Orangutan Foundation (OF), one of our project partners, runs a soft-release programme for orphaned orangutans in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. We've supported the work of OF for several years now, most recently funding a forest restoration project, with 12,000 saplings being grown and planted out in a degraded area of Lamandau.  

We love to follow the progress of the orphans.  

 24 orangutans have been successfully re-wilded through the soft release programme to date.

There are five orphans currently at Lamandau and they all seem to get along but last month little Logos needed a visit to the vet. 

His injury was first noticed by camp staff when he returned to have his milk following 'playtime'. He had not made any fuss but staff noticed that one of his fingers was badly bitten.

Off to Dr Dimas Logos went! 

It's impossible to say how the injury occurred - one theory is that Logos had an interaction with Mores, a young female orangutan who graduated from the soft-release programme some time ago but occasionally comes to visit camp. Mores was seen in camp that day with Logos. Perhaps she was trying to eat his fruit and nibbled his finger in error. 

Logos has been carefully monitored and given antibiotics throughout. The wound on his left forefinger was also given an antiseptic wipe twice a day to keep it clean and free of infection. He received pain relief for 10 days while the wound dried. 

Camp staff were especially viglant to keep his enclosure clean too.

He developed a bit of a temperature and lacked an appetite for a while but the team report that he seems much better and the wound looks good. He continues to lick his finger and will hopfully be back out in the yard playing with the other orphans very soon.

Interestingly there was an article some years ago about a study by Helen Morrogh-Bernard of the Borneo Nature Foundation. Morrogh-Bernard observed orangutans picking Commelina leaves, adding saliva and getting them into a frothy lather before applying to specific parts of their bodies.  This is something indigenous people also do to treat muscular pain, sore bones and swellings. 

If little Logos had not been orphaned maybe his mother would've shown him how to self-medicate?

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Image: Orangutan Foundation


Image: OF

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