Orangutan Foundation News

View the latest Orangutan Foundation news... View upcoming events... View the latest Orangutan Foundation press releases... View the latest Orangutan Foundation media items... View the latest conservation news...

The Orangutan’s World: A photographic celebration of Bornean Wildlife

The Orangutan’s World: A photographic celebration of Bornean Wildlife

Click here to look inside!

This 120 page photography book, published by the Orangutan Foundation, provides a glimpse into the world of the orangutan through a collection of photographs of the flora and fauna found in Tanjung Puting National Park and the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.

This book comes with a foreword written by Chris Packham and images from world renowned wildlife photographers, Anup Shah, Brian Matthews, David Yarrow and Ian Wood, as well as award winners from the Orangutan Foundation’s staff in Indonesia.

All proceeds from the sale of this book will go towards the Orangutan Foundation's Forest Restoration Programme.

Buy your copy here...


Orangutan, Aan to Remain Permanently Blind Despite Expert’s Best Efforts to Restore Sight

An orangutan who was blinded after being shot 104 times with an air rifle underwent surgery a few days ago to remove a cataract, which was probably caused by this trauma. Claudia Hartley, an ophthalmic surgeon, led the British team of experts, including John Lewis, one of the UK’s leading wildlife veterinarians. Post operation, initial signs were promising and the eye looked clear and healthy. However, it is now thought that the optic nerve must have suffered irreparable damage, when she was shot, which wasn’t detectable before the surgery. The Orangutan Foundation’s vet has been monitoring Aan’s progress and is saddened to report that she isn’t showing signs of any vision.

Orangutan Foundation is hugely disappointed and we know our members and supporters will be too. The focus is on Aan’s long-term care and welfare as she will never be suitable for release back into the wild. Orangutans can live well into their forties, Aan is thought to be around 14 to 15 years old.

Thank you to every one for their support.


John Lewis, Claudia Hartley and Steven Daud, OF vet examining Aan

Close up of Aan's face

Orangutan, Aan to Remain Permanently Blind Despite Expert’s Best Efforts to Restore Sight

An orangutan who was blinded after being shot 104 times with an air rifle underwent surgery a few days ago to remove a cataract, which was probably caused by this trauma. Claudia Hartley, an ophthalmic surgeon, led the British team of experts, including John Lewis, one of the UK’s leading wildlife veterinarians. Post operation, initial signs were promising and the eye looked clear and healthy. However, it is now thought that the optic nerve must have suffered irreparable damage, when she was shot, which wasn’t detectable before the surgery. The Orangutan Foundation’s vet has been monitoring Aan’s progress and is saddened to report that she isn’t showing signs of any vision.

Orangutan Foundation is hugely disappointed and we know our members and supporters will be too. The focus is on Aan’s long-term care and welfare as she will never be suitable for release back into the wild. Orangutans can live well into their forties, Aan is thought to be around 14 to 15 years old.

Thank you to every one for their support.


Blind Orangutan Has Op To Restore Sight After Being Shot 104 Times

Aan had a cataract operation on her right eye while her left eye, which was ruptured by dozens of air rifle pellets, was removed.

Read the full article at sky.com

Cautious Optimism for Blind Orangutan

Claudia Hartley, the ophthalmic surgeon, and her team in Borneo have removed the cataract from Aan’s eye.  It wasn’t obvious immediately if there was any damage to the optic nerve and if Aan’s sight would be restored but the eye looked healthy and clear. The damaged eye was removed because it was thought to be causing Aan pain. It may take a few weeks to know whether or not the surgery to restore her sight was successful. Meanwhile she is being monitored daily by the Orangutan Foundation staff at Camp Gemini, Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

Orangutan Foundation will keep you updated. Thank you to everyone who has donated to help Aan.

John Lewis, Claudia Hartley and Steven Daud, OF vet examining Aan

Great Orangutan Bake Off 2016 Winners

Thank you to everyone who took part in Orangutan Awareness Week 2016 which ran from Monday 7th to Sunday 13th November. No matter what you did, little or big, it all makes a difference.

Ian Cumming, finalist of the Great British Bake Off 2015 and Patrick Aryee, Orangutan Foundation Patron and wildlife television presenter judged our Great Orangutan Bake Off 2016 competition.

