BOS Foundation, Central Kalimantan BKSDA, Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR) Agency Release 12 More Orangutans to TNBBBR in Central Kalimantan

In keeping with the #OrangutanFreedom campaign goal of releasing 100 orangutans to conservation forests this year, the BOS Foundation (BOSF), Central Kalimantan BKSDA, and the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR) Agency have again worked together to release rehabilitated orangutans from Nyaru Menteng.

Twelve orangutans from Nyaru Menteng were released to the TNBBBR in Central Kalimantan in the 18th orangutan release by BOSF Nyaru Menteng. This event takes the total number of rehabilitated orangutans released from Nyaru Menteng to 30 so far this year.

The twelve orangutans included eight females and four males, which were divided into two batches and dispatched on different days. The first batch – Elin, Heidi, Cameron, Geragu, Tubagus, and Tuhe – departed from Nyaru Menteng on August 2, and were released the following day. Meanwhile, the second batch, which included Seruni, Suryani, Mariam, Niken, Pak Edi and Otong,departed on August 4, and were released the next day.

Our release teams sedated the orangutans at around 3 p.m. on the day of departure, then transferred them into transport cages in the Nyaru Menteng quarantine complex, ready for the long journey.

Orangutan health check


The team leaves Nyaru Menteng to TNBBBR

Once the orangutans were checked by a vet, they departed from Nyaru Menteng with the release team. The journey from Nyaru Menteng to the TNBBBR took about six hours by car. As always, our team followed strict protocol throughout the journey; stopping every two hours to check on the orangutans, and offer them food and water.

Checking in on orangutans throughout the trip

Upon reaching Tumbang Tundu Village, the team took small motor boats known locally as ‘ces’ or ‘kelotok’ on a five-hour journey along the river.

On approach at the river bank near camp, the transport cages were lifted one by one from the boats and carried to pre-determined release points located in the TNBBBR. The twelve orangutans were soon released into their natural habitat and could taste true freedom in their new home!

Transferring transport cages from the boats

Malik opens the Geragu’s cage

Agus opens the Tubagus’s cage

The BOS Foundation has released 47 orangutans to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park. With these 12, the number of orangutans released to the TNBBBR now stands at 59 individuals. This release has increased the total number of orangutans released by the BOS Foundation to 301 orangutans.

The BOS Foundation would like to express gratitude for the support of all parties and their contributions to assisting the conservation effort in Indonesia.

Text by: BOS Foundation Communications Team

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[PRESS RELEASE] BOS Foundation and Central Kalimantan BKSDA Release 12 More Orangutans to BBBRNP

Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation, in cooperation with the Central Kalimantan BKSDA, will release another 12 orangutans from the Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Center in Nyaru Menteng to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (BBBRNP) in Katingan Regency. This will be the sixth release into the national park, and the 18th release by the BOS Foundation in Central Kalimantan since 2012.

Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, August 2, 2017: To reach our #OrangutanFreedom goals, aimed at reintroducing 100 orangutans to natural habitat this year, BOS Foundation and the Central Kalimantan BKSDA are again collaborating to releaseorangutans back to the wild. Four male and eight female orangutans will be accompanied by a release team on a 10-12 hours road and river trip from Nyaru Menteng to the BBBRNP, where they will be released at predetermined locations. This will bring the total number of rehabilitated orangutans released in the BBBRNP to 59.

BOS Foundation CEO Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, said; “2017 focuses on #OrangutanFreedom, and we aim to release 100 orangutans to the forest this year. With this release, we will reach our halfway release point of fifty orangutans. We are optimistic that with the active support of our stakeholders, including the central and local government, the private sector and organizations dedicated to protecting Indonesia’s natural sources, the target is within our reach. This should not only be the BOS Foundation’s goal, but our collective goal and responsibility to preserve our forests and our wildlife. Hundreds of the orangutans under our care have already completed Forest School, and others are living on our pre-release islands, waiting for their turn to be released to the wild. Orangutans are a vital part of forest ecology. Mankind needs forests to provide clean air and water, and regulate climate, among other functions. Why are we not taking better care of the animals who manage the forests for our very own survival? The way we clear land through burning, hunting wild animals, and depleting our natural resources at such a breakneck speed – all has to stop. I would like to stress if we don’t prioritize conservation, if we don’t conserve nature, humans will not survive. It is as simple as that. We urge everyone to support our cause. Land encroachment, like we are experiencing in Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan, clearly shows we are not receiving the full support we need to achieve sustainable conservation. Conservation efforts and their success affect all of us, and future generations to come. We founded this organization to ensure a better future for all.”

