Indonesia pet orangutans released back into the wild

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Sumatran orangutan Reipok Rere swings on a tree after her release at the Pinus Jantho Forest Reserve. (AFP)
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Sumatran orangutan Elaine in her cage before being returned to the wild at Pinus Jantho Forest Reserve. (AFP)
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A ranger feeds Sumatran orangutan named Elaine at the forest reserve in Jantho. (AFP)
Updated 19 June 2019

Indonesia pet orangutans released back into the wild

  • Primates were returned to the wild at Pinus Jantho Forest Reserve
  • A string of fatal attacks on the great apes in recent has been blamed on farmers and hunters

JAKARTA: The young orangutan looks back at her rescuers before clambering over her steel cage and into the trees, swinging from hand to hand and hanging upside down.
Five-year-old primate Elaine, covered in fuzzy cinnamon-colored hair, was one of two critically endangered Sumatran Orangutans released back into the wild Tuesday.
Both female apes were rescued after being kept as pets by villagers in Aceh province on Sumatra island.
Elaine and four-year-old Reipok Rere spent nearly two years learning to fend for themselves at a rehabilitation center and “forest school” before being returned to the wild at Pinus Jantho Forest Reserve.
The healthy pair have joined nearly 120 other orangutans freed from captivity at the conservation site, said the Aceh natural resources conservation agency.

The rescue is a rare spot of bright news for the critically endangered species, which has seen its habitat shrink drastically over the past few decades largely due to the destruction of forests for logging, paper, palm oil and mining.
A string of fatal attacks on the great apes in recent has been blamed on farmers and hunters.
Plantation workers and villagers are sometimes known to attack the animal because they see it as a pest, while poachers also capture them to sell as pets.


Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

Updated 08 December 2019

Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

MIAMI: The move was bananas ... or maybe the work was just too appealing.
A performance artist shook up the crowd at the Art Basel show in Miami Beach on Saturday when he grabbed a banana that had been duct-taped to a gallery wall and ate it.
The banana was, in fact, a work of art by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan titled “Comedian” and sold to a French collector for $120,000.
In a video posted on his Instagram account, David Datuna, who describes himself as a Georgian-born American artist living in New York, walks up to the banana and pulls it off the wall with the duct tape attached.
“Art performance ... hungry artist,” he said, as he peeled the fruit and took a bite. “Thank you, very good.”
A few bystanders could be heard giggling before a flustered gallery official whisked him to an adjoining space for questioning.
But the kerfuffle was resolved without a food fight.
“He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea,” Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, told the Miami Herald.
As it turns out, the value of the work is in the certificate of authenticity, the newspaper said. The banana is meant to be replaced.
A replacement banana was taped to the wall about 15 minutes after Datuna’s stunt.
“This has brought a lot of tension and attention to the booth and we’re not into spectacles,” Terras said. “But the response has been great. It brings a smile to a lot of people’s faces.”
Cattelan is perhaps best known for his 18-carat, fully functioning gold toilet called “America” that he had once offered on loan to US President Donald Trump.
The toilet, valued at around $5 to $6 million, was in the news again in September when it was stolen from Britain’s Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of wartime leader Winston Churchill, where it had been on display.