In June, we released ten more orangutans into the Bornean rainforest. One of them was eight-year-old Kejora. Her life is a story of both unbelievable cruelty and hope. Despite her tremendous challenges, Kejora’s release proves that we can make a difference when we work together to break the chains of captivity and give these amazing animals the freedom they deserve.
On 1 February 2016, a group of experts from the BOS Foundation’s Nyaru Menteng Centre and the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) responded to a distressing report about an orangutan being kept captive in a room at an oil palm nursery facility.
After rushing to the site, the team witnessed a shocking scene: A tiny, weak and frightened female orangutan chained to the door of a room full of fertilizers and pesticides.
The BKSDA immediately confiscated the infant and, during the investigation, discovered that the poor little orangutan had been held captive for six months in this terrible situation. According to the worker caring for her, he found her in a small forest area behind the nursery. We know that an orangutan mother would never leave her baby alone, so there is no doubt that her mother must have been killed.
BOS Foundation’s Veterinary Coordinator at Nyaru Menteng, Agus Fahroni, who was with the rescue team and checked the baby’s physical condition, remembers: “She was around 1.5 years old, malnourished, clearly neglected, and incredibly scared.”
On 16 June 2023, the same female, who her caretaker had named Kejora, stepped out of her transport box at the Bemban watershed in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park. Kejora is free, released into a protected forest where no human can harm her. After seven years of recovering from her trauma, learning the survival skills her mother could not teach her, and honing them on a pre-release island, she is finally home.
Kejora’s story stands for the other nine who BOS released this June and all the ones reintroduced before and still in our care. It’s a reminder of the immense effort and resources required to protect and support these amazing great apes.
With this 41st release from the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, the total number of reintroduced orangutans since 2012 at sites across Central and East Kalimantan in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park, the Bukit Batikap Protection Forest, and the Kehje Sewen Ecosystem Restoration Concession increased to 515. From these individuals, 34 babies have been born in the wild.
Despite these triumphs, there are still about 400 orangutans in our care at the Nyaru Menteng and Samboja Lestari rehabilitation centres, awaiting their chance to be released into a natural habitat. We can only carry out this vital work with the help of all stakeholders, our partners, local communities – and most importantly, our generous supporters.
Let’s break more chains together!
HELP US HELP RELEASED ORANGUTANS SURVIVE
At BOS, our ultimate goal is freedom for every eligible orangutan in our care. However, our job does not end there. To ensure the orangutans adapt well and thrive in their natural habitat, we rely heavily on the Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team to collect behavioural data and send them back to the rehabilitation centres for further evaluation. To facilitate this crucial task, we must provide them with well-equipped camps and boats to reach the remote release areas. That is why we are launching our Spring Appeal. Firstly, we aim to equip our forest camps with solar panel systems to replace the noisy and fuel-guzzling generators. By using solar panels, we can ensure that our PRM team has the power to collect data while reducing our carbon footprint and preserving the natural environment. Secondly, we want to purchase two urgently needed boats plus batteries, as our old ones have broken down. Will you help us by donating to our Spring Appeal today?