Friday October 18, 2019

In Indonesia, a Jungle School helps rescued Orangutans to return to the Wild

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature - which changed the species' threat level to critical - estimates a mere 47,000 will be left in the wild by 2025

0
//
Orangutan. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

September 5, 2016: There is an amazing jungle school in the heart of Borneo Islands that is designed specifically for the young rescued Orangutans. Some of them found wandering and suffering alone, as the fire rages huge parts of the rainforest in Borneo.

These young orphan Orangutans got to school to learn to feed themselves and avoid the predators. They are taught in the wildlife so they return to their world with no harm and with preparation. As life in the real world was drastic for these lovely creatures. Only a few years ago, the Bornean Orangutans were declared as critically endangered species and they are close to extinction.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter

Experts say that the wonderful tree-dwelling Orangutans would do wonders in the wildlife and cross the Borneo without even touching the ground. But now the same Orangutans could get entirely vanished from the island within 50 years, as the ancient rainforest they have inhabited for centuries are felled and burned at alarming speed leaving serious danger for the inhabiting Orangutans.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRf0gO54nqg&feature=youtu.be

Dr. Ayu Budi, a veterinarian is the head of the orangutan health clinic at the International animal rescue centre in the west Kalimantan province. She has something to say- “It’s heart-breaking,” she said , adding “when you see them, it’s really sad. They are supposed to be with their mother in the wild, living happily, but they are here.”

Exactly 101 Orangutans are nurtured under Dr. Budi’s care, including the 16 playful infants – are the lucky ones as they were rescued near death. In this beautiful niche of protected forest in the city of Ketapang, the young orangutans are nurtured back to life and health.

Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of their kin have died in the past four decades across Borneo, slaughtered by hunters, burned in land-blazing fires or put to death by habitat loss.

The result has been wild orangutan populations in freefall. In the mid-1970s, nearly 300,000 of these great apes roamed Borneo. Today, just a third of that number remain.

Follow NewsGram on Facebook

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature – which changed the species’ threat level to critical – estimates a mere 47,000 will be left in the wild by 2025.

The fire often gets out of hand, tearing through the forest, and smouldering relentlessly on Borneo’s compact, carbon-rich peatlands. Last year’s blazes in 2015, were among the worst on record.

Conservationists fear a repeat disaster of that scale would ring the death knell for the Bornean orangutan.

Budi and her colleagues remain optimistic, teaching orangutans like Jack – a mischievous, attention-seeking seven-year-old – to forage by hiding peanuts and honey inside plastic balls high in the treetops.

But she frets her young charge will never get the chance to prove his independence in the wild, as Borneo’s lowland forests shrink ever smaller. “I think they still have a chance, but if the forest is gone, it will be difficult,” she said.

– by Jagpreet Kaur Sandhu of NewsGram

Next Story

Uttarakhand High Court Bans the Use of Red Chilli Powder to Drive Away Elephants

Sackfuls of chilli powder and chilly bombs were used by people living on the outskirts of the 11 Elephant corridors in the state to shoo away Elephants

0
Elephants
Sackfuls of chilli powder and chilly bombs were used by people living on the outskirts of the 11 Elephant corridors in the state to shoo away Elephants and reduce man-animal conflict in the region. Pixabay

After the Uttarakhand High Court banned the practice of using red chillies and chilly bombs to drive away the elephants, the local people are at their wit’s end now.

Sackfuls of chilli powder and chilly bombs were used by people living on the outskirts of the 11 elephant corridors in the state to shoo away elephants and reduce man-animal conflict in the region. However, the High Court put a stop to this on Tuesday.

The elephants from Nepal, as well as the Terai region in Uttar Pradesh, travel to Ramnagar, Corbett and the Kosi river, crossing the patch of the National Highway 121 along which the three elephant corridors — Kota, Chilkiya – Kota, and South Patlidun – Chilkiya are located.

With increasing human population, the corridors have shrunk over the years, bringing the elephants closer to human habitats.

