Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation Funds River Island Sanctuary

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Funding to acquire a pristine river island to house up to 25 orphaned orangutans is being provided by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation UK.The approximately 30-hectare site has been extensively surveyed by experts and deemed highly suitable for the release of 25 rescued orangutans from the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Project in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.

Funding to acquire a pristine river island to house up to 25 orphaned orangutans is being provided by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation UK (formerly known as the Balikpapan Orangutan Survival Foundation UK). The approximately 30-hectare site has been extensively surveyed by experts and deemed highly suitable for the release of 25 rescued orangutans from the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Project in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.

The island, known locally as Pulau Bangamat, meaning Bat Island, has traditionally been held by the local Dayak population, but is not inhabited by humans. By working closely with the local community and authorities, BOS has acquired permission to use this land without interference. The community is compensated for use of the island with funding and employment opportunities. Through the use of security posts, daily monitoring and the help of the locals, the orangutans and their new rainforest home will be protected from hunters, logging and other threatening human encroachment.

The 25 orangutans will be chosen from the over 200 rescued orangutans currently living at the Nyaru Menteng Project. They will include juvenile orangutans currently living in socialisation cages who need to develop their forest skills before being released into a larger rainforest area in the future. They will be provided with daily feedings to support their diet, and monitored by staff in case of any need for intervention. It is hoped that sometime in the future, Pulau Bangamat can become a permanent home to those orangutans who would be unable to survive in a larger wild area without support, such as blind or permanently disabled orangutans.

BOS UK has pledged £5000 for the acquisition and development of the river island sanctuary, and so far has raised just over £1500 for the project. The £5000 should cover compensation for the locals, surveying work, the building of security posts and feeding platforms, and the obligatory acara, a 5-day ritual ceremony, which involves the Dayaks asking the spirits to make the island a safe home for its new inhabitants.

The orangutans will be transferred to the new island early in 2004, if all goes to plan.

The BOS Foundation manages over a half million hectares of rainforest land in Indonesian Borneo. Islands and other protected reserves may be the last hope for the endangered orangutan, as experts agree that they will become virtually extinct in the wild within a decade without serious intervention.

People wishing to support the Pulau Bangamat Project can send a donation of any amount to:

Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation UK

68 Aston Abbotts Road

Weedon, Aylesbury

BUCKS HP22 4NH

Or by standing order/direct debit to:

HSBC

2 Walton Road

Aylesbury BUCKS HP21 7SS

Sort Code 40-08-39

Account number 91730894

Please specify if you would like the entire donation to go to the River Island Project.

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