Keep the rescue team on the road

Keep the rescue team on the road

An orangutan rescue team in South Aceh, Sumatra, is struggling to reach orangutans in need because its vehicle keeps breaking down. Donate now to help us keep the team on the road!

The Human Orangutan Conflict Response Unit (HOCRU) works on the frontline of orangutan protection in Sumatra. Responding to urgent calls around the clock, three HOCRU teams cover the Leuser and Batang Toru landscapes – evacuating Critically Endangered Sumatran orangutans and Tapanuli orangutans from dangerous situations and enabling their return to the wild.

Rescue operations usually involve driving hundreds of miles, often off-road, so it’s vital for the HOCRU teams to have four-wheel-drive trucks they can rely upon. The South Aceh team, who made headlines in 2019 when they rescued an orangutan called Hope who had been shot 74 times, are currently having major problems with their truck – it breaks down regularly and the expense of repairing it is a big drain on the team’s rescue budget. They are doing everything they can to ensure they still get to the orangutans who need their help, but what they really need is a new vehicle.

How can we make this happen?

HOCRU need a four-wheel-drive truck that is big enough to carry the whole team and safely transport an orangutan. A second-hand truck would cost around £12,000, but we know that this might be a false economy – it would already have wear and tear, and the repair bills are likely to start stacking up again soon after the team starts using it. We therefore want to raise £25,854 to buy the team a brand-new truck that will stay reliable for longer, and for that, we need your help.

Please donate today to help us reach our target and keep the HOCRU team on the road.

Keep the rescue team on the road

Rescuing Hope

In March 2019, the South Aceh team were called to a village to attend to a female orangutan who was isolated inside an oil palm plantation with her baby. The team tranquilised the female and did a preliminary health check. They were shocked to find that she had serious injuries on her arms and legs, and damage to her eyes. Her baby was extremely weak and malnourished, so the team drove them to the quarantine centre for treatment – a journey of seven hours that would have been impossible if their truck had broken down. Tragically, the baby orangutan, who was estimated to be around a month old, died on the journey to the centre. Despite her condition, the female, who the team later named Hope, is now on the road to recovery, having undergone surgeries to treat her injuries, and months of medical attention to help her heal from undernourishment and trauma.

“Sincerely speaking, we were very shocked by the results of Hope’s medical investigation. 74 air rifle bullets, damaged eyes, fractured bones, sharp tool wound and not to mention deep trauma, yet she doesn't give up. Hope will not be the last one, but she taught us to be strong enough to save more and more orangutan in need.” – Nayla Azmi, Yayasan Orangutan Sumatera Lestari.