Ir. Adib Gunawan, Head of Central Kalimantan’s Conservation of Natural Resources Agency (BKSDA), said; “Central Kalimantan BKSDA, as an extension of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, and together with community stakeholders, is responsible for safeguarding our province’s natural resources. We tirelessly embrace all parties to participate in protecting orangutans, as the pride and iconic umbrella species in Central Kalimantan. One way is to initiate formation of forums, socialization and campaigns, as well as rehabilitation and the reintroduction of orangutans in safe and protected areas and protection of wild orangutan populations. The efforts of BOS Foundation to save, rehabilitate, reintroduce orangutans in Kalimantan to protected forests and conserve wild populations are initiatives that we fully support. We must make sure our children and grandchildren will be able to live in a safe protected natural world.”

Ir. Heru Raharjo, M.P., Head of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (BBBRNP) in Central Kalimantan and West Kalimantan Regions, said; “Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park, in cooperation with BOS Foundation and the Central Kalimantan BKSDA, has already released 47 orangutans in this area. Today, 12 more orangutans will also gain their freedom. We must keep them protected in the National Park. We continue to conduct regular monitoring missions together with the BOS Foundation team to ensure all released orangutans remain safe in our forests. Our observations thus far have ensured the safety of the orangutans, and have recorded their successful adaptation to life in the wild. I sincerely hope the orangutans released here will establish a new population of wild orangutans, to help sustain ourconservation efforts.”

This release was also supported by USAID LESTARI, which has pledged to help continue orangutan release events to the BBBRNP until 2018, and the Bank Central Asia with their CSR activities, has been extremely supportive in orangutan and habitat conservation efforts undertaken by BOS Foundation.

Rosenda Chandra Kasih, USAID LESTARI’s Central Kalimantan Landscape Coordinatorsaid; “USAID LESTARI warmly welcomes the release conducted in cooperation with BOS Foundation with the target of returning 100 orangutans to new habitat in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park. Considering that the Bornean orangutan conservation status has reached the alarming ‘critically endangered’ point, it should propel us to act quickly and work in cooperation to conserve and protect orangutans and their habitat. The purpose of this cooperation is to create a new wild orangutan population. We are deeply concerned about the rampant news on how the number of orangutans in this province is rapidly decreasing. It is our collective duty to reverse this threat.”

Inge Setiawati, BCA’s Executive Vice President Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) said, “Our common misconception is that rehabilitation centers offer the best safety for orangutans. Whilst of course it is clear that the best place for wildlife is their natural habitat, the forest. Therefore, BCA strongly supports the BOS Foundation’s activities to reintroduce and conserve orangutans who have completed rehabilitation through the Forest School and pre-release system. The Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park as the current orangutan reintroduction forest is a conservation area, and this area should be safe from future exploitation.”

BOS Foundation acknowledges that successful orangutan and habitat conservation efforts areonly achievable through the participation and active support from all parties: the government, and both the public and private sectors. BOS Foundation works in cooperation with the government at all levels, including the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Central Kalimantan Provincial Office, the Katingan Regency Office, the Central Kalimantan BKSDA and the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park office, to help safeguard Bornean orangutans and theirhabitat.

BOS Foundation is also supported by a number of other partners, including the Katingan Regency community; individual donors; partner organizations such as Zoos Victoria and the Commonwealth of Australia through the Department of Environment and Energy and conservation organisations around the world. BOS Foundation is very grateful for the support and contributions offered by these parties to aid the conservation effort in Indonesia.



