I learned about a lot of knowledge of orangutans and COP’s work, even some details that I cannot get from Internet. With deeper comprehensions, numerous thoughts are triggered.

“If we do not do this, then who will?” Reza briskly said. His words were like slight wind, soon ended, but echoed in my brain for a long time. During the seven days we spent with COP members, I saw their love and devotion to orangutans. They are fighters who bravely fight with people who are hurting orangutans, they are families who carefully pay attention to lonely baby orangutans, they are helpers who selflessly help orangutans recover from disasters they experienced. They refuse to accept funds from palm oil companies even though sometimes they face financial problems, one time they had no money for salary. But even in this situation, COP members still took care of every rescued orangutan. These kind characteristics are that I have never seen before from any NGO.

Reza showed us many pictures of orangutans, some of them been well looked after by COP and some of them been badly hurt by workers of palm oil companies. I remember the photo of head of a dead male orangutan most impressively. His eyes closed tightly and his face became less reddish. No-name killer put his head on soil. No forest and vegetation surrounded him. There was only a layer of dirt on his big, alpha face. I could not stop myself from thinking of his majestic appearance when he was alive. I could not stop imaging the moment of his death. Before his eyes are closed forever, did they reflect hate towards humans, sadness for ending of life, or pray for maybe escape? He would have no chance to tell. And we are never going to know about it.

I cannot help myself think about the relationship between human and nature, justice and profits. As we know, COP is the one of the only NGOs which have no economical connections with palm oil companies, even though they will be offered a huge amount of money. “All of us, we do this job because we love orangutans. Money is not really that important to us. One thing we valued is orangutans’ safety and happiness.” That is what Reza told us. And that is what part of COP is unique and heart-warming. Unfortunately, only by hard-working NGO members’ efforts to save orangutans is not enough. Those palm oil companies only have their profits in mind and neglect wildlife, especially orangutans. They are selfish and cold. But one day, when last forest is destroyed by palm oil company, how many orangutans have died? What appearance our earth will be? And how much money they are able to make in the future? Answers are definitely negative. (Zi Chen, Jiawei Yang_Orangufriends)


“It is our Indonesian’s orangutans, why are we always seeing white people doing protection?,” says Reza, leader of APE Defender of COP, with his eyes glittering, ‘Why do we Indonesians, we yellow race, rarely take part in protecting Orangutans, Sapiens of our forests?’ His words indeed impressed me and made me ponder whether there are roles for us Chinese people as well that we should take.

Decades ago, Kalimantan Island had a forest coverage rate of eighty percent. However, in the middle of the 1980s, forest area in Kalimantan extensively decreased twenty-five percent and it kept the annual decreasing area of 1.3 billion hectares. This means orangutans’ living habitat was disappearing at the same speed and most of the destroyed area had been used for planting palm trees. Because of covering of palm oil plantation, orangutans lose their major resource of food. Sometimes they are so hungry that they come into palm tree forests and eat small palm trees, their only food coming. As a result, palm oil companies called orangutans as ‘pests’ and found excuses to brutally kill them.

Till 2016, the number of orangutans has decreased around sixty percent. Under this situation, Hardi, once worked as an assistant to Lone Droscher Nielsen at the Nyarumenteng Orangutan Reintroduction Centre/ BOSF (Borneo Orangutan Survive Foundation), set up COP (Center of Orangutan Protection) to fight directly with palm oil plantation companies and save orangutans. Despise the risk of being arrested, COP members enter palm oil plantation to collect evidences of orangutans being killed. In this way, those palm oil companies will have no chance to sell their palm oil because they cannot get permits from RSPO (Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil). Also, COP members visit schools, organize exhibitions, and hold concerts to attract more people to pay attention to orangutans. Their advocates are an essential part of orangutan protection.

As a member of the first Chinese volunteer groups to visit COP Borneo in August 2017, we stayed there for a week. We studied orangutans’ situation, made activity space for baby orangutans, prepared food for orangutans in island, and observed orangutans’ daily. (Zi Chen, Jiawei Yang_Orangufriends)


Siang ini, para animal keeper disibukkan oleh bayi-bayi orangutan di klinik COP Borneo. Posyandu… Posyandu… begitu kalau di desa. Pastikan membawa buku KIA (Kesehatan Ibu dan Anak). Bayi akan diperiksa kesehatannya. Bagaimana tumbuh kembangnya. Berat badannya bertambah atau tidak, tingginya tetap atau tidak. Pola makan anak juga akan dievaluasi. Ya… hari ini adalah jawal pengecekkan tumbuh kembang bayi orangutan penghuni pusat rehabilitasi orangutan COP Borneo. Kurang lebih, hampir sama dengan aktivitas di Posyandu (Pos Pelayanan Terpadu) seperti yang kita kenal.

Pendataan fisik terjadwal ini dengan keempat bayi orangutan. Popi, Happi, Owi dan Bonti siap untuk dievaluasi. Pengukuran data fisik orangutan biasanya dilakukan ketika orangutan pertama kali masuk ataupun keluar dari pusat rehabilitasi dan juga saat translokasi ataupun kebutuhan yang lain, demikian penjelasan drh. Ryan Winardi pada animal keeper.

Ini adalah pengalaman pertama Herlina dan juga Steven mengikuti pengukuran data fisik orangutan. Mereka berdua adalah animal keeper yang baru di COP Borneo. “Sangat menyenangkan, tapi… agak takut saat harus membuka mulut orangutan Happi untuk menghitung jumlah giginya.”, ujar Herlina, animal keeper yang baru bergabung sejak Juli 2017 yang lalu.

Gimana ngak takut, giginya lebih besar dari bayi manusia. Apala lagi mereka sering mendengar cerita animal keeper terdahulu yang selalu jadi sasaran gigitan bayi-bayi orangutan. “Gigitan bayi manusia aja sakit… apalagi bayi orangutan!”, ujar drh. Ryan sambil tersenyum.

Tidak seperti biasanya, bayi-bayi orangutan kali ini memberontak dan agak liar. Bahkan Popi yang biasanya diam saat di sekolah hutan, saat pendataan membutuhkan 3 orang perawat untuk menahannya. “Hari ini, kita butuh energi ekstra rupanya.”, ujar drh. Ryan. (WET)

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