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Feature Story
OFI Renews Patrol Efforts in Tanjung Puting National Park


Sun Bear Cubs Forest Excursion

Protect & Patrol

EcoTour Date Added

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O R A N G U T A N  O F  
T H E   M O N T H


"Mara's goofy habits mean that she spends a lot of time contentedly exploring on her own, much like an adult orangutan would. She does not often seek out interaction, but she is not timid. She accepts the playful advances of other infants and is not afraid to engage in wrestling matches with those older and bigger than her. In particular, Mara's outgoing side shines through in her compassion. She closely examines and grooms the small wounds on her fellow infants' bodies and faces.  She has even been seen giving them kisses on the forehead. She is particularly close to little Panahan, another female infant who is around the same age and arrived around the same time. Mara is a leader who spreads a sense of calmness and peace throughout the group...."

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"Tanjung Puting National Park is home to the largest wild population of orangutans in the world but there are very few humans living inside the national Park - which is why our staff were so puzzled by the litter they found there. But it wasn't until we found small temporary huts on the edges of the Camp Leakey study area that we knew for sure: there were poachers inside our sanctuary...."

Tanjung Puting National Park, which is now being threatened by poachers who are driving whole species to the edge of extinction. 
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Deadline for Holiday Delivery

The digital/eKit deadline for the OFI Foster Program & Orangutan Legacy Forest
is Wednesday, December 21st at 9 AM PST.

Orangutan Foster Program
Digital Foster Parents will receive a personalized adoption certificate, the biography and recent photo of the foster orangutan, an information sheet about orangutans, and other promotional materials. Foster Parents will also receive updates every six months with a progress report on how their orangutan is doing as well as a new photo.

Orangutan Legacy Forest
Honor a friend, colleague, or family member with the gift of an Orangutan Legacy Forest Certificate. This limited edition e-certificate is only available during the 2016 holiday season. Help protect orangutans by defending the future of the forest!

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F E A T U R E  S T O R Y

by Emily Patton

"Tanjung Puting National Park in Central Kalimantan is comprised of over one million acres of mangroves, black water rivers, tropical heath forest, and peat swamp forest that form precious habitat to the largest population of wild orangutans in the world and an immense diversity of other flora and fauna. But this international treasure is surrounded by palm oil plantations and expanding human communities, increasing the danger of agricultural encroachment, forest fires and poaching. For decades, Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) has worked hand-in-hand with national park authorities to protect and patrol Tanjung Puting. To date, OFI has built and staffed eighteen guard posts in strategic locations. Maintaining all of these posts and teams of patrollers is costly and OFI has occasionally decommissioned an established guard post once the area was considered secure in order to respond to a current threat elsewhere, but recently it has become clear that one of OFI's inactive posts is in urgent need of being revived. The process of restoring the post and renewing patrols has so far shed light on the sort of special collaboration of diverse individuals that fuels OFI's successes.
Post 17 is located at the very edge of the Camp Leakey study area, about a two hour walk from the main camp. It was established in 2002 in response to heavy illegal logging that was taking place in the national park at the time. Several years later, once it appeared the illegal logging problem had died down, OFI discontinued patrols based out of Post 17 to focus resources elsewhere. 

Research assistants at Camp Leakey seek out and follow orangutans every day, occasionally ranging as far as the old Post 17 site, where they discovered increasing signs of intrusion; the trails are well-worn (despite the fact that Camp Leakey staff only very occasionally use them), bits of trash have been left along the trails, machete marks have been made on trees, and at Post 17 itself the old walls are covered in graffiti, the floors burnt through, and ramen packets litter the ground.

Whoever is illegally entering this section of the national park may be taking part in a variety of extractive activities, but we can confidently say (based on discovered traps) that one of those activities is the capturing of live birds to sell into the pet trade.

Almost any tourist in Indonesia could tell you about the exotic birds that can be seen and heard from cages hanging outside homes. In some areas they are thought to bring the families that own them good luck. Some birds are bought for their magnificent plumage, others for their beautiful songs. But the markets that sell the birds are supplied by poachers who have extracted the birds from the wild to be sold into a domestic life where they cannot engage in most of the behaviors they are biologically wired for, like complex social interaction, flying, foraging, and raising young. And beyond the harm done to the individual birds, the decline in wild populations has reverberating impacts on rainforest ecosystems. Birds play a crucial role in seed dispersal and pollination, key endeavors to keeping rainforests growing and functioning. When bird populations suffer, so do orangutans and the other species that coexist with them. Besides, it is likely that the poachers extracting live birds are also taking (dead or alive) other species they encounter along the way...."

P H O T O  S T O R Y

by Caroline Dellett

The tropical forest habitat that OFI operates within is home to a diverse array of species in addition to the Bornean Orangutan. Like orangutans, sun bears are struggling to find safe and suitable habitation due to large-scale deforestation and poaching. As a result, OFI is stepping up to care for an increasing number of at-risk bears. To prepare for their release into the wild, the sun bears spend enrichment time in forested enclosures where they can practice climbing, foraging and social skills.
New arrival Lensa has adapted quickly to her new home and continues to flourish. She has already shown a natural aptitude for tree climbing, characteristic of sun bears who, like orangutans, forage for food in trees. Lensa's long, curved claws help her to climb and tear at trees, and her hairless paws stabilize her grip on wet tree branches.

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Memo is the oldest and most dominant of the sun bear cubs. Here, she reminds plucky young John who's in charge with a warning growl.

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John keeps his distance after Memo's rebuke, but quickly hops up to take her spot in the tree after she leaves. He eagerly licks up any termites she might have missed, extending his nearly 10-inch-long tongue to extract the insects.

S P E C I A L  O F F E R


Journey into the Rainforest with  Renowned Primatologist & Conservationist  Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas.

Visit Camp Leakey, Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas' original research site inside Tanjung Puting National Park, with Dr. Galdikas herself!

Due to high demand, an additional departure date has just been added!

May 1, 2017  - just added
May 7, 2017 - 2 spaces left!
May 16, 2017 - 2 spaces left!

Price is USD $5250 per person based on double occupancy
or $875 single supplement for solo travelers.

For more info or to apply, visit:  www.orangutan.travel