Every year, the BOS Foundation’s two Orangutan Rehabilitation Centres – Nyaru Menteng and Samboja Lestari – take in rescued, orphaned orangutans. They must undergo a lengthy rehabilitation process before we can release them into a secure, natural forest. Join us while we check in with our 2021 rescued orangutans.
Nyaru Menteng Rehabilitation Centre, Central Kalimantan
Ramangai: The Independent Spirit
Ramangai was rescued from Tumbang Hiran village in Marikit District, Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan, on March 2, 2021. At the time, he was 6.5 months old and weighed 2.6 kilograms. He arrived at the centre with dry scars on his left arm and right lower thigh, and the skin on his fingers was peeling. Ramangai was also severely dehydrated; he had a fever, dull hair, and was too weak to move.
His independence and confidence have since grown, and he is now confident enough to explore, play, and climb trees that are not too high all by himself.
We monitor Ramangai regularly, and he is currently in good health. Now even the occasional fever cannot stop him from exploring Forest School. He loves to play in the many puddles that dot the Forest School area during the rainy season.
We believe Ramangai will continue to develop well through every stage of the rehabilitation process until he returns to his true home, the forest.
Onyer: The Hugger
Precious Onyer was surrendered by a resident of a Dahian Tambuk village in Mihing Raya District, Gunung Mas Regency, Central Kalimantan. At his handover to the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) wildlife rescue team, Onyer was eight months old and weighed 2.25 kilograms.
The resident claimed that he had found Onyer alone, without a mother, at a gold mine site on his way home from work on 19 January 2021. The resident said he took Onyer home and sought a way to inform the relevant authorities. However, it was not until over a month later, on 25 February, that he handed Onyer over to the BKSDA team.
Today, Onyer is confident, playful, and slightly aggressive. He does not hesitate to attack visiting veterinary or communications staff members and seems easily distracted by new people. However, he will run to a surrogate mother or friend to seek reassurance and a tight hug when he feels threatened.
Onyer likes milk and slowly learns to climb trees alongside his female pal, Aiko. He quite enjoys looking in the camera lens – we have many pictures of him admiring his own reflection!
Aiko: The Climber
Aiko was handed over by a resident of Muroi village in Kapuas Regency, Central Kalimantan, on 23 March 2021. She looked a bit thin, weighed 2.95 kilograms, and was estimated to be around 8.5 months old.
According to information offered by the resident, Aiko was found alone in the resident’s garden after being chased by a dog. The resident had treated Aiko before handing her over to the relevant authorities.
Aiko will now actively climb trees and play with others and is currently in good health. She has formed a close friendship with Onyer. Aiko loves drinking milk and will whine to the surrogate mothers for more when she has finished her share.
After eating fruit and drinking milk, Aiko will continue her adventures in the trees. She is already far more skilled at climbing than her peers and is independent and good at socialising. Our surrogate mothers are confident that Aiko will be able to complete rehabilitation and one day return to her true home in the jungle.
Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre, East Kalimantan
Feruza: The Over Achiever
Feruza came from Pondok Labu village in Tabang District, East Kalimantan. The East Kalimantan BKSDA wildlife rescue team rescued her before being picked up by the BOS Foundation’s Samboja Lestari team on 24 November 2021.
Feruza was allegedly found in the forest by a resident named Rio. He said he had spotted Feruza sitting next to her dead mother, who had perished after becoming trapped in a wild boar snare set by a local villager. Rio initially planned to hand Feruza over to a company not far from his home. However, he changed his mind and chose to take care of her.
Rio fed Feruza a diet of fruit and canned milk and looked after her for about two months before handing her over to the authorities. Feruza arrived at Samboja Lestari when she was about 12 months old and weighed 4.1 kilograms. She looked traumatised, with constantly watery eyes and would hug a surrogate mother tightly when she felt scared. When the babysitters placed her in a bassinet to sleep, she would cry out.
