Coronavirus has hit Indonesia hard.
As infections surged in early 2020, the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) found itself caring for more animals than usual, as orangutans saved from the illegal pet trade and deforestation continued to come into its rescue centre, at a time when rehabilitated animals could not be released back to the rainforest, for fear of infecting the new wild populations that the SOCP is creating (great apes are understood to be vulnerable to Covid 19, due to their genetic similarities to humans). In response, LEAF hosted an emergency appeal for SOCP, which raised nearly £30,000 from members of the public – not bad for our first crowdfunder! The funds were used to buy food and medical supplies, plus PPE equipment for frontline care and veterinary staff. LEAF and our partners will continue to monitor the longer-term consequences of the pandemic, as they affect work on the ground as well as the wider political and economic context for forest protection.