The Joys of Summer

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"Fifth OC/OVAG Veterinary


Caps Summer Schedule"

Undoubtedly the highlight of OC’s summer was hosting our fifth annual OC/OVAG Veterinary Workshop in Bogor Indonesia. 

The multi-day event brought together the largest number of orangutan healthcare workers yet for a wide variety of lectures, research and information sharing.  Now, these vets can take what they’ve learned at the workshop back into the field to take even better care of an ever-increasing number of orangutans in rehabilitation centers.

Because of your generous donations and financial help from The Ft. Wayne Children's Zoo, The International Primatological Society and the SeaWorld Conservation Fund, we were once again very fortunate to stage this important in situ gathering.

You can read all about the workshop on our website but here are some highlights.

On Day One discussions were held about orangutan reintroductions.  Perspectives were shared from both veterinarians and from those who work in rehabilitation centers.  Some serious questions were asked:  Are releases a long-term viable option?  Is it conservation?  Can disease outbreaks be prevented post release?  How long should release orangutans be observed? 

Day Two was filled with case studies brought in from the various vets in attendance.  Two that were particularly interesting were about recent innovative surgeries done on orangutans in Sumatra.  Also discussed was locating a permanent home for future OC/OVAG Workshops.

Day Three and Day Four:  The delegates were the guests of IPB (Bogor Agricultural Institute).  Lectures on parasites and orangutan nutrition were presented by the Department of Veterinary Studies staff.  The afternoon of day four was dedicated to learning about echo cardiology.  Our lecturer on nutrition, Dr. Agus, is also an officer of IVMA (Indonesian Veterinary Medicine Association), and he discussed developing a special designation for orangutan vets that attend our workshops. The extra training at OC/OVAG would entitle them to an Orangutan Specialist designation on their vet degrees. These were just early talks but very exciting.

And Day Five was about getting the perfect group photo and celebrating the deep friendships that form at this yearly event.

The delegates at the 2013 OC/OVAG Workshop

The delegates at the 2013 OC/OVAG Workshop

Standing in for the part of an orangutan during the echo cardiology session

Where would we be without our laptops?  The attendees study notes from a lecture.

A delegate shows of her new t-shirt from the workshop.  And speaking of t-shirts, we have one for the first person who writes in to us on Facebook to say that they saw this.

Please help us this month by visiting our Facebook and Twitter pages and also by stopping by our news-source website.  And tell your friends about OC too. Increasing the awareness is the first step in helping to solve the problems that face Asia's sole great ape. 

The Orangutan Conservancy would like you to have a copy of our new brochure.  If you'd like one just click on the image above and we'll send it right out to you. 

OC Heats Up

With Activity

Well, summer brings with it several things - exciting and harrowing - to report in this E-Bulletin.

The initial item on our agenda is to ask you all to "Save the Date." 

That's because the Orangutan Conservancy is planning our first fundraiser in many years, and we want you to join us for this special day.  The festivities will be held on June 7, 2014 and we can promise you a fantastic Indonesian-themed afternoon of great food, delicious drink and inspiring presenters. 

Our 2014 fundraiser will be held right here in Los Angeles at a spectacular estate that has just been generously offered to us for the event.  We look forward to seeing many of you there.  More info will follow and we'll soon set up a page on our website dedicated to the big day, so stay tuned, and did I mention to...Save that Date!

See those two orangutans in the photo on the upper left? 

They're two of our favorites. 

That's mom Putri and son Pur high in the canopy of the Kutai National Forest.  Wild and free, these and several others are part of our virtual adoption program that benefits the Orangutan Kutai Project.  The research team at OKP study the ranging patterns of wild orangutans, and Pur and Putri are two that they've followed for years.  This being summer, we've just updated all new photos and sighting reports.  So, if you'd like to virtually adopt any of the wild orangutans please visit our how to help page and you'll be helping OKP to continue their work for the future.


Wiwik and one of her forest friends

Something that started out very scary has a happy ending this summer. 

Dr. Raffaella Commitante who is the busy mind behind the OC/OVAG Workshop had just arrived in Indonesia for the event when she learned that her good friend Wiwik – Coordinator of Animal Care for BOS Samboja – was very ill.  Wiwik was in a lot of pain and had been for months.  She’d already had many tests and even surgery to remove a cyst but she was still doubled-over in pain with no clear diagnosis. 

Raff and her friend Citra jumped into high gear and practically kidnapped Wiwik and flew her to a top hospital in Jakarta. They went immediately from the airport to the emergency room where Wiwik was given intravenous pain meds. She was finally properly diagnosed as having a severe case of endometriosis.  Surgery was needed. 

Raff tells the rest of this tense tale in her own words.

“We immediately set to work and found that one of the best gynecologists in Balikpapan was Dr. Rudi.  He conducted his own ultrasound and agreed with the findings in Jakarta.  Wiwik was scheduled for surgery.  I was just finishing off the 2013 vet workshop and flew back to Balikpapan arriving late that same night and went directly to the hospital.  She was still in pain from the fresh surgery and on morphine.  But the next day, she was feeling much better and I spent the next three days in the hospital with her.  Each day she improved and one night she told me that it was the first night she had spent pain free in over a year!  Wiwik was soon sent home to recuperate (she needs a month's rest before she can return to work). She has already posted on her Facebook page that she is home and smiling!”

Speaking of smiles, here's Raff with a big one of her own at this summer's
2013 OC/OVAG Workshop

 Now that summer


Copyright © 2013 Orangutan Conservancy, All rights reserved.
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