REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, SAMPIT -- Some orang utans (Pongo pygmaeus) fled their habitat and trespassed on residential areas in East Kotawaringin District, Central Kalimantan Province, owing to wildfires raging here for the past few weeks.
"We had received reports of two orang utans at two different locations. Our team had gone on site to check on the mammals, but no orangutans were spotted at both locations," Sampit Pos Commander of the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Office (BKSDA) Muriansyah stated at Sampit Town on Wednesday.
Muriansyah confirmed that his office had received two reports from the villagers on Sept 12 and Sept 16. Two wild orangutans – one being an adult male while the other a teen -- were spotted roaming in the bushes and palm oil plantations near residential areas.
The rangers were able to identify the gender and age of the orang utans by observing five nests left by the mammals at two different locations in Baamang Sub-district and Kandang Village. "Nearby at two locations, we also discovered some large footprints of animals. We assumed it was that of a sun bear (Helarctos malayanus)," Muriansyah revealed.
He further called on villagers in Central Kalimantan Province to promptly notify the Conservation Office when they spot wild animals around the plantation areas and people's houses. "We will ensure that these protected animals are evacuated properly, so as to cause them no suffering," he stated.
Wildfires had raged in Central Kalimantan and some nearby provinces, including East Kalimantan and West Kalimantan, during the past weeks owing to the slash-and-burn practice and the protracted dry season.