After four months in the Nursery Group, Feruza now weighs 4.8 kilograms and has grown into an active individual. She is very smart and likes to climb and move around the trees during her time in Forest School. She usually plays with Ruby, but she likes to eat natural foods, such as leaf shoots and forest fruits, when she is alone. Feruza is already forming good habits and natural behaviours beyond her years.
Galaksi: The Fruit Lover
Galaksi came from Bengalon, where he was rescued by a wildlife team from the Tenggarong BKSDA, in East Kalimantan. Allegedly Galaksi was found alone in a forest adjacent to a highway.
Galaksi was held for a night by Herman, a local resident. Luckily, Herman was aware that it is illegal to keep an orangutan. Thus, he quickly informed the local authorities that he had a baby orangutan in his possession.
Galaksi was taken to Samboja Lestari at midnight on 9 August 2021 in a transport cage meant for cats. Upon his arrival, he was immediately picked up by a surrogate mother and taken to the Baby House. Our veterinary team examined him and gave him milk. Galaksi weighed only 2.4 kilograms at the time and was around seven months old. He looked thin, but was found to have no injuries on his body.
After seven months of care in the nursery, Galaksi’s weight has increased by 6.5 kilograms! He never misses the chance to drink milk and savours every last drop. Galaksi also loves fruits like dragon fruit and bananas.
Galaksi has grown into a smart orangutan who likes to play in the forest and climb trees by himself. However, if he sees a stranger, he will immediately climb down from the tree he is in and runs to hug a surrogate mother for protection.
Gami: The Quiet One
Gami was found in the territory of a company operating in the area between the cities of Samarinda and Bontang. According to reports, he was seen on several occasions wandering around and allegedly had not made a nest for around six months.
The East Kalimantan BKSDA wildlife rescue team rescued Gami and brought him to Samboja Lestari on 3 November 2021. He was visibly underweight at only 58 kilograms, even though he was around 20 years old. We placed him immediately in Socialisation Complex C, a quarantine enclosure.
We still need to finalise the results of Gami’s general examination. However, his body now looks stouter, and he will eat any food the technicians offer him.
Gami never shows aggression in the complex; he seems to avoid people he doesn’t know and will immediately retreat to the top side of the cage to observe newcomers.
Uli: The Eldest
Uli is a mature male orangutan aged around 21 years. He was rescued by a resident of Loesan village in Muara Komam District, Paser Regency, East Kalimantan. Some time ago, Uli went viral on social media when people found out that a friendly adult orangutan had left the forest and entered a village. Residents had even fed him fruits.
After Uli’s video spread on social media, a BKSDA wildlife rescue team from Balikpapan, in East Kalimantan, assisted by Muhtadin Wahyu, our vet from Samboja Lestari, immediately rushed to Loesan village to conduct a rescue.
Uli arrived at the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre on 11 June 2021. At Samboja Lestari, we placed Uli in Socialisation Complex C, a special enclosure used to quarantine orangutans during the pandemic.
A general health examination showed that Uli weighed 79 kg. He was in relatively good health, other than a bent left index finger. Interestingly, our team discovered two microchips in Uli’s body, one registered in the Samboja Lestari orangutan inventory. Data showed that Uli originally came from Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, and came to Wanariset Samboja (the BOS Foundation location before establishing Samboja Lestari) on 6 February 1998. Uli had been released into the wild by the BOS Foundation on 9 September 1999, in Meratus, when he was very young.
Uli’s examination confirmed that he was not suffering from tuberculosis, which was a common discovery in orangutans that we rescued back in the day.
In the Socialisation Complex, Uli has maintained a calm, non-aggressive manner. He always eats the food offered to him and diligently plays with the leaves delivered by the technicians. We often see him at the top part of the cage, where he can watch our technicians working nearby.
You can support our rescued orangutans with your kind donation. Every gift makes a difference in an orangutan’s life!