In­ter­net picks name for albino orangutan

New Straits Times - - World -

JAKARTA: A con­ser­va­tion group says a rare albino orangutan res­cued in In­done­sia has been named “Alba” af­ter thou­sands of sug­ges­tions were sent from around the world via the In­ter­net.

The Bor­neo Orangutan Sur­vival Foun­da­tion said the name means “white” in Latin and “dawn” in Span­ish. It hoped she will be an am­bas­sador for the crit­i­cally-en­dan­gered species.

The 5-year-old fe­male was res­cued from cap­tiv­ity in a vil­lage on In­done­sia’s part of Bor­neo is­land on April 29. It was the first albino orangutan to be en­coun­tered by the foun­da­tion in its 25 years of con­ser­va­tion work.

The group is col­lect­ing in­for­ma­tion on al­binism in great apes to de­cide the pri­mate’s fu­ture.

“We can’t place Alba in a for­est area, nor in a sanc­tu­ary, without ex­am­in­ing all pos­si­bil­i­ties,” the foun­da­tion’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ja­martin Si­hite said.

The orangutan was de­hy­drated, weak and suf­fer­ing from a par­a­sitic in­fec­tion when res­cued.

Af­ter days of spe­cial care, Alba’s ap­petite im­proved and her weight in­creased by sev­eral kilo­grammes, the foun­da­tion said.

Orang­utans, red­dish-brown pri­mates known for their gen­tle tem­per­a­ment and in­tel­li­gence, live in the wild in Su­ma­tra and on Bor­neo, which is di­vided among In­done­sia, Malaysia and Brunei.

The In­ter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture said the num­ber of Bornean orang­utans had dropped by two-thirds since the 1970s and will de­cline to 47,000 by 2025.

Bornean orang­utans were de­clared crit­i­cally en­dan­gered by the IUCN last year due to hunt­ing for their meat and con­flicts with plan­ta­tion work­ers and de­struc­tion of trop­i­cal forests for plan­ta­tion agriculture. The only other orangutan species, the Su­ma­tran orangutan, has been crit­i­cally en­dan­gered since 2008. AP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.