Wild Male Orangutan Re-released After Receiving Treatment for Leg Injury

Rescue Vehicle For Kopel

In December 2017 a report came in about an injured male orangutan that had been spotted near the Kinabatangan River. There had also been a call several weeks previously about the same orangutan. On that occasion he had been seen with wire caught around his leg but unfortunately when the rescue team arrived he had moved from the area and was nowhere to be seen.

So when the next call came in on 12th December with new reports of a male in the same area who couldn’t use his leg, The Sepilok staff quickly loaded everything into the OAUK rescue vehicle and set off to find him. The rescue team included OAUK staff member Pamik, Sepilok’s Officer in Charge Sylvia, Ranger Elis and a volunteer named Matt.

Rescued Orangutan Kopel 12 2017

The orangutan, who was later to be named Kopel after the area in which he was found, had been spotted by two vets and this time the communication about his location was better. The vets stayed nearby to keep an eye on him until the rescue team arrived. After a two hour drive in the OAUK Rescue Vehicle and then a 20 minute boat ride down the river, the team arrived and assessed the situation. It was confirmed that the orangutan was unable to use one of his legs and needed medical attention.

Luckily, the orangutan was not too high up in the trees so Ranger Elis was able to successfully use a tranquiliser gun. The rest of the team then jumped out of the boat and were able to swiftly get the sedated orangutan on board. He was then carefully transferred to the OAUK rescue vehicle and taken back to the clinic at Sepilok for the expert care of Sepilok’s resident vets.

Kopel had a large abscess on his leg which had probably been caused by the wire which had previously been seen caught around it. It was decided that he would need to remain at the centre for quite a few weeks to allow the leg to heal and to enable the care team to feed him up and help his condition improve.

We are pleased to report that Kopel has now made a full recovery and has been re-released. The vets were confident that he was ready so he was transferred back onto the OAUK rescue vehicle and members of our staff accompanied him on the journey. They covered his travel cage with leaves to give him shelter from the sun and sprinkled water over him to keep him cool. Then he was released back into the forest where he belongs and the team watched as he made off into the trees once again.

Kopel Transported

Kopel Release