1858 • • • 2006 • • • 2018

It was November 2006 when we got the bad news: Leuser, a young orangutan male, was critically injured. Farmers had almost perforated him with bullets about 40 kilometres outside Bukit Tigapuluh National Park in Sumatra. I immediately dispatched a team, they provided first aid and stabilized Leuser, and eventually they brought him to Jambi. Although most of the bullets could be removed during an operation lasting several hours, poor Leuser was irreversibly blinded by the attack. We had released him only two years earlier in Bukit Tigapuluh. He needed only very little training and was coping extraordinarily well on his own, but now he will have to stay in human care. We filed criminal charges and in April 2007 six people were found guilt.

Dr Peter Pratje heads our Sumatra Conservation Programme. Since 1998, his team reintroduced about 180 orangutans into the wild.