Paulina Laurensia

Communications Specialist

Email: pauline@orangutan.or.id


Monterado Fridman (Agung)

Coordinator of Communications and Education Division of Nyaru Menteng

Email: agungm@orangutan.or.id


Rosenda Chandra Kasih

USAID LESTARI Kalimantan Tengah Landscape Coordinator

Email: rosenda.kasih@lestari-Indonesia.org



Editor’s Note:


Founded in 1991, the BOS Foundation is a non-profit Indonesian organization dedicated to the conservation of Bornean orangutans and their natural habitats, working together with local communities, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, and international partner organizations.

The BOS Foundation currently has around 650 orangutans in two rehabilitation centres, with support from 440 highly dedicated staff and experts in the fields of primatology, biodiversity, ecology, forest rehabilitation, agroforestry, community empowerment, communications, education, and orangutan welfare. For further information, please visit www.orangutan.or.id.



USAID LESTARI is a collaborative project between the governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Indonesia. USAID LESTARI fully supports the efforts made by the Indonesian government to reduce greenhouse emissions and increase conservation of the biodiversity of forests and mangrove ecosystems rich in carbon storage.

USAID LESTARI focuses on regions with unscathed primary forests, high carbon deposits and a rich biodiversity. These regions include Aceh (the Leuser landscape), Central Kalimantan (the Katingan-Kahayan landscape), and Papua (the Lorentz Lowlands, Mappi-Bouven Digoel, Sarmi and Cyclops landscapes).


In line with the #OrangutanFreedom campaign that aims to introduce 100 orangutans to natural habitat this year, the BOS Foundation today is releasing another batch of 12 orangutans into the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park Forest in Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan. Here are the profiles of those twelve orangutans.


Tuhe was confiscated from a resident of Tumbang Mantuhe village, Gunung Mas Regency, Central Kalimantan, and taken to Nyaru Menteng on April 15, 2004. He was only 18 months old at the time, weighed 4.4 kilograms, and was in a very poor condition. Dehydrated and thin from malnutrition, Tuhe had skinny limbs and a protruding stomach, and his left arm showed signs of injury.

After passing a mandatory period of quarantine, Tuhe entered Forest School to begin his rehabilitation. He went through all the stages of Forest School and graduated to the pre-release stage on Kaja Island, where he was moved on July 5, 2015.

Tuhe, who has become a good forager, is now 15 years old and weighs 43.7 kilograms. He likes to roam far, and has grown into a handsome individual with a trademark part in the middle of his hair. After 13 years of rehabilitation at Nyaru Menteng, Tuge is ready to experience the natural habitat of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.


Tubagus was rescued on August 17, 2005, after being kept illegally as a pet by a local resident of Mantangai Village, in Kapuas Regency. He arrived at Nyaru Menteng severely malnourished and dehydrated, and was an underweight 2.5-year-old at only 5.5 kilograms.

Tubagus worked through the rehabilitation stages of Forest School and was moved to the pre-release habitat of Bangamat Island in February 2015. A keen explorer, he was rarely seen around the feeding platform, preferring instead to forage for forest food. While not an aggressive orangutan by nature, Tubagus is nonetheless very good at reading situations and is able to defend himself when required.

Tubagus is now 15 years old with a thin beard, and weighs 47.4 kilograms. After 12 years of rehabilitation, Tubagus will soon become a true wild orangutan alongside his close female friend, Geragu.


Otong was rescued from Parenggean Village, Kotawaringin Timur Regency, Central Kalimantan, in June 2003. He was two years old at the time and weighed only 5.5 kilograms.

Curious Otong progressed through the stages of Forest School, and in 2015 was moved to the pre-release habitat of Bangamat Island, where he becamea skilful forager.

Now a handsome, long-haired 16-year-old weighing 41.1 kilograms, Otong is more than ready to taste freedom in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.


Cameron was confiscated from a resident of Parenggean Village in Kotawaringin Timur Regency on April 14, 2004, through a joint-team effort between the Central Kalimantan BKSDA and the BOS Foundation. This tiny female arrived at Nyaru Menteng in a very poor condition, aged around 18 months and weighing 6.5 kilograms.

After moving through several stages of Forest School, Cameron graduated and advanced to the pre-release stage on Kaja Island in June 2013. She spent a lot of time on Kaja exploring her surroundings and making friends with her fellow inhabitants.

