Misouri released


Misouri arrived at Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre in 1997 aged approx 14 or 15 years old. He was a wild born male who had wondered onto a local plantation and was at risk of being shot for crop raiding. In /Sabah the law allows land owners and farmers to protect their property, even if that means shooting an endangered species of animal to do so.

After health check Misouri was rehomed in Sepilok’s own reserve where he lived happily until early 2001 when he was found with a broken hand. He had lost a lot of weight as he had obviously been having difficulty moving about and foraging for his food.

The Rangers took him into the quarantine ward where he stayed for three months whilst his broken bones healed and he gained enough weight to be set free in the reserve again.

The Rangers constantly keep a check on the orangutans living free in the reserve and can identify which ones they see by the tattoo markings on their thighs. In April 2003 Misouri was seen to be injured once more. He had been fighting with another male over territory and had sustained a very nasty injury to his thumb and his upper lip was gashed open. Again he was brought into quarantine for treatment. This time the top of his thumb needed to be amputated and his lip stitched.

Misouri was indeed a “feisty” male who regularly showed his displeasure to the rangers for keeping him in confinement. Eventually, after several months his wounds healed and it was time to think about his future. It was not going to be so easy to return him to the wild this time as he had been on the loosing end of the battle and would undoubtedly be attacked if he were return to the Sepilok Reserve.

To give Misouri the best chance for a trouble free future he needed space! He had to be taken to an area large enough to cope with several males, with plenty of food and was also protected. Tobin was the perfect place! Twice the size of Singapore with a core area of Virgin Rainforest.

Plans started to be made to take him by road but quickly dropped as this option would only set him on the edge of the reserve where he was likely to risk further human contact.

The Appeal had done helicopter releases on three previous occasions, firstly with King Ghaz, then the two females Clemantine and Gumpia and most recently the wild born male Tom King. The decision was made, he would go by helicopter, but we had to wait for the fruiting season to ensure sufficient food was available whilst he explored his new home.

Sue Sheward and her team flew out to Sabah at the beginning of April and successfully helicoptered Misouri to Tabin. Chris Rogers, our Patron and ITN News reader, came along to cover the release for Channel 5 News and to include it in the new video - on sale now.

All our supporters should feel very proud as YOU MADE THIS POSSIBLE!