Here are the winning cakes...


Adult’s Category

1st Prize – Caroline Richardson

‘Here's my deforestation themed entry for the bake off - adult category. The cake is 100% vegan & free from palm oil. I made the orangutan, tree stumps and logs from a raw blend of almonds, prunes and cocoa.’


Great Orangutan Bake Off 2016 Winners

 2nd Prize – Grace Pearce, 3rd Prize – Sarah Croucher



Children’s Category

1st Prize - Isabelle Head, aged 6

‘Isabelle has said to tell you that it is a mummy Orangutan with 2 baby orangutans and that she checked before designing it that plain M&Ms (featured in the decoration) are palm oil-free (She does know that orangutans don't normally have twins, but decided that one could be adopted...)’


Great Orangutan Bake Off 2016 Winners

 2nd Prize – Shafira Sabrun, aged 11, 3rd Prize - Georgia Gill, aged 12


The Big Give - THANK YOU


Orangutan Foundation and the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) sending a thank you message from Borneo to all who donated during the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2016.

Thank you to all who donated during the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2016.


A thank you message from Ashley Leiman OBE, Director/Trustee of the Orangutan Foundation, recorded by Guard Post 25, Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Indonesian Borneo.



Donate to protect critical orangutan habitat...


Second Chance For Blind Orangutan

A blind Bornean orangutan, who was rescued from an oil-palm plantation, may have her sight restored and live in the wild again. The Orangutan Foundation have been caring for the orangutan, named Aan, since 2012 when she was found with 104 air rifle pellets in her, 37 lodged in her head. A three-hour operation removed 32 of the pellets but she was left blind which meant she couldn’t be returned to the wild.

Close up of Aan's face


An ophthalmic surgeon, Claudia Hartley, visited Aan to assess the permanence of her blindness. On examination, the ophthalmologist discovered there is a very high chance of restoring sight to one of Aan’s eyes. Claudia Hartley will return to Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, with colleagues and specialist equipment in February 2017. They will operate to remove a cataract and, if successful, Aan will be returned to the wild, despite still being blind in one eye.

Claudia examining Aan's eye


Aan is currently living in a purpose-built enclosure in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, which is where she will also hopefully begin her transition to living wild again. The Orangutan Foundation actively protect the forests and precious wildlife within with guard posts and river patrols. This year, an extension to the Reserve was agreed by the Indonesian Government, adding an area the size of Guernsey to the protected forests. At a time when orangutans are critically endangered, due to habitat loss, this is a conservation success story.


Support the Orangutan Foundation’s work protecting the critically endangered orangutan. Please donate – click here...


Successful Orangutan Release

Watch footage of the Orangutan Foundation’s veterinary team successfully releasing another orangutan back into the forest of the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. Found tied up 3 weeks ago this 5 year old female is now living back in the forest, where she belongs. 

Successful Orangutan Release


Help Us To Protect Their Remaining Habitat.

The Orangutan Foundation is saddened to announce that following a recent report, IUCN have now updated the Bornean orangutan's status to CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. This is largely due to rapid habitat loss as a result of a variety of industries taking advantage of the rich resources in these areas.

The Orangutan Foundation focuses in particular on protecting forest habitat in order to give orangutans the best chance of survival in the wild. Find out more about the threats to orangutan habitat.

Now more than ever, this recent change in classification highlights the urgent need for habitat protection, as populations are predicted to decline as much as 86% by 2025 should the current rate of habitat loss continue.

With your help we can safeguard areas of orangutan habitat to ensure their long-term survival in the wild.




Application period now closed. Please e-mail for more information on upcoming volunteer programmes.


Volunteer Programme 2016


Now in its 16th year, our volunteer programme is like no other - not only will you experience essential hands-on conservation work but you will also see the endangered orangutan in its natural habitat. This year our volunteers will be taking part in a community-based project to build a new guard post in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve!


Date: 25th July - 15th August (arrival and departure dates in/out of Pangkalan Bun)

Location: Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo


Click here for more information.



We at the Orangutan Foundation are extremely proud to welcome wildlife presenter Patrick Aryee as our newest patron!

