Supporting Primate Conservation with IAR

August 28, 2021

Led by Dr. Karmele Sanchez, International Animal Rescue-Indonesia (IAR) supports orangutan conservation by addressing several challenges the animals face in the wild. In 2013, IAR established the first rescue and rehabilitation center for orangutans in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan, home to approximately 8,000 Bornean orangutans. The center serves as a hub for IAR’s rescue, rehabilitation, and reintroduction program.

Poaching for the illegal pet trade remains a critical threat to orangutans, and IAR’s Orangutan Protection Unit works with the local government to rescue orangutans from these situations. Often, these animals were orphaned, and need significant rehabilitation and education before they can be reintroduced. IAR provides state of the art veterinary care, and IAR’s staff spends years teaching orangutans the skills they need to survive in the wild. Orangutans go from pre-school to baby school to forest school and finally to a pre-release island that mimics the wild forest into which the orangutans will eventually be released. Following extensive surveys to ensure the release site is appropriate, IAR releases orangutans and monitors them to ensure their long-term survival.

IAR also conducts community outreach and education since the success of orangutan conservation efforts depends on involvement and investment in local communities. IAR conducts conservation camps, after-school programs, and a religious education project to engage local community members, especially children, and to foster their interest in conservation and environmental issues.

– Assistant Zoo Director – Animal Care and Conservation

Dr. Karmele Sanchez brings orphaned orangutans to forest school.

* Banner photo is an orangutan found in a coconut farm is relocated to Gunung Palung National Park.