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"On a warm morning in Central Indonesian Borneo, the caregivers of Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) prepare to escort the orangutans from Pondok Satu into the Learning Forest at the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ). Pondok (which means "shelter") Satu is currently managed by an all-female team who care for both female and male orangutans, including our Orangutan of the Month, Ariel.

Caregiver Ibu Ena reaches out her hand to Ariel as he steps out of his sleeping enclosure. As she ushers Ariel outside into forest school, his beautiful features catch the sunlight. His eyes and symmetrical face are accented with a little orange beard on his chin.

Ariel arrived at the Care Center when he was just 2 years old. He saw his mother killed in a palm oil plantation and then was kept illegally as a pet. Alone and afraid, little Ariel had a long road back to recovery. Unfortunately, Ariel's story is not uncommon. In human-orangutan encounters, protective orangutan mothers are frequently killed. The infants who are clinging tightly to their mother's bodies, are forcibly ripped off. This traumatizing moment is only the beginning of the horrific experience for infants who frequently end up being sold into the illegal pet trade. ..."

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November 5th-11th, 2017

OFI instituted Orangutan Awareness Week in 1996 to honor the establishment of Camp Leakey during the first week of November 1971. We hope you will help us continue this tradition by spreading awareness about the threats facing orangutans and their rainforest habitat.

You can show you care by adding a special Orangutan Awareness Week frame to your profile photo!

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Embrace the spirit of giving while supporting orangutan conservation

The holidays are right around the corner! Stay tuned for the launch of our Holiday Shopping catalogue!

We need you! 

OFI is a 501(c)3 charity that relies on our supporters to continue important work protecting wild orangutan populations, rainforests, and wildlife in Indonesia.

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Our sincerest thanks for being a reader of OFI's Eyes on the Forest newsletter.

Enjoy these stories? Know someone else who would, too? 
Share this newsletter with your friends and family!

Y ou can find out more about OFI & our work at our website: 

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by Britt ten Have

"Since Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas began research in 1971, through the establishment of Orangutan Foundation International in 1986, and to the present day, OFI has collected various data on wild orangutans, other native species, botany and logistics. This wild orangutan research program is singular in duration and continuity. The information, therefore, is incredibly valuable and requires proper preservation. In December of 2016, a new Records Library was established for this purpose.

Data Collection on Wild Orangutans
Dr. Galdikas started her research in the field on wild orangutans in 1971 in what is now Tanjung Puting National Park. Continuing this research for over 45 years, she has now conducted one of the longest continuous studies in the world by one principal investigator of any wild mammal population. The behavioral and medical data collected by Dr. Galdikas and her OFI associates is extremely valuable for orangutan conservation.

Data Collection on Orangutans at the Care Center
In addition to collecting data on orangutans in the wild, OFI keeps track of all infant and orphan orangutans that enter the Orangutan Care Center & Quarantine (OOCQ) in the village of Pasir Panjang, near Tanjung Puting National Park. Since the establishment of OFI, every orangutan's data are documented in individual books. This information includes:

  1. The orangutan's history (for as far as it is known) The stories for most orangutans who arrive at the Care Center begin with tragedy: They are frequently confiscated and brought to the OCCQ by the police or forestry department. Many young orangutans have been kept as pets. Older, adult orangutans have been found on or close to palm oil plantations. 

  2. Medical Condition All orangutans are carefully examined by OFI veterinary staff. Details on their health are recorded meticulously, from appetite, to weight, strength, skin-condition and dental development. 

  3. Behaviour / Rehabilitation Every orangutan develops differently and OFI caregivers keep close watch on the progress of each individual as he or she is rehabilitated toward release into the wild.

  4. After Care When an orangutan is released into the wild again, he or she is followed 24/7 by OFI for the first few weeks. Their progress is closely monitored, including their behaviour, eating patterns, sleeping locations, and social interactions.
Data Collection on Other Wildlife
Many other species find their way to OFI's Care Center. OFI has cared for sun bears, gibbons, macaques, a cassowary, local birds, crocodiles, and other wildlife. Some animals are released back into the wild, and others are relocated to centers specializing in their care. Collecting and studying the data on these various species and their progress is a valuable tool in their care..."  Continue reading.

by Céline Vincart

"Every summer, teams of volunteers are organized to assist Orangutan Foundation International with critical construction projects which help us continue our work to save orangutans in the forests of Borneo. Every project has an impact on the well-being and lives of both orangutans and staff members. So the only question is, where to begin?

Team 1: "Cabe Rawit" With the arrival of the first Volunteer Construction Team to Borneo, we selected a small project due to the small size of the team. We began with repairs and maintenance to the "fruit house" at Camp Leakey, a modest but important undertaking as well as re-building the "garbage shed."

Camp Leakey is the historic research camp which Dr. Galdikas, with her then husband, Rod Brindamour, established in 1971. Today it consists of a number of wooden buildings housing approximately 25 local OFI staff members, some of whom patrol the forest and provision the feeding platform while others continue the wild orangutan research under Dr. Galdikas' supervision. In addition, Camp Leakey is now open to tourists for three hours each day when fruits are offered to free-ranging orangutans on the feeding platform. The fruits for feeding time are delivered to the camp once a week by boat from the neighboring town of Kumai, and then stored in the fruit house. When the boat returns to Kumai, it takes with it the garbage from the different OFI camps along the Sekonyer River to then process in town. In the meanwhile, the garbage sits in a shed that needs to be orangutan-proofed, macaque-proofed, and pig-proofed as all of these animals are interested in the smelly and colorful pieces of garbage!

We took apart the garbage shed and rebuilt it, slightly larger than before, on the same spot. It was a challenge but, with the help of our two local carpenters, Pak Labung and Pak Ucuk, we were able to do it. They worked morning, noon, and until the late afternoon so we followed their example and did as well, trying to keep up with them.

The fruit house construction was seemingly also a great challenge for this one-person "team" of Jennifer, who would be working in a remote place without the diversity of skills of a full team. But she rose to the challenge with patience and enthusiasm. Nobody thought such a small team could get so much accomplished in three weeks. Of course, the two local carpenters were instrumental in facilitating this much-needed construction..."

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