Pictured above: Patrick Aryee with Orangutan Foundation Director/Trustee, Ashley Leiman OBE

As a science and wildlife TV presenter, who has successful programmes with the BBC and Sky1 under his belt, Patrick is the perfect advocate for orangutan conservation. He has just returned from filming orangutans in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, so knows first-hand the work we do, as well as the struggles we continue to face.

We are incredibly grateful for his support and very much look forward to having him on board!

You can follow Patrick on Facebook and Twitter!


That’s a wrap! The Orangutan Foundation has just finished filming with Patrick Aryee and the wildlife filmmakers at Offspring Films, who have chosen the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve to be featured in their new series with Sky1!

Lamandau to be featured on new wildlife series with Sky1

As an addition to Sky1’s existing ‘An Amazing Animal Family’ programmes, the series will explore the eccentricities of primates living all over the globe, as well as showcase the importance of conservation.

We have had an incredible time working with both Patrick and the rest of the team at Offspring Films, and we can’t wait for all of our supporters to see the final product later this year!


Lamandau to be featured on new wildlife series with Sky1

Watch this site and keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for further updates.


We are delighted to announce that guest judge, Joanna Lumley, has selected Morgan Davidson, Angeline Islam, and Toby Mawer as the winners of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes (respectively) for the 6-9 Year Old category, and Eloise Blakey, Jacob Bicker, and Orla Dalby have won the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (respectively) for the 10-13 Year Old category!

Congratulations to all!


Click here for more information, and read the 1st place winners’ entries on our blog!



Join us to celebrate the Orangutan Foundation’s 25th Anniversary...


Increasing critical orangutan habitat by 8,000 hectares

To mark our 25th Anniversary, we are launching an ambitious challenge to secure the future of 8,000 hectares of prime, critical orangutan habitat adjacent to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. This area (larger than Guernsey in the Channel Islands) would increase the size of the reserve by 15 per cent, bringing the total extent of its protected habitat to 64,000 hectares.

We need your support to make a long-term commitment to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve by planning for the next 25 years. With your help, our vital conservation work can continue into the next quarter century.


Every donation will make a difference: both to orangutans and the tropical forest habitats that they need to survive.

Click here to find out more about our  25th Anniversary Appeal!


Orangutan Foundation's 25th Anniversary Promotional Film


Read more


As we enter the dry season in Kalimantan, Indonesia, we're taking every precaution.

Please DONATE and quote ‘FIRE’ to help us fund new fire-fighting equipment!

Our field staff are going the extra mile to raise awareness and stop the breakout of fires in areas surrounding protected forest. Every year fire is a constant worry. Naturally occurring fires are prevalent throughout Indonesia, and the tradition of ‘slash and burn’ farming can also be used as a method to prepare for oil-palm plantations. In open stretches of land where the air doesn't hold as much moisture, these fires are a constant challenge to control. A fire that cannot be easily extinguished can wipe out forests that are home to thousands of species, including the endangered orangutan.

Please DONATE and quote ‘FIRE’ to help us fund new fire-fighting equipment!

That is why the Foundation has always made fire prevention a priority. In addition to fire training for all guard post staff, our employees in the field have called for local people to stop clearing the land with fire through the implementation of signposts. These steps are especially important because dry and barren landscapes, such as those pictured below, surround the areas of forest in which we work. These patches of open land are especially susceptible to catching fire, and their vulnerability to wind only encourages fire to spread.

Please DONATE and quote ‘FIRE’ to help us fund new fire-fighting equipment!

In our efforts to raise awareness, we at the Foundation have built warning sign-posts all along the boundaries of particularly high-risk areas (highlighted in yellow). Through these actions, we hope to keep protected areas of forest, and all of their inhabitants, safe from harm.

Please DONATE and quote ‘FIRE’ to help us fund new fire-fighting equipment!

Please DONATE and quote ‘FIRE’ to help us fund new fire-fighting equipment!

Conservation organisations around the world bring incredible rainforest life straight to your home.

Kalimantan, Indonesia, 18 June 2015

On the 19 June 2015 people across the world won’t need to leave the comfort of their homes to experience the amazing diversity of life found in tropical rainforests.

Conservation organisations will be using social media to share live wildlife sightings from the rainforest, using social media, as part of an exciting initiative: ‘Rainforest: Live 2015’.

