When male orangutan Sapat was rescued and brought to intensive care, a large number of bullets were found lodged beneath his skin. The forest fires that have ravaged in Borneo recently have most likely forced him away from his natural habitat.

In late September, the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) received an important call. A male orangutan had been found on an oil palm plantation in very bad condition.

A rescue team with representatives from BKSDA as well as our Indonesian partner BOS Foundation headed out and found the orangutan after hours of searching the area. The orangutan, who was named Sapat, was too weak to even move. The veterinarian did a quick check-up and sent him over to intensive care at the Nyaru Menteng Rehabilitation Centre.

Sapat weighed only 45 kg – less than half the average weight of a male orangutan at his age. During the check-up at Nyaru Menteng, an x-ray scan showed as many as 67 pieces of shrapnel inside his body.

When Sapat was found he was too tired to move. The veterinary team did a quick check-up before they quickly sent him to intensive care at Nyaru Menteng.

Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, CEO of BOS Foundation and Save the Orangutan’s partner in Borneo explains:

– Rescues such as these are our greatest fear in relation to the forest fires that result from slash-and-burn land clearing. These perilous conditions force wildlife to stray outside of their habitats to save themselves, but this creates conflict with humans. The bullets in Sapat’s body are clear evidence of his escape from such conflict.

When Sapat was brought in for treatment, he would not eat. Gradually he began to accept bananas and mangos. After a week and a half, Sapat finally weighed over 50 kg. Sapat remains in treatment, with the hope of him getting better and eventually being able to release him back to the wild.

– We appreciate the goodwill from the parties who made the report on Sapat and, in turn, allowed us to save his life. We sincerely hope that all stakeholders can make changes to more actively participate in wildfire prevention and the protection of orangutans in their natural habitat, Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite emphasize.

Sapat at Nyaru Menteng