This week we would like to tell you the story of Nobri. It is one of our many stories of hope. Because no matter how impossible the obstacles may appear, if we provide an opportunity, orangutans will find a way. They are amazingly resilient and awe-inspiring individuals.
Nobri was born on August 29, 2005. Her mum Shelli was kept as an illicit pet in Jakarta before she entered our Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. She graduated from forest school in only two years and started living a semi-independently life on one of our pre-release islands. There Shelli became pregnant with Nobri.
Shelli was a phenomenal mother, raising Nobri to be a completely independent orangutan in just five years, when, in 2010, she gave birth to baby girl Forest. As she was raised naturally by her mother, Nobri has excellent survival skills and a strong dislike for humans. However, her fierce independence worked against her when, in 2013, she was selected as a release candidate alongside her mother Shelli and her sister Forest. Nobri was so wary and quick that the vet team found her impossible to tranquillize despite their countless efforts. They had no choice, but to give the opportunity to another orangutan.
In 2016, the story was a different one. While preparing candidates for the 12th release from Nyaru Menteng, the vet team spotted an unaware Nobri. They saw an opportunity and seized it. Three years after their initial plans, they were finally able to sedate wild Nobri and release her into the Bukit Batikap Protection Forest.
Immediately Nobri proved herself as a highly skilled wild orangutan. She constantly challenged the abilities of the Post-Release Monitoring team, keeping high in the trees, hiding from their vision, and erupting into a chorus of kiss-squeaks when they attempted to observe her.
Eventually, in November 2017, our technicians were lucky enough to spot her and noticed some abnormal swelling near her armpits. Over the months, the swelling turned into large bumps, and
her air sac started to balloon shortly after. The veterinarians diagnosed her with air sacculitis, a painful and potentially deadly disease.
By late 2018, with her symptoms worsening, the vets had no choice but to sedate Nobri and to move her into the camp. The treatment for air sacculitis took numerous surgeries and a long oral medication regime, but Nobri showed the immensity of her strength, and we could release her again in January 2019.
Since then the PRM team have worked their hardest to check on Nobri. However, despite some quick peeks, the team was unable to spot her. It was not until a year after her surgery that the technicians could gain a closer look at her – and were thrilled. Nobri had a tiny infant clinging to her!
With the discovery of Nobri’s baby, our team had witnessed not only the first wild-born child of 2020 but also another orangutan who was the second generation born from the BOS Foundation rehabilitation program. Nearly twenty years after the rescue of Nobri’s mum Shelli from the concrete jungle of Jakarta, her granddaughter was born free in a wild Bornean forest. Congratulations Nobri, we could not be prouder!