Indonesia pet orangutans released back into the wild

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Sumatran orangutan Reipok Rere swings on a tree after her release at the Pinus Jantho Forest Reserve. (AFP)
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Sumatran orangutan Elaine in her cage before being returned to the wild at Pinus Jantho Forest Reserve. (AFP)
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A ranger feeds Sumatran orangutan named Elaine at the forest reserve in Jantho. (AFP)
Updated 19 June 2019
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Indonesia pet orangutans released back into the wild

  • Primates were returned to the wild at Pinus Jantho Forest Reserve
  • A string of fatal attacks on the great apes in recent has been blamed on farmers and hunters

JAKARTA: The young orangutan looks back at her rescuers before clambering over her steel cage and into the trees, swinging from hand to hand and hanging upside down.
Five-year-old primate Elaine, covered in fuzzy cinnamon-colored hair, was one of two critically endangered Sumatran Orangutans released back into the wild Tuesday.
Both female apes were rescued after being kept as pets by villagers in Aceh province on Sumatra island.
Elaine and four-year-old Reipok Rere spent nearly two years learning to fend for themselves at a rehabilitation center and “forest school” before being returned to the wild at Pinus Jantho Forest Reserve.
The healthy pair have joined nearly 120 other orangutans freed from captivity at the conservation site, said the Aceh natural resources conservation agency.

The rescue is a rare spot of bright news for the critically endangered species, which has seen its habitat shrink drastically over the past few decades largely due to the destruction of forests for logging, paper, palm oil and mining.
A string of fatal attacks on the great apes in recent has been blamed on farmers and hunters.
Plantation workers and villagers are sometimes known to attack the animal because they see it as a pest, while poachers also capture them to sell as pets.


Philippines’ Duterte pestered again as gecko stalls speech

Updated 20 September 2019

Philippines’ Duterte pestered again as gecko stalls speech

  • In a previous speech lambasting the Catholic clergy, a fly kept buzzing around him and landed on his forehead
  • While attacking the political opposiion during an election campaign, a big cockroach crawled up his shoulder and down his shirt

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte just keeps getting bugged during his public speeches.
A noisy gecko was the latest wildlife contributor to an address by Duterte, interrupting the leader on Thursday evening just as he launched another tirade at human rights groups critical of his bloody war on drugs.
The reptile’s persistence caused laugher in the crowd of mostly soldiers, causing Duterte stop mid-sentence, turn to his left and pause for a while to see what the off-camera commotion was.
“You brought a gecko here?” he asked an official sitting behind him, drawing laughs.
Geckos are common across Southeast Asia. The small lizard-like reptiles are known for their ability to produce various loud sounds, from barks to chirps, to communicate or when threatened.
While activists accuse Duterte of cowing his opponents into silence, reptiles and insects have no qualms about pestering him during his often hours-long, televised addresses.
A big cockroach crawled up his shoulder and down his shirt during a speech in May when he was lambasting an opposition party ahead of a national election. He joked the cockroach was its supporter.
Two months later, a fly kept buzzing around him and landing on his forehead, just as he was berating his rivals in the Catholic clergy. He said in jest that the fly was acting on their orders.