Centre For Orangutan Protection (COP) is an organization that has done a lot of good to not only the orangutans but as well as other domestic and wild animals. They have also exposed the shameless and sick perpetrators of the wildlife trade in Indonesia. Their dedication in rescuing the injured and sick animals in strenuous situations as well as bringing the wildlife traders and poachers to justice is indeed a dangerous but brave approach. In all manners, respect has definitely been earned.

When I was a little kid, going for animal shows and enjoying pictures taken with the animals was something enjoyable to me. This included a picture taken with an orangutan. Being young and naive and thinking it was really cool to have a picture taken with an orangutan as well as other wild animals. Later on I would realize that what I did back then was not a cool thing.

I had the opportunity of helping out with the enrichment programme in the enclosure of the orangutans when I was doing a short externship at Taiping Zoo in Malaysia. Not until recent, I had a close up experience with a baby orangutan at Animal Sanctuary Trust Indonesia (ASTI). As always I go up there to lend a hand with the animals and do some photography and this time I was told that there were two baby orangutans named Upin and Ipin who had just been brought in by the BKSDA and the police.

I saw Upin in the cage and I thought to myself, he is handsome! He reached out his hand and laid it on my cheek and I felt my world stopped spinning that second and I had tears streaming down my face. That second right there, something in me changed. Upin casually moved his fingers wiping away my tears. How did such a beautiful soul end up in the hands of humans far from the forest?
In 2013, I decided to join COP School Batch 3. I not only learned that Orangutans are endangered in both Sumatera and Kalimantan, but I also learned that wildlife trade in Indonesia is as real as it can get. Being an animal enthusiast and an animal lover, I felt the need to help them. Wanting to pursue my passion in wildlife veterinary, I decided to do my intern at COP Borneo to learn the rehabilitation of orangutans under Ape Defender.

What is the role of a vet in the field of Orangutan conservation? to be continued… (Charisha_Orangufriends)



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