Jersey

Blind Sumatran orangutans get visit by Jersey expert

  • 11 March 2011
  • From the section Jersey
Gober and the twins
Gober gave birth to twins at the Sumatran rescue centre

An expert from Jersey's Durrell Wildlife Trust will be visiting a project in Sumatra where twins have been born to two blind orangutans.

Durrell supports the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme financially and through an exchange system.

It is unusual amongst orangutans and other great apes to have twins, and in this case both parents are blind.

The mother, Gober, is an elderly female and is blind in both eyes due to cataracts.

The father, named Leuser, was originally an illegal pet and had been released into the wild.

Five years ago he was found near a village having been shot several times by an air rifle.

Three local villagers were jailed but he lost his sight.

Mother and father and the two new twins are all housed at the Batu Mbelin orangutan quarantine centre, near Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia.

This is the only centre of its kind in the world and is managed as part of the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme.

Gordon Hunt, Durrell's Head of Mammals, will be visiting them next month.

He will meet Dr Ian Singleton who works there now after spending nine years in Jersey at the Durrell wildlife park in Trinity.

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