Cameron is now 15 years old and weighs 37.3 kilograms. After 13 years of rehabilitation, and with the experiences gained from her time on a pre-release island, she is now ready to explore the forests of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park as a true wild orangutan.


Mariam was brought to Nyaru Menteng after being confiscated from a resident of Sebabi Village, Kotawaringin Timur Regency, Central Kalimantan, on May 29, 2009. At the time she was just three years old and weighed 16 kilograms.

This gentle and charming girl with an oval face and round eyes, graduated from Forest School in March 2014 to continue her rehabilitation process on pre-release Kaja Island, where she was a curious explorer.

Armed with a sound survival skillset gained over her eight years of rehabilitation at Nyaru Menteng, Mariam is more than ready to return to a natural habitat. Now 11 years old and weighing 32.3 kilograms, Mariam is destined to become a great explorer in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.


Geragu arrived at Nyaru Menteng on August 20, 2004, aged two years and weighing 5.3 kilograms. She was rescued in a joint-team effort between the BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng and the Central Kalimantan BKSDA, from a resident of Geragu Village, Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan, who was keeping her illegally as a pet.

An intelligent individual, Geragu thrived throughout her Forest School years and quickly built up a sound skillset. After graduating from Forest School, she was transferred to Kaja Island in February 2016, to test her survival skills in a natural habitat.

An avid explorer, Geragu is now 15 years old and weighs 44.3 kilograms. After 13 years of rehabilitation and honing her skills at Nyaru Menteng, Geragu is now ready to explore the forests of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park with her good friend, Tubagus.


Heidi arrived at Nyaru Menteng after being rescued from a local villager in Henda, Pulang Pisau Regency, Central Kalimantan, on October 20, 2006. She was 2.5 years old and weighed only 4.1 kilograms.

Charming, narrow-eyed Heidi progressed through the stages of Forest School and moved to the pre-release rehabilitation stage on Kaja Island in July 2015. On Kaja Island, Heidi proved to be a kind individual that easily socialized with other orangutans.

Now 14 years old and weighing 35.4 kilograms, Heidi has learned all that she can from her 11 years of rehabilitation and is fully prepared to live as a true wild orangutan in the forest.


Pak Edi was confiscated from a local resident in Jakarta on July 19, 2003. He was only three years old at the time of his rescue and weighed 7.5 kilograms.

Following a routine period of quarantine, Pak Edi joined Forest School to being his rehabilitation. In February 2016, he entered the final pre-release stage of rehabilitation and was moved to Kaja Island, where he enjoyed exploring and foraging for termites – one of his favourite foods.

Pak Edi is now 14 years old and weighs 50.6 kilograms. During his time at Nyaru Menteng, he learned all the skills required to survive in a true, wild forest. Pak Edi will soon get the chance to live free in the wilderness of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.


Suryani was confiscated from a resident of Pangkalan Bun, Kotawaringin Barat Regency, Central Kalimantan. She arrived at Nyaru Menteng on April 16, 2007, when she was two years old and weighed 8.5 kilograms.

After passing all the Forest School stages, gentle and sociable Suryani continued her road to rehabilitation on pre-release Bangamat Island in November 2014. Her foraging skills improved significantly during her time on Bangamat, and bark became her favourite food.

Suryani is now 12 years old and weighs 29.15 kilograms. After 10 years of rehabilitation, Suryani is ready to put all of her skills to the test in a true, wild forest.


Niken arrived at Wanariset Samboja on July 13, 1999, after being handed over to the BOS Foundation by the Banjarmasin BKSDA. At the time she was just two years old and weighed eight kilograms.

During her training in Samboja Lestari’s Forest School, Niken was a very active and smart student that always strived to learn new survival skills. She formed a close relationship with Leke, who was released to the Kehje Sewen Forest, in East Kalimantan, in March 2014. On April 18, 2014, Niken was transferred to Nyaru Menteng, after being identified as a Pongo pygmaeus wurmbiisubspecies of Bornean Orangutans.

