We have great news: Orangutan Jungle School star Dilla, together with her female friends Mawas and Jeliva, has been released on the Badak Kecil Orangutan Sanctuary Island!
We are delighted to report the safe and successful first island release since the coronavirus pandemic’s outbreak last year. The transfer was carried out under special, strict protocols to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus to both humans and orangutans.
During the very first part of their journey, Dilla, Mawas, and Jeliva were sound asleep. To be able to carry the three orangutans out of their enclosures into the transport boxes, the veterinarians had to sedate them. Once in the boxes, the trip continued via truck and boat to Badak Kecil Orangutan Sanctuary Island in the Salat Island Cluster.
The Salat Island cluster is an area of more than 2,000 hectares located in the Kahayan River’s delta in Central Kalimantan. It is jointly managed by PT. Sawit Sumbermas Sarana Tbk., a palm-oil company founded in Pangkalan Bun, and the BOS Foundation as an orangutan conservation site. The area was chosen for its forest environment, resembling a natural orangutan habitat, with sufficient natural food sources.
Surveys show that this area
- has a high-quality forest
- is isolated by a river throughout the year
- has no identifiable population of wild orangutans
- is large enough to support adaptation and socialisation
- has sufficient orangutan food availability
- and can accommodate around 200 orangutans.
With all its features, Badak Kecil Island, as part of the Salat Island cluster, is considered a suitable sanctuary for unreleasable orangutans, individuals that we cannot release to the wild.
The reasons for being unreleasable are manifold. Some orangutans were in captivity for too long before their rescue or have spent too long in human care and generally have difficulty developing their natural behaviours. Others are suffering from infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis or hepatitis B and C that are susceptible to relapse. And then there are orangutans who have physical disabilities that inhibit their development. Here, Dilla, Mawas and Jeliva couldn’t develop the natural skills and behaviours needed to survive independently in the wild.
Security of the sanctuary island and its orangutan inhabitants is fully monitored by our team of dedicated technicians and an on-call veterinarian. They make sure our red cousins always have enough food and stay healthy and happy.
The new arrivals increase the total number of orangutans on Badak Kecil Island to 10 individuals. We are sure our three orangutan ladies will thrive towards a bright future in their new island environment.
Welcome to your new home, Dilla, Mawas, and Jeliva!