The Island of Borneo lies on the equator and was once one of the most diverse jungles outside of the Amazon, but now illegal logging, mining and Palm oil plantations have destroyed the majority of jungle and habitat for this unique environment.
Tree Monkey Project has trained nine non-profit organizations to assist with rescue, research and rehabilitation of animals. We work with the staff to teach tree climbing skills to insure the future survival of the Orangutans as well as other species of jungle animals.
Watch James Reed featured in the mini-series, Primates with cameos by cute orangutan orphans at the Jejak Pulang/ Four Paws Forest School in Indonesia. Read more about rescue, research, and rehabilitation of orangutan.
Many orangutans get caught in a forest that is about to or being cut down, or find their way into a palm plantation and get lost. Trained rescuers find and dart the orangutans to rescue them. After the orangutan is drugged it will fall out of the trees and rescuers can obtain and remove them. In many cases the orangutan will find or fall into a crotch of a tree or onto a limb, and the rescuer is required to climb the tree. Technical tree climbing techniques using ropes, harnesses and equipment allows rescuers to retrieve the orangutans safely and in cases bring the orangutan down from the trees gently.
Orangutans and many of the animals in the rainforest are arboreal and live the majority of their lives in the trees. Tree climbing is used for tracking released orangutans and other animals, capturing collared animals to retrieve collars, and retrieving animals for health checks.
Many rescued orangutans are orphaned babies that no longer have their mothers carrying them and training them to climb trees. Local Indonesian "babysitters" take them to wooden jungle gyms in the forest that are built to about 12-14ft tall. Yet orangutans normally spend 70% of their lives in the high tree canopy. Trained climbers will use their skills to create ways of encouraging baby orangutans to explore higher in the canopy and reconnect with their natural ability to climb.