After three years at Nyaru Menteng, Niken can now finally walk the same path as her pal Leke, and live as a true, wild orangutan. Now 20 years old and weighing 52.1 kilograms, Niken is ready to experience life in the forests of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.


Seruni was rescued from an oil palm plantation area near Parenggean Village, Kotawaringin Timur Regency, Central Kalimantan, on October 16, 2006. She was two years old at the time and weighed seven kilograms.

After graduating from Forest School, round-eyed Seruni was placed on Bangamat Island to begin her pre-release stage of rehabilitation in November 2014. She liked to explore all over the island, and made lots of friends thanks to her sound socialization skills.

Seruni is now 13 years old and weighs 35.9 kilograms. After 11 years of working through all the stages of rehabilitation, Seruni is now ready to explore the wilderness of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park – her new home.

12. ELIN

Elin was rescued on October 15, 2006, from residents of Parenggean Village, Kotawaringin Timur Regency, Central Kalimantan, who had held her captive for two months. She was brought to Nyaru Menteng in good health when she was 2.5 years old and weighed seven kilograms.

In February 2015, Elin started her pre-release process on Kaja Island after completing all the stages of Forest School. On Kaja, highly curious Elin honed her skills and adapted with ease to her new environment and friends.

Elin is now 14 years old and weighs 36.2 kilograms. After nearly 11 years of rehabilitation at Nyaru Menteng, Elin is ready to prove she can live as a true, wild orangutan in the wilds of Central Kalimantan’s Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.


Surviving the Odds: Olbert Gets a Second Chance

In April 2016, 11-year-old Olbert was released to the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest in Central Kalimantan, after more than a decade of rehabilitation. Olbert arrived into BOS Foundation’s care when he was still a baby, and under the guidance of our dedicated team was prepared as well as possible over the years for reintroduction back to the wild. However, the ‘new’ natural environment of Bukit Batikap was ready to test Olbert, and present situations he had never encountered during his rehabilitation.

In late September, 2016, the Post-Release Monitoring team from Camp Batikap found Olbert looking thin and suffering from a worm infection. Time passed, and the team, unable to track him for a while, hoped he had recovered and moved far off into the distance. Several missions were undertaken to try and track down Olbert, but all ended unsuccessfully. That was until late November 2016, when the team spotted him again in a poor condition and still suffering from the same worm infection. Medical intervention was needed to help Olbert, who afterwards disappeared again into the forest, leaving the team concerned that he might need additional support.

The team’s worries were affirmed when Olbert was found badly injured with wounds clearly inflicted by claws and fangs. Olbert was moving on the ground, feeding on whatever he could find, but barely able to carry his own weight. His scalp had a large gash, his shoulders were hunched and his back was covered in scratches – it was clear Olbert had endured several violent bouts, we assume from the same attacker. It was a heartbreaking sight to see.

The team rescued Olbert and our vet was able to clean up his wounds. It was evident that a strong animal, most likely a leopard – in particular, an exotic Clouded Leopard (Neofelis diardi), which is one of the smaller cats of the leopard family found in Borneo’s forests – had attacked him. Olbert had learned a tough lesson indeed, but he had survived.

Olbert was taken back to the rehabilitation centre to recover from his injuries. He made positive progress over the following months; his wounds healed and he was soon ready to return to the forest. On April 23, 2017, Olbert was taken back to the forest to be released for the second time. Under a cloudy sky, the team hauled his transport cage from a boat and carried it to a pre-determined release point. Once more, Olbert passed that familiar gateway to freedom; but this time armed with a lot more experience.

Rehabilitated orangutans, like Olbert, must quickly adapt to life in the wild after their release. Foraging for food is only one aspect of survival in the wild; learning to defend oneself is indeed another. While our rehabilitation centres can help orangutans learn the many survival skills they will need for life in the wild, there is no way to fully prepare them to defend themselves in the event of actual physical attacks from predators in the forest.

We have released a total 167 individuals to the Bukit Batikap Forest in Central Kalimantan since 2012. Many of these orangutans have become undetectable over time, mainly due to the battery lifespan of their transmitter chips. Olbert’s case, however, gives evidence to support other theories that suggest some orangutans may have been chased out of range by natural forest predators, or even died in an attack.

