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Unfortunately, not all unreleasable orangutans are as fortunate as Kopral, who can return to the island and live a semi-free life after treatment. Other orangutans, like Pongi, are forced to spend most of their lives in a cage.

Pongi is an adult male orangutan who was handed over by a resident of Bengalon, East Kutai Regency. According to the technicians who care for him, he is compliant yet impatient. If he does not receive attention right away, he will try to attract it by causing chaos in his enclosure.

Pongi lives in an individual enclosure where he is treated intensively for orangutan respiratory disease syndrome (ORDS). This has resulted in an air sac infection (airsacculitis) whose symptoms first manifested in April of 2013. For all these years, he has received twice-daily nebulization treatment. Additionally, he will be required to take anti-inflammatory medication for the rest of his life. Fortunately, Pongi’s condition has not worsened. He tolerates the nebulization procedure nicely as well.

Pongi usually sulks during the nebulization process if he isn’t offered leaves beforehand. As a result, before beginning the nebulization treatment, our veterinary team will pass him some leaves. Apart from snacking on said leaves, Pongi enjoys wrapping them over his neck or wearing them on his head. He is also highly proficient at making nests out of the supplied leaves.

Pongi’s enclosure recently sustained damage, forcing him to be transported to a new enclosure in a different block. He seems satisfied with his new nest, as evidenced by his eagerness to ascend and relax in the offered hammock within the enclosure. Because of his limited space within the enclosure, Pongi cannot move too far, however, don’t underestimate his ferocious demeanour when he’s upset. When our personnel were clearing the leftover leaves from his enclosure one day, even with the limited space, he displayed how enraged he was and defended his leaves fiercely.

Don’t worry, Pongi. Nobody wants to take your toys away!

Text by: Communications Team at Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan

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