E y e s   o n  t h e   F o r e s t 
A  M o n t h l y   B u l l e t i n   f r o m   B o r n e o - J a n u a r y  2 0 1 4

eyes in the forest

Looking Back at 2013 - A Year in Review
What we've achieved & what we hope to do next



Protecting the rainforest has been a large focus of OFI's work this year. By purchasing land, OFI is able to protect it from being turned into palm oil plantations and other agricutlural and industrial exploitation.  Not to mention, we can release orangutans back into the wild on this protected land with the knowledge that we are keeping it safe.


In April, we were able to proudly announce the completion of the 6,400-acre Rawa Kuno Legacy Forest.


But Rawa Kuno was just a start! We began the Orangutan Legacy Forest Campaign which includes several distinct forested areas including more forestland in and around OFI's recently the Rawa Kuno Legacy Forest.


With the help of our generous members and donors, we were able to purchase several hundred hectares of land in 2013 that would have been cleared by local people and sold for palm oil cultivation! In addition OFI bought a newly developed rubber plantation that can now go back to tropical forest!


"With the financial support of more than 350 donors from 22 countries around the globe, we officially completed a complicated purchase-and-sale agreement involving hundreds of separate parcels of land. This land--the Rawa Kuno Legacy Forest--will remain forever wild, untouched by logging, mining, palm oil agriculture and other destructive development... Acre by forested acre, we are systematically creating a series of vast, interconnected, and biologically-diverse sanctuaries for wild orangutans, helping to ensure an essential safety net against extinction." 





Seruyan Release

OFI is happy to announce that we have released  32 orangutans in the past two years, most in 2013. It's been wonderful to watch them return to the wild and we are very proud of them all (read below for an up-close visit to the release camp!).


But our work isn't done with the Release!


In the Seruyan Regency we will continue to permanently staff the camp near where the orangutans were released. We will patrol the area to ensure that they are safe and to keep an eye on their health. We will provide fruit and milk for the orangutans at feeding platforms, should they chose to visit.  We will do everything we can to continue helping them.


OFI has a lifelong commitment to all of the orangutans that we care for. We take care of them as orphans in our Care Center and as adults while they build their new life in the forest!




In 2013, 13 new orangutans came to the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine, in Kalimantan (Borneo), Indonesia to bring the total residing at the Care Center to 330 orangutans, all needing care and attention.


These orangutans are orphans who have lost their mother. They often arrive at the Care Center in poor health and psychologically traumatized, often having witnessed their mother being killed. Those who were kept as pets frequently suffer from nutritional deficits, as even the best-intentioned of the people who kept them did not understand how to feed an orangutan - we will do everything we can to help them, but many will suffer from the health complications for the rest of their lives.


We are always trying to come up with better ways to provide enrichment for the orangutans, and we always need to build more sleeping enclosures. We want to give each orangutan as much space as possible and, as you can imagine, orangutans have a way of taking things apart and breaking them - sometimes its all we can do to keep up with them!


We built 24 new enclosures in the last year alone! (Click here to see photos of some of the new sleeping enclosures on FaceBook.) They replaced old and damaged sleeping enclosures. Many of these new enclosures are larger and more spacious than the ones they replaced.


However, there is plenty more building to do! Our Care Center might often be nearly full, but we will never turn away an orangutan in need - and so we are constantly working to improve the Care Center, to increase our capacity so that we can help the new arrivals, and to do more for each orangutan!


In addition, OFI directly rescued seven wild orangutans from palm oil plantations in the region.  Five of the wild orangutans were immediately translocated to safe forests near the National Park.  A mother-infant pair had to be brought to the Orangutan Care Center because of a terrible wound in the mother's face.  Once the mother was treated by OFI veterinarians and the wound healed, she and her infant were also released  back to the wild.






Early last year, the Indonesian government granted a palm oil concession in the buffer zone of the National Park and shifted the park borders so that a second palm oil concession could enter an area that was originally in the Park.


OFI has been fighting this development and Greenpeace Indonesia joined in the fight - with some success! Clearing of land by massive excavating machines has stopped and the local government  ordered a portion of the land returned to the park! But this may be a move on the part of local government and the palm oil company to stall for time. 

OFI will continue the fight as it has so many times in the past.



Dr Birute Mary Galdikas, President

Noelle Tankard, Intern



  • In this Issue
  • Orangutan of the Month: Vanessa
  • News from the Field: New home in the Forest Check-up on some of the recently released orangutans!
  • Conservation Partners: Our 2013 Summer Construction Volunteers!

Orangutan of the Month:  

Upcoming Events

Second Annual
"Philly Run Wild
Save the Orangutans 
5K Run/Walk"
Sunday, April 27th at 
The Philadelphia Zoo

Join Us!
(Click on image for details)


Little Judy is getting used to her safe new surroundings at the OCCQ

Maue-Kay: A new arrival in need of care and nurturing

Baby Ray needs lots of milk, a soft place to sleep, and round-the-clock love and attention


Forest scene2

Linda and 31 of her peers have been released into their new forest homes over the past 2 years . . . come see how they are doing!



Conservation Partners

 A Special Shout Out to our Summer 2013 Volunteers!


 Please join us as a Construction Volunteer in 2014!
Click here for more information.
Click on image to download a printable brochure. 


Orangutans Need You! 

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Thank you very much for  following "Eyes on the Forest - Bulletin from Borneo". From now on you can expect this eNewsletter to reach your mailbox monthly.  We'd love to have your thoughts
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