Where is Sintang and Tembak?
The city of Sintang is located in West Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo, 326 km east of city of Pontianak. Tembak is a village located 30 km from Sintang.
Who provides expertise in the management of the Sintang Orangutan Center?
Dr Willie Smits, who was born in the Netherlands, is a forester, conservationist, animal rights activist. He has lived in Borneo since 1985 and is an Indonesian citizen. While working as a forest researcher in East Kalimantan, Indonesia in 1989, he encountered a baby Orangutan in a cage in a market, and later returned to find it abandoned on a rubbish heap. This was a turning-point in his career: taking the Orangutan home, he nurtured it back to health. He was soon given other Orangutans to look after, and the work of rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing Orangutans into the wild developed into what was to become the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation.
The Sintang Orangutan Center is managed by the KOBUS Foundation with the active support of Dr Willie Smits and the staff of the Indonesian Gibbon Foundation of which he is a founder. They provide technical expertise to the KOBUS Foundation on managing the Orangutan rehabilitation program.
The Indonesian Gibbon Foundation provides ongoing support to the Sintang Orangutan Center.
They provide technical support and expertise in establishing the standard of Orangutans care (quarantine process, daily, forest school and releasing protocol) and training of staff.
They assist in financial management establishing the monthly and yearly budget reporting to meet standards required for auditing.
They assist in reporting to the donors.
They also maintain the relationship with the Forestry Ministry with regular meetings communicating all matters related to the Sintang Orangutan Rehabilitation Program and write a monthly report.
They visit the center at least every month to monitor the progress (normally spending one week in the center, sometimes more).
What is the history of the Sintang Orangutan Center?
In 2006 Dr Willie Smits was invited to the village of Sintang by the KOBUS Foundation, which is an organisation established in West Borneo to preserve the culture of the Dayak people in the Sintang Regency in West Kalimantan. Initially this was to address concerns around the hunting of wildlife, however Willie also found a number of Orangutans were being kept as pets by people in their homes. This situation required a resolution and over time, with the commitment and input of several non-government organisations and many dedicated individuals, it lead to the establishment of the Sintang Orangutan Center.
What is the legal status of the Sintang Orangutan Center?
The KOBUS Foundation has the legal authority to operate the Sintang Orangutan Center. It has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry.
What causes Orangutans to be orphaned and need care?
Orphaned Orangutans at the Sintang Orangutan Center have been rescued from forestry activities, oil palm plantations or from being kept illegally as pets. Timber harvesting and the rapid expansion of agriculture is driving massive deforestation in Borneo. The destruction of rainforest habitat can result in adult Orangutans being killed. Adults are also sometimes deemed to be pests to agriculture and are brutally killed. Sometimes adults are killed so the babies can be captured and kept or sold as pets. Baby Orangutans are dependent on their mothers until they are about eight years old so orphans need to be taken into care if they are to survive.
Will the orphaned Orangutans at Sintang Orangutan Centre eventually be released to the wild and where will that be?
Releasing Orangutans into the wild is the aim of the Sintang Orangutan Center. This requires careful assessment of the appropriateness and readiness of individual Orangutans. While most orphaned Orangutans will be rehabilitated, it may occur that some, due to poor health or age will remain at the center.
The rehabilitated Orangutans will be released into the Tembak Village Forest. This is a natural rainforest of 40 hectares owned by the Dayak people of the village of Tembak. They have made a commitment to preserve their forest and to provide it as a release site for rehabilitated Orangutans from the Sintang Orangutan Centre. It adjoins a much larger are of intact primary forest.
Please adopt one of the orphaned Orangutans today.
What is the Tembak Forest School?
Tembak Forest School is where the Orangutans are reintroduced to their natural forest habitat and where they learn and practice the skills needed to survive at the wild. Here they learn to find natural sources of food. There are many species of trees that provide fruit and leaves and also protein sources, such as ant nests, honey, etc.
How long will each orphaned Orangutan need to be cared for before they can be returned to the wild?
It will depend on the situation of each individual Orangutan. Some animals can be released relatively quickly, following a thorough assessment, health checks and a quarantine period. For Orangutans who have been in captivity for many years it will take longer for them to gain the skill and get used to living in the wild. For babies, we have to take care of them until they ready to survive in the wild.
When I adopt an Orangutan how is the money spent?
All of the orphaned Orangutans are provided with ongoing care to have their needs met. They need appropriate enclosures, food and medical care and they need rehabilitation programs at the Tembak Forest School. The Sintang Orangutan Center employs a General Manager, two veterinarians and six Orangutan keepers. Funds donated through adoption of the Orangutans are used to cover these expenses.
Your support will help us provide qualified and experienced carers to give orphaned Orangutans at the Sintang Orangutan Centre the support and care they need so they can eventually return to my forest home.
Please adopt one of the orphaned Orangutans today.