will need also much additional food to be bought every
      day, as well as medications. Below is an overview of
      the budget needed to take immediate action. As you can
      see, it costs us about 12.5 Million Rupiah per
      orangutan per year for three years to take complete
      care until the release. That means it costs about 40
      Million Rupiah per orangutan to give it back its
      freedom, which amounts to some 4,500 USD per
      individual. We are looking at 150 additional adoptions
      on top of the initial investment in the new location.
      Please help when you can.

      Expense Units Unit price Total price Price U$ Price EU


      Land acquisition
      50 ha
      2.000.000
      100.000.000
      11.765
      8.849

      Road access
      1
      35.000.000
      35.000.000
      4.117
      3.097

      Clinic building
      (w/ lab, sickroom, washroom)
      1
      50.000.000
      50.000.000
      5.882
      4.425

      Security post
      1
      25.000.000
      25.000.000
      2.941
      2.213

      Overnight staff building
      1
      35.000.000
      35.000.000
      4.117
      3.097

      Canteen/Personnel facilities
      1
      20.000.000
      20.000.000
      2.352
      1.769

      Overnight holding cages (incl fruit storage)
      18
      10.000.000

      180.000.000
      21.176
      15.929

      Generator (800W) (Incl installations)
      2
      4.000.000
      8.000.000
      941
      708

      Radio system
      1
      3.250.000
      3.250.000
      382
      288
      Hand radio
      Icom IC-V8 or similar
      2
      1.200.000
      2.400.000
      282
      212


      4 wheel drive
      (Ford ranger pick up, dbl cabin or similar)
      1
      240.000.000
      240.000.000
      28.235
      21.238

      Motorbike (off road)
      1
      15.000.000
      15.000.000
      1.765
      1.327

      Various small lab equipment
      1
      5.000.000
      5.000.000
      588
      442

      Furnishing *
      1
      6.000.000
      6.000.000
      706
      531

      Total
      719.650.000
      85.249
      64.125

      * Furnishing includes: chairs, tables, beds, and
      cupboards


      Operational cost year 1.

      Expense Units Unit price Total price Price U$ Price EU


      Operational cost **

      150
      11.400.000
      1.710.000.000

      201.176
      151.327


      Operational cost year 2:

      Expense Units Unit price Total price Price U$ Price EU


      Operational cost **

      150
      12.540.000
      1.881.000.000
      221.294
      166.460


      Operational cost year 3:

      Expense Units Unit price Total price Price U$ Price EU


      Operational cost **

      150
      13.794.000
      2.069.100.000
      243.423
      183.106

      ** Operational costs are calculated from the existing
      program at Nyaru Menteng and includes: All foods,
      milk, medical expenses, enrichment, staff wages and
      medical insurance, maintenance, daily equipment,
      electricity, fuels for vehicles, office expenses.
      10 % is added per year for inflation.




      Michelle Desilets
      Director
      Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation UK
      Buckinghamshire, England






      "Primates Helping Primates"


      www.savetheorangutan.org.uk


      www.savetheorangutan.com





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