The people living on the outskirts of these corridors, over the years, devised a method of warding off the wild Tuskers. They used to place bags of chilli powder on the outskirts of the settlement and the moment they saw a herd of pachyderms, they would fling the chilli powder into the air. The elephants were forced to retreat.

“The elephants do not come back for a week or so. For the past few years there has been an increase in the elephant population in the area and the animals not only destroy our crops but also attack people. We have no option but to use chili powder because the government is doing nothing,” said Ramesh Tiwari, a resident of Nandpur village.

He admitted that the use of chilli against the elephants was the ‘cheapest and safest option because it did not kill the animal.’ Most of the farmers in the region plant sugarcane which, in turn, attracts the elephants.

In the past one year, there have been over 20 incidents of elephants attacking people.

However, a Public Interest litigation (PIL) was recently filed by a Noida based non-government organisation called ‘Independent Medical Initiative Society’.

Elephants
The three major elephant corridors of Golapar, Fatehpur-Lamachaur and Lalkuan near Haldwani have seen mushrooming of human settlements, thus reducing the age-old path of the Elephants. Pixabay

The petition alleged that the forest department, instead of controlling the human activities on the road passing through these elephant corridors, is trying to control the elephants’ movement by allowing cruel means such as feeding chilli powder-filled flour balls to the wild elephants, putting chilli powder-filled bags on the edge of the road and by firing shots and burning firecrackers to keep them away from the road passing through the elephant corridor.

Dushyant Mainali, the counsel for the petitioner, said: “The division bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Alok Kumar Verma has banned the use of chilli powder and any other such cruel means against the elephants. The court has also issued directives to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The Ministry has been directed to file the reply within two weeks.”

The petitioner told the court that the “disappointment and frustration due to difficulties in crossing the corridor, are changing the behaviour of elephants in the entire area. The chief reason of concern is the changing behaviour of the baby elephants, which are becoming aggressive day by day and have been found to be involved in most of the incidents of charging.”

According to reports, the corridors are also facing the threat from sand mining in nearby areas, and also a large number of resorts have come up which have increased the traffic flow through the river corridor, thereby disturbing the elephants.

The petition claimed that in the past one year there has been tremendous rise in the human-elephant conflict in the corridors passing on the edge of Corbett National Park and especially on the patch of the Mohaan-Ramnagar Road which is part of NH-121.

Wildlife expert S. R. Rahi said that an elephant requires about 225 litres of water per day and for this the herd of the wild elephants have to travel towards river Kosi and mostly in the night time when it is believed to be safe for them to cross the corridors, but now they are facing the wrath of fast-moving vehicles even during the night time.

The three major elephant corridors of Golapar, Fatehpur-Lamachaur and Lalkuan near Haldwani have seen mushrooming of human settlements, thus reducing the age-old path of the elephants.

The Surai-Kilpura elephant corridor near Khatima is also witnessing an increase of human settlement. Three of these corridors adjoining the Ramnagar-Mohaan border include 27 kms of highway.

Elephants
The Elephants from Nepal, as well as the Terai region in Uttar Pradesh, travel to Ramnagar, Corbett and the Kosi river, crossing the patch of the National Highway 121 along which the three elephant corridors — Kota, Chilkiya – Kota, and South Patlidun – Chilkiya are located. Pixabay

The elephant corridor in Dhikuli area has more than 150 commercial constructions due to which it is completely blocked. Construction in the Mohaan area and vehicular traffic during the night time is hampering the elephants from reaching the Kosi River.

Marriages, parties and the noise generated at commercial buildings and resorts at night is also causing disturbance to the wild animals.

Instead of preventing human interference in the forest areas, the forest department is allowing chili powder and crackers to prevent the pachyderm from coming onto the highway.

ALSO READ: Now Pay Bills on Amazon Pay While Speaking to Alexa

“There are 11 functional corridors in Uttarakhand, but human activities are increasing around the age-old corridors. Elephants are distance migratory animal with sharp memory and if someone attacks them, they remember to return the attack,” said Rahi. (IANS)