Luckily for Olbert, he has been given another chance at making it in the wild on his own. We will be monitoring to see how he progresses over the coming months.

Text by: Gregg Poetra, Vet at Nyaru Menteng

You can support our monitoring team. DONATE NOW to the BOS Foundation!

[PRESS RELEASE] BOS Foundation Opens a New Pre-Release Island and Releases More Orangutans to Natural Habitat

In line with our #OrangutanFreedom campaign launched this year, today Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation officially opens a new pre-release island for rehabilitated orangutans located in the East Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program at Samboja Lestari and releases 7 orangutans back to natural habitat

Samboja, East Kalimantan, July 11, 2017. BOS Foundation in Samboja Lestari will today move several more orangutans who have completed their Forest School rehabilitation to a new 3-hectare pre-release island known as ‘Island 8’. The utilisation of this island will help accelerate orangutan releases from the rehabilitation centre to the wild.

Since 2012, BOS Foundation has worked tirelessly to reintroduce orangutans that have spent many years progressing through our rehabilitation centres, and has thus far successfully released 282 orangutans in Kalimantan; with 68 in the Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kutai Regency. This extensive release program greatly depends on a continuing rehabilitation process, which in turn determines the readiness of orangutans to survive independently in the forest. After completing Forest School, the final stage of the rehabilitation process involves time on a pre-release island, where orangutans have the opportunity to practice and hone their survival skills prior to their final release to the wild.

At Samboja Lestari, BOS Foundationis already utilising seven smaller pre-release islands, with a total land area of 3.5 hectares. The addition of larger pre-release islands, which are currently under construction, is a breakthrough in the BOS Foundation’s orangutan rehabilitation program.

Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, BOS Foundation CEO said; “This year we focus on #OrangutanFreedom and BOS Foundation has set a target of releasing 100 orangutans back to the forest from our rehabilitation centres in Central and East Kalimantan. This means we have to take more intensive measures and approaches to fulfil our target. One way is through acquiring or constructing new pre-release islands. In Samboja Lestari, four new manmade islands are under construction for our orangutans to hone their survival skills. We are also preparing another island elsewhere through joint cooperation with another party. I have always said that conservation requires collective work. It is impossible for us to save orangutans when the forest is still being cleared at breakneck speed. We need serious support from all stakeholders to help preserve orangutans and their habitat. We all need clean air and water, as well as a balanced climate. This means we need orangutans to help us preserve the remaining forest, and we must all work hand in hand to make this a reality.”

In addition to moving orangutans to the pre-release island, on the same day BOS Foundation will also reintroduce seven orangutans to the Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kutai Regency. The seven orangutans to be released include 3 males and 4 females, who are ready to live in the wild after completing a lengthy rehabilitation process through Forest School and pre-release stages. These seven orangutans will be transported from Samboja Lestari by road this afternoon, and will be released in the southern part of the Kehje Sewen Forest. Our team will stop every two hours on the 20-hour trip to feed and hydrate the orangutans, and check they are travelling well.

Dr. Aldrianto Priadjati, PT. RHOI’s Director of Conservation said; “Our release activities have been quite intensive in the Kehje Sewen Forest. Over the past six years, we have conducted 12 releases with 68 orangutans reintroduced. Now, we have to be careful when utilising the available forest area remaining. We cannot release orangutans in the same areas as this will lead to competition within the population over food resources. We need to explore and open up new areas to give orangutans the best chance possible to thrive in the forest. This means an increase in operational costs, because we will have to build a new camp, recruit more monitoring staff, and open up new monitoring transects. We still need larger forest areas to accommodate over one hundred orangutans that are currently progressing through the rehabilitation process in Samboja Lestari.”

The Kehje Sewen Forest is a 86,450-hectare area of rainforest in East Kalimantan managed as an Ecosystem Restoration Concession (ERC) by PT. RHOI (Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia), a company established by BOS Foundation in 2009. In 2010, PT RHOI acquired the relevant permit to utilize the Kehje Sewen Forest, specifically for use as a release site for rehabilitated orangutans from the Samboja Lestari rehabilitation program and orangutan reintroductions commenced in 2012. Based on surveys, the forest carrying capacity is 150 individuals; and it is already accommodating nearly half this amount. Thus far, two natural births have been recorded among our released orangutans in Kehje Sewen, which provides a positive indicator the forest is indeed a suitable habitat for orangutan reintroductions and long-term conservation of the species.

