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Please help us save orangutan Queen –
she needs lifesaving surgery!

Last week we received an urgent call from the vets at the OFI Orangutan Care Centre in Borneo asking us for help to save the life of female adult orangutan, Queen, pictured above.

Queen has sustained a life-threatening injury and needs surgery URGENTLY. We desperately need your help to cover the costs of sending specialist vets to Borneo to perform this very difficult and intricate surgery.

We have organised two incredible wildlife vets from Australia with the necessary skills, who are volunteering their time to come and operate on Queen as soon as possible, but we need to raise the funds to get them there to cover the costs of flights, accommodation, transport, surgical equipment, medicine etc. and most importantly, aftercare for Queen. She will need to spend a few months in recovery with intensive care and a range of medications to keep her free from infection and pain.

Help us to provide Queen with critical medical care!

Please consider an EOFY tax-deductible donation today.


Queen’s Story

Queen is 30 years old. She has an infant son, Quentin, who is now two and a half. Queen is a beautiful caring mother. Little Quentin will be dependent on his mum until he is 7-8 years old. She is his whole world. Needless to say, without her he will be an orphan.

Queen was successfully rehabilitated in her youth by OFI and in 2003, she was released back into the wild at Camp Siswoyo in Lamandau Reserve, Central Kalimantan, where she has thrived and lived life ever since as a wild orangutan.


In January this year, Queen arrived back into Camp. She was limping and appeared to be injured. On closer inspection, the Camp staff realised that Queen had four puncture wounds in her back and waist which looked to be infected. Queen, with her son Quentin, was brought in for further examination, where her wounds were cleaned and treated with antibiotics. Although we will never know for sure how she sustained these wounds, we suspect she could have been stabbed. Her x-rays also show she has old air rifle bullets lodged in her chest and one in her arm, most likely from a past altercation with humans.


After a few months of intensive treatment, three of Queen’s four wounds healed and closed, however one of the holes continued to leak pus and showed no improvement. Upon further inspection, vets determined that Queen’s wound was far worse than it first appeared, and it wasn’t pus that was leaking from the wound anymore, but faeces.

After further exploratory surgery, the vets realised that the perforation in Queen’s back had also punctured her bowel, which then fused with the inside wall of her back, creating a fistula which was the cause of faeces being passed through the hole in her back.

Queen’s injury is causing faeces to continually leak out of her waist. Her wound is swollen and painful and needs constant cleaning and care to ensure it doesn’t get infected. Having an open wound like this exposes her to a huge risk of severe infection, even sepsis, which would cause her death.


Queen cannot survive with this injury in the wild. We need to do something urgently so she can pass faeces normally and she and Quentin can be released once again to live a healthy and free life in the wild.

The surgery to fix this is too risky to be performed by vets on site, who do not have the necessary equipment or expertise.

Help for Queen

Kobe Steele, President of OFI Australia (OFIA), has spoken with Dr Larry Vogelnest, Senior Veterinarian at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo, a Founding Director of Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital and a proud Ambassador for OFIA. Larry is possibly the most respected wildlife vet in Australia and has extensive experience working with orangutans. You may recall Larry previously volunteered his time to come to Borneo as part of an extraordinary team of Australian vets, to perform a world first surgery at OFI’s Care Centre on little sun bear Hitam – now a happy, healthy bear.

After examining Queen’s x-rays and medical records, we are thrilled to report that Larry believes he can successfully operate on Queen, and has agreed to travel to Borneo, along with Dr Chantal Whitten, Associate Veterinarian at Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital, to perform this life-saving surgery! We would like to thank Byron Bay Wildlife Hospital for helping to facilitate this operation and for giving Chantal the time off to come to Borneo.

The aim of the surgery is to close the open wound and repair and reattach the bowel so Queen can defecate normally and live a pain-free life back in the wild.

We need your help!

We are so grateful to the brilliant veterinary team of Dr Larry and Dr Chantal who are donating their time to perform this life-changing surgery for Queen.

Please help us to raise the funds we need to get them to Borneo. In a perfect world we would love to raise $20,000 but we would be so appreciative for any amount you can spare. Every little bit will help.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible, and with the end of financial year upon us, there is no better time to donate!

Thank you for any support you can give to help us return Queen and Quentin to the wild where they belong.

Please help us to save Queen!

Consider an EOFY tax-deductible donation today.