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Capture of Wild Orangutans by Drug Immobilization

  • L. K. Hiong
  • J. B. Sale
  • P. M. Andau

Abstract

Drug immobilization was used to address the increasing demand for a safe and reliable method of capturing wild orangutans that remain in remnant forest on agricultural plantations. This paper reports the capture of 70 animals by this means, mostly using a 5:1 ketamine-xylazine mixture at a mean dosage of 8.43 mg for the two drugs combined or 7.03 mg ketamine and 1.41 mg xylazine/kg body weight. An alternative drug used in a few cases was Zoletil (1:1 tiletamine-zolazepam) at a dosage of 6.90 mg/kg. The darting system of choice was the Telinject air-pressure powered vario 4V rifle, with reusable plastic darts activated by compressed air. A Dist-inject N 60 rifle, using either “Speedy” pre-loaded disposable plastic darts or aluminum darts assembled on demand, was used as a back-up. There was a wide range of tolerance to dosage levels, ranging from 2.60 to 22.64 mg/kg, indicating a wide safety margin for this mixture with orangutans. A high degree of individual variability in reaction to the drugs was also encountered and supplementary doses were required to complete immobilization in a large proportion of cases. A standard dosage for the 5:1 ketamine-xylazine mixture of 8 mg/kg estimated body weight is recommended for drug capture of wild orangutans.

Keywords

Induction Time Supplemental Dose Target Animal Drug Mixture Wide Safety Margin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. Andau, P. M., Lim Khun Hiong and Sale, J. B., 1994, Translocation of Pocketed Orang-utans in Sabah, Oryx (in press).Google Scholar
  2. Anon, 1991, Wildlife Restraint Series, Int. Midi. Vet. Serv., Inc., Salinas, Calif.Google Scholar
  3. Payne, J., 1988, Orang-utan Conservation in Sabah, WWF Malaysia Project No. 96/86 and WWF International Project No. 3759. WWF Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, 137 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Sale, J. B., 1992, Orang-utan Capture Operations, Recommendations prepared under UNDP Project MAL/88/009. Sabah Wildlife Department, Kota Kinabalu, 5 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. K. Hiong
    • 1
  • J. B. Sale
    • 2
  • P. M. Andau
    • 2
  1. 1.Sabah Wildlife DepartmentWisma Muis, Kota Kinabalu, SabahMalaysia
  2. 2.Sabah Wildlife DepartmentSabahMalaysia

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