T H E    O R A N G U T A N    F O U N D A T I O N    T A K E O V E R !

This week, the Orangutan Foundation have taken over our blog, to let you know about Bangkal and his survival story...

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"Bangkal is a particularly special Orangutan – a gentle, intelligent survivor. He was found in captivity as an infant and confiscated by the Indonesian authorities before he could be sold through the illegal pet trade. It’s likely that his mother was killed while he was young and fully dependent, and so he was brought to the Care Centre to be looked after. Bangkal was a quick learner and his gentle, intelligent manner endeared him to all. It’s a long, slow journey through ‘soft release’, learning all the skills necessary for life in the wild, and Bangkal excelled throughout the process. Eventually he was ready for independence and all seemed well as he set off into the forest in September 2000.
Just three weeks later he was found almost lifeless with horrific injuries: an open wound across his face and a severe burn down the side of his face and neck. Boiling oil had been thrown over him, presumably in an encounter with illegal loggers. He needed to have emergency surgery and another long process of rehabilitation.

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Despite the trauma, Bangkal remained gentle and trusting. He seemed to understand that the people around him were looking after him. While he was recovering, he used a blanket to protect his injured face from annoying insects, but he would lift the blanket to allow people to feed him – a touching sign of trust. He recovered fully and was released for the second time in 2004. He thrived in the wild, becoming the dominant male In the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve and sired many of the recent infants. Even though a fully mature male, he still has a gentle demeanour. To see him in the forest is a wonderful feeling, a celebration of survival against the odds. To me, Bangkal’s character and his story is an embodiment of everything that the Foundation represents."

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Founded in 1990, Orangutan Foundation has a unique and diverse approach to Orangutan conservation. We support all Orangutan species and our work is carried out by a team of dedicated Indonesian staff.
Our approach goes beyond that of purely protecting Orangutans. It recognizes that Orangutans are essential to their habitat, which is unique in its rich biodiversity and is crucial for local communities, who are as dependent on the forest as the Orangutans.

Warm Wishes

Ashley Leiman OBE
Orangutan Foundation Director


We hope you’ll love our #wildthoughts blog!
April 13, 2021 — Laura Bowling

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