Now in its second year, Rainforest: Live is a project initiated by the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop), a research and conservation organisation based in Indonesian Borneo. This year, 16 other tropical conservation organisations will join forces to share their experience of living and working in these beautiful and diverse habitats during this special one-day event.

OuTrop’s Matt Williams explains that “so much of the media coverage of rainforests is negative, concentrating on habitat and species losses. While this is important, Rainforest: Live is designed to focus on the diversity of life in forests and the amazing species that conservationists are fighting to protect. It is to remind us all why they’re worth saving.”

Last year, Rainforest: Live reached several hundreds of thousands of people using the hashtag #rainforestlive on Facebook and Twitter. Sightings of species, from the endangered and iconic orangutan to the colourful and spectacular hornbill, were shared with followers.

Gavin Thurston, OuTrop Patron and wildlife filmmaker said “through my career as a wildlife cameraman I have been fortunate enough to visit and film in some splendid rainforests. It is an environment that I feel remarkably at home in and am constantly surprised and thrilled by the hidden beauty and complexity of life that has evolved to live and thrive there.”

“I realise that not everyone is lucky enough to visit a rainforest in their lifetime so I am delighted that Rainforest: Live will give many people the opportunity to experience this incredible and diverse world,” said Thurston. “I’m excited to see what wildlife will show up live from the rainforest.”

Quinn Meyer, Founder of The crees Foundation, said “It's great to see the power of social media being able to take fragile and threatened ecosystems and bring them into daily life on a global scale in a positive light; we need to hear the good news and more often.”

Helen Buckland, Director of the Sumatran Orangutan Society (SOS) says "This event allows people to join a virtual expedition to conservation field sites all over the world. We are excited to welcome people to our rainforest restoration project in Sumatra, from where we'll be sharing live sightings of wildlife that's returning to this once-barren landscape, now buzzing with life! It's an innovative way to show real conservation impact and inspire people to get behind grassroots conservation action."

Jess McKelson, a Board Member of The Orangutan Project, said “We are excited to be involved with OUTrop initiative as we can also showcase the beauty from Sumatra direct from the field. The diversity across Indonesias islands and where we are all working to learn more and also conserving the remaining habitat.”

Thirza Loffeld, Education and Advocacy Coordinator for Selamatkan Yaki mentioned that “though the Indonesian island Sulawesi knows many endemic species, a large number of the local communities here are not aware of the unique wildlife that they share the island with. During Rainforest: Live, alongside other organisations, Selamatkan Yaki will take the opportunity to give the public insight in the life of Macaca nigra, locally known as yaki, from Tangkoko Nature Reserve in North Sulawesi. This beautiful reserve holds the largest connected population of this Critically Endangered primate species across its native range, in addition to many other unique species of wildlife."

To follow the event, simply click onto the Facebook or Twitter page of the participating organisations on the 19th June 2015, look out for the hashtag #rainforestlive and it will provide a window to a beautiful, but threatened, world.

Notes to the Editors

Rainforest: Live was developed by the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop); a conservation and research organisation established in 1999. OuTrop is dedicated to helping to protect Borneo’s biodiversity through conservation-orientated research, capacity building, education and on-the-ground conservation projects (www.outrop.com | www.facebook.com/OuTrop | twitter.com/outrop).

Storify will be used to pull together social media posts from all participating organisations: storify.com/outrop/rainforest-live

Other organisations participating in Rainforest: Live 2015 are:

Contact information

Matt Williams, Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project Tel: + 44 (0) 7854575690• E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Website: www.outrop.comPostal address: Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project, Jalan Semeru No. 91, Bukit Hindu, Palangka Raya 73112, Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia.

Foundation Deeply Saddened by the Death of Trustee, Sir Terry Pratchett.

The Foundation trustees are deeply saddened by the death of fellow trustee, Sir Terry Pratchett. Sir Terry Pratchett was a loyal trustee of the Orangutan Foundation for 23 years, and a staunch advocate for the plight of the orangutan and its vanishing habitat.

Sir Terry's love for orangutans was apparent from his famous and playful characterization of 'The Librarian' in his Discworld book series, leading him to make two profound and inspiring films with the Orangutan Foundation.

Watch Sir Terry Pratchett's collaboration with the Foundation, 'Facing Extinction' (2013), here...