Ir. Sunandar Trigunajasa N., Head of the East Kalimantan BKSDAsaid; “The East Kalimantan BKSDA greatly appreciates the solid cooperation we have with BOS Foundation. As mentioned by the Foundation, we too cannot work alone. We desperately need support and cooperation from the local government, communities, organisations, and private sectors to be able to conserve nature in general, and specifically orangutans in East Kalimantan. We all know that not enough good-quality forests remain. Together we should safeguard what is left, and help recover destroyed, natural habitats. Anybody can help, by simply reporting to us whenever you see a wrong doing or an illegal act that affects nature. Make a report if you see someone illegally catching a protected animal. If you have one in captivity, hand it over to us. Stopping the capture, killing, and domestication of protected animals is a huge step we can all take to help preserve nature.”

Dr. Elisabeth Labes, Co-founder, Head of International Projects and Partner Relations for BOS Switzerland says, “Every year, BOS Foundation has numerous orangutans ready to live free outside of their enclosures in the rehabilitation centre. The longer they stay in the centre, the more life skills they have previously developed will become rusty. We are now in a situation where we have to accelerate reintroductions. On behalf of BOS Switzerland, a partner of BOS Foundation, we are delighted to be able to fund the construction of new islands in Samboja Lestari including island #8 as well as supporting the 13th release to Kehje Sewen. These new islands will provide a natural environment for the orangutans living at the center, and it is our collective hope that the individuals to be released will soon create a new generation of wild orangutans in the forest.”

Inge Setiawati, BCA’s Executive Vice President Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) said, “PT. Bank Central Asia Tbk. (BCA) congratulates the inauguration of this orangutan pre-release island in Samboja Lestari. We are honored to be able to take part in the program aimed at streamlining the cycle of orangutan release from rehabilitation centers into natural forest. This support is not the first for BCA. BCA has been supporting many activites since 2012 to increase awareness of protected animal conservation, including Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus). BCA conducts its environmental CSR activities in cooperation with organizations with great concern and capacities in particular fields.”

The utilisation of this new pre-release island and orangutan reintroductions is only made possible through cooperation with the East Kalimantan BKSDA, the Provincial Government of East Kalimantan, the local governments of East Kutai and Kutai Kartanegara regencies, and the local residents of said regencies. BOS Foundation is extremely grateful for the moral and financial support provided by BOS Switzerland for both events; PT Narkata Rimba, and PT. Bank Central Asia Tbk., for support in the release in Kehje Sewen Forest, and our partners in BOS Australia, BOS Germany, individual donors, and other organizations from around the world concerned with orangutan conservation in Indonesia.




Paulina Laurensia

Communications Specialist

Email: pauline@orangutan.or.id



Communications Staff Samboja Lestari

Email: ardy@orangutan.or.id




Editor’s Note:


Founded in 1991, the BOS Foundation is a non-profit Indonesian organization dedicated to the conservation of Bornean orangutans and their habitats, working together with local communities, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, and international partner organizations.

Currently, the BOS Foundation is working to rehabilitate as many as 650 orangutans, with the support of 440 highly dedicated staff and experts in the fields of primatology, biodiversity, ecology, forest rehabilitation, agroforestry, community empowerment, communications, education, and orangutan welfare. For further information, please visit www.orangutan.or.id.


PT Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia (RHOI) is a company established by the BOS Foundation on April 21, 2009, solely to acquire the Utilization of Forest Timber Products licence through Restoration of the Ecosystem (IUPHHK-RE), also known as the Ecosystem Restoration Concession (ERC).

As a non-profit organisation, the BOS Foundation is not permitted to apply for certain licences due to government regulations. Hence, RHOI was established. The permit gives RHOI the authority to manage a concession area – in this case, a forest area – which is imperative in the planning and implementation of orangutan releases.

