Have you ever wondered how our forest schools resemble orangutans’ natural habitats? Let’s peek in and see!

Sri Rahayu, BOS Foundation’s Surrogate Mother Coordinator at our Nyaru Menteng centre, and her fellow babysitters prepare for another wild day in the rainforest. It starts with bringing the eagerly waiting students to Forest School, which is more adventurous than it sounds.

The little ones climb in a wheelbarrow—the jungle school bus—while the older students walk by themselves, hand in hand with a babysitter, or they stubbornly refuse to walk, and the surrogate mothers have no choice but to pick them up and carry.

As the name implies, the jungle schools at our East and Central Kalimantan sanctuaries are in the middle of the Bornean rainforest; hence, walking from one place to another can be challenging. Therefore, we use boardwalks connecting the surrogate mothers’ building and orangutan sleeping enclosures to the jungle classrooms. Here, the students are separated according to age and skill level before the first lesson starts.

Dedicated multi-taskers
Sri and her team are vital to our conservation efforts. They are surrogate mothers, babysitters and jungle school teachers in one, ensuring our little orphans receive their daily dose of tender loving care while learning the essential survival skills their orangutan mothers sadly could never teach them.

To properly prepare the students for life in the wild, our jungle schools must mimic orangutans’ natural habitat as closely as possible: Tall trees and dense canopies are perfect for swinging, foraging, and building nests. Small creeks are popular spots for drinking, splashing, and cooling off, and plenty of other wildlife on the school grounds is important for learning how to avoid danger and survive in the wild.

The stakes are high, and the lesson can drain the little students’ energy. For example, if a nest just doesn’t want to look and feel like one despite putting so much work into folding and arranging branches, it is time for a desperately needed break.

Tall platforms mimic trees
Siri and her team are prepared to empty baskets full of different fruits onto specially designed feeding platforms. These are tall enough to make the orangutans put effort into climbing onto them to grab and eat the food, but still low enough for our surrogate mothers to reach. This activity is crucial for the students to identify high places as their food source since climbing trees to eat is their natural habit.

In the late afternoon, the orangutan trek—with even more tired students choosing a piggyback ride—heads back to the sanctuary to enjoy some playtime before bed. The playground allows the students to explore, socialise, solve puzzles for food rewards, and simply have a good time together.

While some surrogate mothers play around with the orangutans, others prepare the sleeping enclosures by installing tree leaves onto the rubber swings. As with the feeding platforms, the sleeping enclosures mimic a boreal life in the wild. They are tall to stimulate the orangutans to get used to sleeping on high grounds. And they are safe and secure, so the students get their well-deserved rest – before another day of Forest School begins.

We need your help to build a new Orangutan Jungle School
Now that you understand how crucial our forest schools are to our orangutan conservation efforts, you will real
ise we cannot risk losing one. But exactly this could happen to our Nyaru Menteng Forest School. It is on government-owned land that we must return one day. Therefore, our parent organisation, the BOS Foundation, has purchased land for a Nyaru Menteng 2 location solely owned by BOS.
One of the benefits of the new location is the opportunity to enhance the infrastructure of our Forest School, creating a nurturing environment where each orangutan can receive the highest-quality care. Your financial support is essential for constructing boardwalks, buildings for our human surrogate mothers, feeding platforms, an orangutan playground, and secure overnight sleeping enclosures.Please give urgently to help secure a wild future for our little orphans. You can also make tax-deductible donations by PayPal or Bank Deposit (Westpac Bank, BSB: 033 112, Account name: Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Australia Incorporated, Account number: 244334).

How Can You Help

There are lots of ways you can support orangutans and help ensure the survival of this precious ape.

Adopt an Orangutan

Adopt an Orangutan

Orangutans are endangered and at risk of extinction. Habitat destruction results in hundreds of orphaned orangutans, who rely on our care every year. You can help by adopting one. Their dedicated ‘nannies’ teach them everything they need to know for when it’s time to release them back to the wild. You can follow their progress through Forest School.

Adopt Now
Make a Donation

Make a Donation

Please help the Orangutans in their struggle for survival. Your donation is important and goes directly to BOS Indonesia. By donating, you are helping bring this noble yet endangered species back from the brink of extinction and on a path to freedom - from rescue to rehabilitation and release.

Donate Now
Visit Our Shop

Visit Our Shop

The perfect gift for any occasion! Choose from our selection of instant gifts that directly support our orangutans. You can buy a wheelbarrow, provide food for an orangutan for two months or lots more. You will receive a certificate, personalised with the name of your choice - perfect gift for you or a friend.

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