Sir Terry's legacy is to ensure a future for orangutans, forests and people.

Visit our Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/Rowan-Sharp/ dedicated to his memory.

Sir Terry Pratchett out in the field with Orangutan Foundation director, Ashley Leiman OBE (1994).

Our Work Into The Future

The Orangutan Foundation signed its next memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indonesian government this week, meaning our projects and achievements can continue for 2015 and for years to come.

Please see more about MoUs and our work here.


Ashley Leiman OBE Director of the Orangutan Foundation with the Director General at the Ministry of Forestry after the signing of the MoU

Ashley Leiman OBE Director of the Orangutan Foundation with
the Director General at the Ministry of Forestry after the signing of the MoU


Rocky and Okto

Rocky - once the pet of a taxi driver, enjoying rides in the taxi and meals of local 'Nasi Padang' - has made, what some people would consider, an impossible transition back to the wild.

This shows that an orangutan - even if kept as a pet for many years - can still be successfully released back into the wild.

Though Rocky now spends most of his time in the surrounding forest, when he does return to Camp, he has taken Okto (a small male in soft release) under his wing! This is rewarding as Okto now has a mentor.


Okto now has a mentor


Okto with Rocky

Exciting start to the New Year!

Sheila gave birth to her third offspring on the 15th of December 2014. We don’t yet know if it’s male or female. Her nurturing instinct is obvious from just looking at the photos.

This birth is a testament to the ideal habitat she lives in, and to the conservation work that protects this area; the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

Read more and view more photographs on our blog...

Exciting start to the New Year!

A welcome end to the dry season

Foundation staff have welcomed the end to the prolonged dry season, more than three months. During this time, it was very difficult to reach Camps and Guard Posts with food and logistics. In spite of the low rivers and logs blocking access, staff were still able to get supplies to the camps and guard posts, even if it sometimes took them 6 – 7 hours, rather than the normal 2 – 3. Even under these difficult conditions, the staff carried out their work with dedication and good humor.

Read the full story on our blog here...

Fire fighting team in action

Director Ashley visits Reintroduction Camps (Low level of Lamandau River)

On the 27th of October 2014, Director Ashley Leiman OBE was with staff, attempting to visit one of our release camps. It was difficult to get there because there has been so little rain, meaning river access took hours instead of minutes! The team got to Camp JL eventually, but we hope rain will fall soon, so all our camps are more accessible. These are just some of the logistics that comes with working in the field!

The Orangutan Foundation has been supporting the orangutan reintroduction programme in the protected Lamandau Wildlife Reserve since 2000. It is one of the few places in Indonesia where translocated and rescued orangutans can be released in the wild. A veterinary clinic has been established at Camp Gemini, one of the six orangutan release camps in the reserve.
All the orangutans that are rescued and released are treated for parasitic worm infections and are given a full health check to minimise the risk of disease transmission to the wild.

Read more

Ashley Leiman Orangutan Foundation UK, Visits Release Camps and Releases Male Orangutan Rescued From Oil Palm - Two Videos


Director of the Foundation, Ashley Leiman OBE, visits the Foundation release camps during the dry season (see above). Whilst there, she was also able to help release a male orangutan into the wild (see below)!

This orangutan can now live in A PROTECTED, WILD FOREST. These stories are a result of our ONGOING PROJECTS IN INDONESIAN BORNEO. Please see all the FOUNDATION’S YOUTUBE VIDEOS HERE.

Please see all the Foundation’s YouTube videos here.




Nick on his Travels! Climate Change March on the 21st of September 2014

Nick was out and about again on Sunday the 21st of September – a date that will go down in history as one of the biggest marches globally, with 40,000 people attending in London and 400,000 in New York City.

Read more and meet Nick here!


Great times ahead: this November be #OuAware14

Exciting times are coming up!

Although November seems far away, time goes quickly… So when is Orangutan Awareness Week 2014?!


This year’s Orangutan Awareness Week will be held 10th-16th of November, with ORANGE DAY on the 12th (the Wednesday – as always).

We are already sending schools materials and the orange costumes are getting an Autumn clean. Our ambassadors are putting up posters and we really can’t wait to see everyone’s efforts in 2014 to help save orangutans.

