The Indonesian economy has been deeply affected by the implementation of Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB), in response to the global pandemic. As a non-profit organisation, the BOS Foundation has halted all offline fundraising activities, volunteer efforts, and other activities involving people in groups, until further notice. This is to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and to safeguard our employees from contracting this virus.
The BOS Foundation is fully committed to ensuring that the orangutans in our care are protected from the potential transmission of COVID-19, which could jeopardise their health and the opportunity for them to be released in the forest. Our main focus at this time has been to secure their standard food supply, so we can continue to provide fresh fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious food that is vital in keeping our orangutans healthy. To meet these standards, the BOS Foundation has been working with local farmers to procure food for orangutans. Every month, the orangutans at our rehabilitation centres consume up to 50,000 kilograms of fruit and vegetables, plus hundreds of litres of milk.
With an increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 in Indonesia and the implementation of PSBB in our working areas, local farmers have started experiencing logistical problems that, in turn, are disrupting the food supply for orangutans. Meanwhile, market demand for fresh fruits and vegetables is surging beyond the current, limited production capacity. Ultimately, this has seen local market prices soar, which has put tremendous financial pressure on our facilities.
Closing our rehabilitation centres to help curb the spread of COVID-19 has cut off the funding raised through our in-person activities, which has a vital form of support for our operational activities. The urgency to feed over 400 rehabilitated orangutans, the decision to halt in-person fundraising activities, and the increased demand is threatening the welfare of orangutans at our rehabilitation centres, which will ultimately impact on their overall rehabilitation.
As one of our closest living relatives, orangutans share 97% of our DNA and are susceptible to many of the same viruses as humans. We expect that they are at great risk of contracting COVID-19 and we have acted swiftly to ensure that our staff and orangutans remain safe. But we need your help.
We are watching as disruptions in food supply chain continues, but we fear this is only the beginning. Our funding needs for this financial year are expected to continue to grow, while most of our fundraising events and activities are on hold.
We are calling for your support to help us overcome the considerable funding shortfall we are experiencing. All funding we receive at this time shall be allocated to the care and feeding of the BOS Foundation Rehabilitation Centres’ animal residents so that we can continue to provide the orangutans and sun bears nutritious food and exceptional animal care.
We are only as strong as the people who support us. No act of kindness is too small, please help us provide food for our orangutans! When we safeguard orangutans, we also safeguard our Earth’s forests and the biodiversity found within them.