Where to start when talking about everybody’s darling, Beni? He is the megastar of the award-winning documentary series ‘Orangutan Jungle School’. He has fans all around the globe who follow the daily video posts on his fan page. And none of his Forest School buddies has such an insatiable appetite like our red animal celeb.
«Beni-mania» has swept the Social Media world: The video of him craving food he’s not allowed to eat and discovering orangutan heaven, a giant banana mountain, racked up tens of thousands of views online.
But soon Beni’s life will change forever. Before we tell you what our beloved big boy is up to, let’s take a look back to the fateful day when we first met Beni nearly five years ago.
On April 8, 2016, our team from the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, together with the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency, rescued a two-year-old male orangutan. Local residents reported that they had seen the baby by himself, climbing a local telecommunication tower. They stated that they knew they must intervene, so they acted to catch the orangutan in a hessian sack and brought him to the local subdistrict office and police station.
When our rescue team arrived, they found the tiny orangutan being kept inside a cage in front of the subdistrict office. He weighed only 4.3 kilograms, by far not enough for his age. And apart from being thin, he was also suffering from severe dehydration, worm infections, fever, and knotted hair. As he was never kept as a pet before, he was still displaying natural behaviours and acting as a wild orangutan.
Shortly after he arrived at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, the small infant was named Beni. Over four years later, Beni is larger than the other six-year-olds at the centre. Throughout his rehabilitation process, he grew incredibly quickly. We all now know him for his size and adorable personality. Yup, he’s the one and only Big Boy Beni!
Today, Beni has successfully graduated from forest school, and – here it comes – is only one step away from moving to a safe forested pre-release island! This step will be the last one before his final return to the wild.
Until then, he is staying in his very own enclosure in the rehabilitation centre. Being by himself is not unusual for a young male who would spend most of his time alone in the wild.
We will miss you deeply, Beni, but we can’t wait to let you embark on your journey home!
Please check out this short video and look back at some of our favourite moments with our beloved Big Boy Beni.