Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Project
The Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Project is situated 28 km (18 miles) outside Palangka Raya, the capital of Central Kalimantan. It is located within the boundaries of the Nyaru Menteng Arboretum, a 62.5 ha lowland peat-swamp forest ecosystem, founded in 1988 by the Ministry of Forestry Regional office of Central Kalimantan.
The clinic, quarantine facilities and socialisation cages are inside a fenced area of 1.5 ha, while mid-way housing is at the farthest end of the Arboretum.
The project has good forest for the smallest orangutans and is undisturbed by visitors. The larger orangutans are situated on half-way islands in Rungan river, located eight km away by road. On these islands the orangutans are free to roam and learn important forest survival skills.
The Head of the project is Lone Dröscher-Nielsen. Lone spent four years volunteering in Tanjung Putting, caring for small infant orangutans, before deciding to go out on her own and open the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Project.
The centre now employs more than 150 people including vets, technicians and babysitters.
The project works closely with The Wanariset Orangutan Reintroduction Project and works in co-operation with The Department of Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam (a department within the Department of Forestry) for Central Kalimantan.
The aim of the Nyaru Menteng Project is to rescue orangutans (and other protected primates) displaced from their habitat or held in captivity as illegal pets, and through quarantine and half-way housing release them back into their natural environment.
Nyaru Menteng also aims to help protect large areas of untouched forest for this purpose. One of the biggest challenges BOS faces today is finding suitable and safe habitat for release.
As of August 2009, there are about 600 orangutans being rehabilitated at Nyaru Menteng - a number well beyond the intended capacity of the centre. The centre is also home to 7 sunbears currently.