On the 13th of March, the first six reintroductions of 2019 were carried out in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR). The reintroductions are the results of Save the Orangutan and BOS Foundation’s efforts to reintroduce as many orangutans as possible to the rainforest, or to move them to permanent sanctuaries where they can go back to living as wild orangutans in as natural surroundings as possible.

Three females and three males from the pre-release island Salat Island, managed by BOS Foundation’s Nyaru Menteng rehabilitation centre, were the first six orangutans to be reintroduced to the rainforest in 2019. Among the six orangutans was the 12-year-old female orangutan Buntok, who was rescued from a village when she was only 18 months old, and her 1-year-old offspring Borneo.

The transportation team began the 10-12-hour long drive from the rehabilitation centre to the village of Tumbang Tundu in the afternoon on the 12th of March. Heavy rainfall made the journey even more difficult than it already was due to slippery and muddy roads. Despite the bad weather, the transportation team arrived in Tumbang Tundu on the 13th where a 5-hour long trip by boat along the Bemban river to the release site deep within the national park awaited.

Heavy rainfall made the journey from the rehabilitation centre to the release area even more difficult than it already was.

Back to the rainforest

The six orangutans were released into TNBBBR on the 13th of March. The first one out of the transport cage was the 13-year-old female orangutan Danida, who was rescued from an oil palm plantation back in 2006. Shortly after, Buntok and Borneo and the other orangutans followed. All six orangutans began exploring their new surroundings immediately. Despite the long and difficult journey, they were all eager to return to the rainforest and they soon began to forage for food.

The released orangutans will be followed closely by BOS Foundation’s monitoring team during the first years of their reintroduction. The monitoring is an essential part of the reintroduction to ensure they adapt to their new surroundings and can survive on their own. You can read more about our reintroduction programme here >>

Video: Watch the six orangutans return to the rainforest

You can help reintroduce more displaced orangutans to the rainforest

You can help us rescue, rehabilitate, and reintroduce more displaced orangutans to the rainforest by adopting an orphaned orangutan. You will receive pictures and updates on the orangutan’s development and journey back to the rainforest regularly. Adopt an orangutan here >>


Update from the post-monitoring team

The six orangutans are thriving in their new surroundings. They have all adapted well to life in the rainforest and are enjoying their new life as wild orangutans. “This is a fantastic start for them – to live as true, wild orangutans that will hopefully establish a new self-sustaining orangutan population in the future!” the post-monitoring team reports.