THE NOT-SO-SIMPLE TASK OF RELEASING ORANGUTANS

Orangutan release boat
The culmination of an orangutan’s rehabilitation journey is the release of that orangutan into a protected natural habitat. Reintroduction is a long process that encompasses education in Forest School and putting skills into practice on a pre-release island, all in order to determine if an orangutan is ready to survive independently in the wild.

A lot of careful consideration and planning goes into each and every orangutan release. Certain procedures must be carried out to ensure the release goes smoothly and that the orangutan release candidate has already proven they have the skills required to survive on their own in the forest. To decide which orangutans are ready for release, we first examine their behavioural profiles based on the results of monitoring by our teams that patrol the pre-release islands. This is to ensure that the orangutans meet the BOS Foundation’s criteria for release.

Each release journey starts with a final health check.

In addition to proving they have the knowledge and skills to survive in the wild, release candidates must also be in optimum physical condition. They must be within a healthy weight range and be free of all diseases. Prior to being released into a safe forest, the orangutans are collected from the pre-release islands and transferred to a rehabilitation centre to undergo quarantine. The quarantine period gives us time to re-examine the physical condition of each individual and test for a variety of diseases.

Despite all of our careful planning, external factors can still prevent a release from being carried out. For example, extreme weather conditions can bring an unexpected and sudden halt to release operations. If a river floods or a road is washed away in a landslide, we have no choice but to reschedule. However, if there are no further obstacles and the orangutan release candidates are fully prepared, the release can go ahead as planned. 

Soon, the BOS Foundation will conduct its 40th release – and in doing so, will take the total number of orangutans that have been successfully returned to the wild since 2012 to 500 individuals! 

Will you help us unlock more cages for orangutans? Give a gift of freedom this Christmas!

How Can You Help

There are lots of ways you can support orangutans and help ensure the survival of this precious ape.

Adopt an Orangutan

Adopt an Orangutan

Orangutans are endangered and at risk of extinction. Habitat destruction means hundreds of orphan orangutans need to care for every year. You can help by adopting one. Their dedicated ‘nannies’ teach them everything they need to know for when it’s time to release them back to the wild. You can follow their progress through Forest School.

Adopt Now
Make a Donation

Make a Donation

Please help the Orangutans in their struggle for survival. Your donation is important and goes directly to BOS Indonesia. By donating, you are helping bring this noble yet endangered species back from the brink of extinction and on a path to freedom - from rescue to rehabilitation and release.

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Visit Our Shop

Visit Our Shop

The perfect gift for any occasion! Choose from our selection of instant gifts that directly support our orangutans. You can buy a wheelbarrow, provide food for an orangutan for two months or lots more. You will receive a certificate, personalised with the name of your choice - perfect gift for you or a friend.

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