Indonesia: Primates from UK released into the wild in Bandung

Arya Dipa The Jakarta Post 8 Sep 16;

The Aspinall Foundation has released two primates repatriated from Howlett Wild Animal Park in Kent, the UK, into the Patenggang Lake conservation area in Bandung regency, West Java.

The surili (Prescobytis comate) are a brother and sister pair named Lala and Lili.

Lala and Lili are the fourth batch of surili from Aspinall’s Back to the Wild program. Surili are endemic to West Java.

“This is the first time we released surili at Patenggang,” the Java Endemic Primates Rehabilitation Center’s animal caretaking head, Sigit Ibrahim, said on Wednesday.

The center has worked with the Forestry and Environment Ministry since 2010 to support the release of primates into the wild. The primates are usually repatriated from wild animal parks or are confiscated pets.

Sigit said surili needed nine months of preparation before being released into the wild. During the preparation time, the animals are taught to identify predators, and their bonds with humans are gradually severed.

The Aspinall Foundation has rehabilitated at least 100 primates endemic to Java. Of the total, 74 have been released into the wild, including eight surili.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) includes surili on its endangered animals list. It estimated there were no more than 2,500 surili remaining in 1999. (evi)

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