It is important to dedicate a week to raising awareness and raising funds. It is a time where all and any communities can come together and do small and big things to support the safeguarding of Indonesian Bornean habitat. All funds raised will go towards the conservation of orangutans in critical orangutan habitat. Our work prioritises conservation of standing forests and local capacity building to ensure orangutans and amazingly diverse habitat are protected into the future. See some ideas and stories of our Awareness Weeks here!

We’ll be collecting all the photos of YOU, fun-loving public having a good time for orangutans, so please stay in touch – see all the fun on facebook too!

Be orange, be daring, have fun, and swing towards helping…

A Future for Orangutans, Forests and People

Exciting developments in Belantikan - biodiversity hotspot

The Orangutan Foundation are proud to be partners of a groundbreaking Camera Trapping Project with Yayasan Orangutan Indonesia (Yayorin) and The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop) – allowing us to document animals that have never been seen before in the remote and highly diverse area of Belantikan Hulu.

Read here, as Dr. Susan Cheyne, co-coordinator of the project, tells us about the initial results…

Check out the stunning footage of sun bears, orangutans and pangolins on YouTube...

sun bears in Belantikanorangutan in Belantikanpangolin in Belantikan



London benches – find your favourite book and support the Foundation

Check out where to see new book-benches in London and how it can help us, read more here...


Books about Town - find a bench near you!

Victim of Ignorance

One role of the Foundation is to rescue orangutans from oil palm, villages and community land. Recently the team in Pangkalan Bun received a report of an orangutan found on local farmland. As the team, along with staff from Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), drove to the location, they received news that the orangutan was in fact dead.

This was one of an increasing number of reports the Foundation receives of conflict between orangutans and humans, as more permits for plantations are granted and the importance of the forest for people and wildlife is overlooked.

The Foundation’s rescue team works to translocate orangutans into a protected area. This is complemented by programmes to raise awareness. We educate the oil-palm companies, helping their staff understand about orangutans and explaining what to do if they see one on company land. We want stories such as this to be a thing of the past.

Support the work of the team in the field by contributing to www.justgiving.com/Protectmeandmytree

Support the work of the team in the field by contributing to www.justgiving.com/Protectmeandmytree


And still more orangutans to be rescued...

The Foundation is always asked ‘How is the situation – facing the orangutans?’. We answer ‘The Foundation is making progress’, in one way by working closely with villagers and oil palm companies to mitigate human-wildlife conflict.

This strategy is working, as the Foundation is called upon to rescue stranded orangutans, rather than the individuals being harmed. Within one week in April, the Field staff were called upon to translocate four orangutans that had entered villager’s farm land. One orangutan was found in a chicken farm and had eaten bananas and coconuts from the orchard on her way!

These situations must be extremely frustrating for the farmers and yet rather than injure the marauding orangutan, the local people now know that there is an alternative, and that is to call upon the Rescue Team (OF and BKSDA).

Read the full story on our blog here...

To the memory of Mark Shand...

"The passing of Mark Shand leaves a void in Asian Elephant Conservation. Mark was a valued friend and colleague. The Orangutan Foundation worked closely with Elephant Family on two very successful campaigns. We owe it to the memory of Mark Shand to continue with this work, He will be greatly missed."

Ms Ashley Leiman OBE

The Orangutans of Spring 2014

Amoi and Alex

Amoi, a female orangutan needing rehabilitation was based at and released from Camps Siswoyo in Lamandau Wildlife Reserve from July, 2003. As she’s grown confidence in the wild she was often seen around Camp Gemini, not far from Camp Siswoyo. After a failed birth in 2007, we were glad to see her give birth again in May 2013 to the healthy ‘Alex’. Now Alex is 10 months old – Amoi has been encouraging her to hold on to tree trunks – hopely she’ll be up high with mum in the fruiting trees by summer! Amoi is a very caring mother – she even brushes of mosquitoes away using twigs and leaves.


Amoi and Her 8 Month Old Infant Alex


Amoi and 1 Month Old Infant Alex



Mantra, Max and MC

Mantra, is a female that’s been with us at Camp Siswoyo since 4th July 2003, along with her son Max. Camp Gemini is popular – Mantra along with Amoi now hangout in the forest near this camp. As Max is now growing up strong and confident, enough time has passed for Mantra to give birth again to MC – a little female on May 23, 2008. Both Max and MC are healthy – brother and sister always stay together.