On August 18, 2010, RHOI was issued an ERC permit by the Ministry of Forestry, for an 86,450-hectare section of rainforest in East Kutai Regency, East Kalimantan. This ERC provides a suitable, protected, and sustainable habitat for orangutans for at least the next 60 years, with the option of extending for another 35 years. The funding to purchase the permit, which cost around US$1.4 million, was received from donors and the BOS Foundation’s partner organizations in Europe and Australia.

The forest’s name, ‘Kehje Sewen’, translates as ‘orangutan’ in local Dayak Wehea language. By name and nature, the Kehje Sewen Forest has become a forest for orangutans. For more information, please visit www.theforestforever.com.


In regards to the #OrangutanFreedom campaign launched in 2017, the BOS Foundation is releasing another batch of 7 orangutans into the Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kutai Regency. Here are the profiles of those seven orangutans. 


Abel is an adult female orangutan aged around 21 years. She was handed over by a local villager from Teluk Pandan, Sangatta, on March 21, 2001. At the time, she was just four years old andweighed 10.5 kilograms. The villager claimed to have caught Abel after she encroached on his farm.

Since Abel was still exhibiting wild behaviors, she could not join Forest School, as would have likely tried to run away so she was cared for in a socialization enclosure.

On October 6, 2010, Abel gave birth to Alejandro and fortunately for Alejandro, Abel’s deep maternal instincts meant the pair was able to be moved to a special island for mothers and infants.

To this day Abel avoids interactions with people and she and her son are now ready to return to a life in the wild.


Alejandro is a 7-year-old juvenile male orangutan who was born at Samboja Lestari on October 6, 2010. In the first few days following his birth, Alejandro had difficulty nursing, however, he overcame this challenge and has since developed well under his mother’s guidance and care.

Alejandro has grown into a healthy young orangutan, and he is still extremely close to his mother. He is a shy individual and avoids interaction with humans.


Imut is an adult female orangutan aged around 19 years. She was handed over by a local resident of Samarinda on July 26, 2000, when she was about two years old. She arrived at BOS Foundation offering from diarrhea, a worm infection, and suspected pneumonia, and had to immediately undergo medical treatment.

On March 3, 2010, Imut gave birth to a baby boy we named Ical. When Ical arrived, Imut appeared to have the ‘baby blues’, and abandoned her newborn son. Mother and child were separated for eight days before Imut finally accepted her new infant.

Imut’s experience can be common among rehabilitated female orangutans since females we receive are often traumatically separated from their own mothers at a very early age. The loss of her mother left Imut – and many female orangutans like her – clueless of a mother’s role.


Ical is a 7-year-old juvenile male, like Alejandro. Ical is fearless and likes to explore the island alone. This mischievous young orangutan is not intimidated easily, and doesn’t much care for humans, with the exception of his favorite technician; Syahrul.


Belinda is a 22-year-old female orangutan who was rescued in Sebulu region on September 25, 1998. At the time of her rescue, she was just two years old and was still displaying wild behaviors.

Belinda is an independent loner with relatively good forest skills. We rarely see her because she prefers to hide and avoid technicians.


Maureen is a 6-year-old juvenile female orangutan born at Samboja Lestari on May 17, 2011, to mother Marlies. In 2015, Maureen had to be separated from Marlies, who was suffering from melioidosis; an infectious bacterial disease. Maureen has since formed close relationships with Abel and Belinda, two adult females who live on the same island.

Maureen is quite independent and avoids contact with technicians, which is a good sign that she will also avoid any humans once she is released into the forest.


Kumar is a flanged male aged around 23 years. He came to Samboja Lestari on October 26, 1998,when he was four years old. He was rescued in the Kaltim Prima Coal area of Sangatta, and upon his rescue still demonstrated wild behavior.

Kumar tends to avoid humans and has sound forest skills that will help him survive in the wild.

New House for Our Orphaned Babies

Last Friday was a special day for our orangutan babies at the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Center – they moved to their newly completed baby house! Davina Ames, George, and Bagus had to live in Samboja Lestari’sclinic for nearly eight months while a new baby house was built to replace the old rundown one. During their […]