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"For orangutan infant orphan "Voyce", OFI's Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ) in Central Borneo was a light that brightened his once uncertain future. Voyce had developed a serious parasitic worm infection that caused gastrointestinal distention. He had a large, visible swelling of the abdomen. While some parasites develop and live within their host unnoticed, the parasites affecting Voyce were profoundly detrimental to his health. With natural growth inhibited from his heavy parasite load, Voyce had become thin, lacked appetite, and had scarce amounts of hair on his body.

Infant Voyce's health situation began to turn around upon his introduction to the OCCQ. Dr Prima and veterinary staff provided the expertise and care that orphan Voyce desperately needed. Voyce was put on a local diet consisting heavily of guava leaves, a natural forest ingredient which served as a powerful antiparasitic medicine as well as providing roughage, aiding in his recovery.

Voyce's bounce back to health was transformative. Today, it is impossible to discern the battle his then skinny, little infant body had fought some years earlier. Voyce has grown steadily and is now even slightly larger than many of his peers. His facial features are striking and remarkably symmetrical, with eyes slightly recessed in his narrow, oval face. In the sun Voyce's now plentiful hair catches the light and the colors are breathtaking. A spectrum of tones from dark brown to almost-purple crimson shades of red are overlaid with flickers of bright orange. Voyce also has a marking unique to himself: a dark patch on his lower back so black that it looks as though it had been painted on with a large paintbrush. When Voyce is high up in the forest canopy with his face not visible, this mark serves as a useful indicator for caregivers to track his location as he moves from tree to tree.

Voyce's energetic pace through the forest slows down for two main occasions: when he pinpoints a termite nest and when he wants to play with peers. During forest school, OFI staff help the orangutans locate termites by prodding the ground with long, sharpened sticks. Around the roots of trees, this poking may deliver a muted, hollow sound from the ground. But, at the sound of "tap tap," the stick has hit on a source of tasty termite treasure!.."

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Thanks to OFI and your support, Ernie is recovering well after being catastrophically wounded.

Please consider giving as much as you can to help us provide year-round care to the hundreds of orangutans who depend on OFI. 

OFI's Orangutan Care Center costs up to $1.2 million a year to maintain. That includes the salaries of the 140 people who work there, daily food for the orangutans, the orangutan rescue and release teams, medical equipment, construction of enclosures, daily enrichment activities, as well as local outreach teams to help educate people on how precious orangutans are to Indonesia and to the world.

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OFI is looking for enthusiastic, creative and independent individuals with excellent English language writing skills and experience behind the camera for our Communications Volunteer Program. 

If this is you, apply!

Or, help us get the word out!

JUNE 2017

by Deya Ward Niblett
"Dr Ketut has worked at the veterinary clinic of the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ) for almost a decade. Responsible for monitoring and attending to the orangutans in OFI's care, Dr Ketut also extends his dedicated service to animals of other species that are brought in or abandoned in the area surrounding the OCCQ. Dr Ketut is a key member of the OFI Release Team, assessing the physical well-being of orangutans prior to their release. The combination of his veterinary intelligence and careful precision make him a truly important member of the OFI team.
Dr Ketut grew up on the island of Java in Indonesia. He and his two sisters were each born in different cities. At a young age, his family moved from Surabaya to Klaten. He first came to Central Kalimantan in 2008 to work for OFI as a veterinary nurse. After briefly leaving in 2014 to continue his studies to become a certified veterinarian, he returned to OFI about a year later.
Dr Ketut's career path did not follow the traditional pattern of entering the family profession. Instead, his career stemmed from the sheer eagerness to learn and be educated. Identifying the high rate of acceptance in veterinary medicine, Dr Ketut found his opportunity to attend a university.

After finishing his first year of veterinary studies at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta (Java), there was a steep increase in costs that affected many students, including Dr Ketut. He and his classmates were among the last students able to attend university for Rp 500,000 (less than $50 US) per semester before this amount more than doubled. Dr Ketut and others were no longer able to afford their studies and follow their educational pursuits. At this time, Dr Ketut temporarily left university to seek work in hopes of saving the money needed to return and complete his veterinary certification. Months passed, and Dr Ketut had no luck in finding suitable employment. Then, a situation occurred which he considers to this day to be "like destiny."

During this time of uncertainty, a senior student from Gadjah Mada University was working for OFI's veterinary clinic. He returned to the university in Yogyakart to make an announcement that OFI was seeking new veterinary students to join their team. Dr Ketut applied immediately! Just a few days later, he received a call from Ibu Waliyati, OFI's Senior Administrator, expressing interest in his qualifications. It was on this day in 2008 that Dr Ketut's journey with OFI began.

Throughout the years, Dr Ketut has faced many challenges that have strengthened his knowledge through hands on experience. Working with large adult male orangutans is one of the greatest challenges of his work with OFI, especially during their releases back into the wild. Good communication is essential between the veterinarians, Dr Galdikas, and the caregivers. Even years of observation with individual orangutans cannot guarantee preparation for all circumstances..."


Multi-Coloured St Andrew's Cross Spider
Ibu Evi, coordinator of the Pondok Dua nursery facility and caregiver for many of the young orangutans at the OFI Care Center, is an exceptional photographer of some of the smaller, mesmerizing creatures she comes into contact with during daily releases of the orangutans under her care. Continuing her stunning photo series, we would like to share images from a taxonomic order that has the tendency to cause many people to shudder at the thought of them and jump at the sight. Those with arachnophobia might want to steer clear of these beautifully detailed photographs!

Though the fear of eight legged creatures persists among us, spiders have inspired scientific research, are a common symbol in art and mythology, and have come to symbolize balance, patience, and creative powers in cultures across the globe. Spider evolution began with crab-like ancestors who emerged from the sea, forming the foundation for the wide variety of spiders in the world today. Ranking seventh in total species diversity among all other orders of organisms, spiders display an impressive variety of colors and appearances.

Two-Tailed Spider
Other than the herbivorous species Bagheera kiplingi, spiders are recognised as predators, preying on other organisms such as insects, other spiders, and even birds and lizards in the case of some larger species. The techniques spiders use to seize prey are almost as diverse as their appearance. In addition to the commonly known sticky webs, spiders can mimic and chase prey and even lasso prey with 'bolas', sticky yo-yo blobs of silk. The silk created by spiders is superior to any synthetic alternative. It is lighter, stronger, and has more elasticity than any human made fabric.


Journey into the Indonesian Rainforest 
with Living Legend Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas 

This  once-in-a-lifetime adventure  to Indonesian Borneo will give you an opportunity to travel with a small group to  intimately experience orangutans in  their natural environment.

Last trips of 2017:

Oct 30th, 2017
Nov 8th, 2017

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