Ivan and Yuli

Ivan is already about 3 years old, rescued and brought to Camp Rasak in March 2013. With us for one year, he is making great progress in the soft release programme. He has made very good friends with Yuli - an orangutan of the same age, who share a protective cage over night. They need the cage at night for their own safety. They spend their days together, learning the forest skills needed for a life in the wild, finding food, building nests and improving their climbing skills.


Ivan Biting Yuli's Hair

Presentation of past and future to the Anglo Indonesian Society

The Orangutan Foundation is always trying to reach out to new people who may be interested in the conservation of orangutans and their habitat… Charles Humfrey, previous Ambassador of the United Kingdom for Indonesia, invited the Foundation to present to the Anglo Indonesian society, with an aim to focus on our achievements and challenges yet to come… Here we report back on our ‘Past achievements and future challenges’ presentation…

On the 25th of February 2014, Ashley Leiman presented ‘Orangutan Foundation’s past achievements and future challenges’ to the Anglo Indonesian society, hosted by the Indonesian Embassy in Grosvenor square, London.

After the many members had received their first opportunity to catch up, eat, drink and view the stunning sculptural collection, members sat quietly in anticipation of Ashley’s presentation about the Foundation. Starting with the Foundation’s misson, Ashley highlighted the areas in which the Foundation work – both the locations and secondly, on the projects on which we focus - where we send 75% of the Foundation’s funds.Our work with co-operation and partnership with local stakeholders and other related international organisations (including our partner project Yayorin, and local government conservation authorities, local communities, industrial sector companies, other local and international NGO’s) allows a level of communication and collaboration that is invaluable to our main aim; protecting the tropical forest habitat.

As we work toward protection and conservation of critical orangutan habitats , we are proud to be able to conduct a variety of related programmes in parallel. These you may know from our website. Ashley was able to summarise with the following… “I have just returned from Indonesia, where I have seen the difference and progress we are making in all aspects of our work. We are committed to ensuring this will continue into the future: So we can realise our vision in which mankind can live alongside nature. Thank you all for listening to our story.”

 Ashley answers questions from the floor, as Charles chooses the next questions.

Happy New Year from the Orangutan Foundation!

Our work on the ground is progressing and we are positive looking forward as we start 2014. We are proud of our following achievements from 2013 ...

  • Translocated and rescued 10 orangutans in 2013. All these individuals came from either oil palm plantations or local villages.

  • Ongoing reintroduction programme which supports six release camps in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

  • Six female orangutans gave birth to new offspring, joining five youngsters who are seen regularly and are being well looked after by their mothers. The fact that the ex-captives are giving birth is a sign that the released orangutans not only survive in the wild but are able to reproduce.

  • Importantly, we held a workshop on human-orangutan conflict mitigation, where 21 oil palm companies committed to a communication forum and signed up to protect orangutans in concession areas. It is positive that oil palm companies have held their own workshops and that the Foundation was asked to give several presentations.

  • Continuing conservation through community education and outreach with our partner Yayorin.

  • Recent research conducting from Pondok Ambung included a survey of fish biodiversity in the Sekonyer River, mating habits of the proboscis monkeys, butterfly biodiversity.

  • Ongoing protection of Tanjung Puting National Park and the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve through the manning of six guard posts.

After six months working with us, our new Project and Development Coordinator quotes her impression of the Foundation ...

"After many years of the Foundation working from the UK and in Borneo, the team show continuous, determined commitment to make a difference to each orangutan, whilst looking and working towards a forest-safe future."


None of this could have happened without your continued support, for which we are grateful.


Orangutan eating termites for a vital source of protein. Photo by Bain.


Exciting news as six babies born to reintroduced orangutans in six months

The most exciting news is that in the past six months six babies have been born to reintroduced orangutans. One of them is Amoy, released ten years ago in Lamadau River Wildlife Reserve. She appeared in June at Camp Gemini with her two-week-old infant, named Alexi by field staff. Badut, another ex-captive, was seen on 24 August carrying an infant, recently named BB, and was followed by staff to make sure all was well. Then at Camp Buluh, a wild female orangutan was also seen carrying a baby. She didn’t like being close to humans and so was only followed for two days. We hope for long and healthy lives for these babies.

Those born to the ex-captives are a sign that released orangutans are able not only to survive in the wild but to able to reproduce. Most of their long childhood is spent without playmates of the same age. An infant clambers around on mother for the first few years, and she might play a little, but apart from an occasional encounter with another mother, for example at a heavily laden fruit tree, young orangutans simply don’t have the opportunity to play with friends of the same age.

Female Bornean orangutan with new born infant. Photo by Orangutan Foundation.

Individuals from injured and homeless to healthy and free in the wild!

Melan was the orangutan who we rescued back in April, who had the head wound that required our vet to stitch the skin back together over the top of the head – a tricky job!

This is the sort of wound that any individual would almost certainly die from if left untreated. Fantastic news reached the London office from our staff in Indonesia; Melan was released in September.

She had been in a soft release cage for her safety while her wound was healing since April, healing and regaining her health before being ready to be released.

Read the full story on our blog...

Instantly high up in the trees, Melan explores her new home

First images of newborn orangutans in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Borneo

Dr Wawan, our vet, has taken some fantastic photos of two female orangutans with their newborn babies, in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, an orangutan release site, in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.

Dr Wawan reports “Her infant was sleeping on her neck when we visited Camp Gemini Release Site at the beginning of June. Field staff told us its just two weeks old and is female (is called Alex just in case!). The baby could barely lift its head it was so young. “  

Read Wawan’s story and see more images on our blog.

Female Bornean orangutan with new born infant. Photo by Orangutan Foundation.

Mitigation of Human-Orangutan Conflicts in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo

"One hundred invitations were sent out for the workshop Mitigation of Human-Orangutan Conflicts in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. The conference room was booked for a capacity of 80, we didn’t want the room to look empty in case there were a number of ‘no shows’. I watched as the room began to fill, more chairs had to be brought in, numbers were now up to 90, a good start already. There was a stir of anticipation, as everyone took their seats."

Read more in our blog...

Reducing human - orangutan conflicts

A workshop, aimed at reducing human-orangutan conflicts, was held at the beginning of this week and brought together oil-palm plantations, the Indonesia Palm Oil Association, regional government and NGOs. It was the first of a series of workshops, which aims to provide practical solutions to orangutan-human conflict.

One of the key aims is to encourage land-users to take on more responsibility for setting aside protected areas for conservation, buffer zones and habitat corridors – areas that reconnect isolated remnants of the forest back to the main body of forest.

Our partners in the project are Yayorin (the Indonesian Orangutan Foundation) and BKSDA-Kalteng (the Bureau for the Conservation of Natural Resources in Central Kalimantan) and we are extremely grateful to The Rufford Foundation for their support.

Please follow our field news on our blog

Body Shop Foundation Sumatra Trek raises over £40,000 for orangutans!

We were delighted and surprised to receive a cheque for £40,000 raised from The Body Shop Foundation’s Sumatra Trek.

Cathy and Ashley from the Orangutan Foundation
with trekkers Helen Biggs (on the left), Zara O'Sullivan and
Nicky Starns (on the right) on Monday 13 May.

Watch a short video clip of their adventures here on YouTube.
A huge thank you The Body Shop Foundation, to all the 20 intrepid trekkers and also to their generous supporters.

More Orangutans Rescued From Oil Palm Plantations

As oil-palm plantations encroach upon more and more orangutan habitat, this endangered great ape’s struggle to exist will only get harder. The Orangutan Foundation continues to rescue wild orangutans, many of them young (their mothers probably killed) from oil palm plantations.
Last month we rescued a young orangutan, who we named Melan, from a plantation, she had a large wound to her head, which we are still treating (find out more and watch a video clip on our blog).
A few weeks later another young wild orangutan, named Jupe, this time in good health, was rescued, given a veterinary check and then trans-located to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Indonesian Borneo.

Jupe at BKSDA office before being taken to the Wildlife Reserve

We also know of another two orangutans, who have been seen in an oil palm plantation, eating the oil-palm fruit. That the apes should resort to eating it is almost certainly a sign of a shortage of wild fruit, which in turn is a sign of loss of habitat due to encroachment by oil-palm plantations. Our rescue team will continue to search for the orangutans and hopefully move them to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve - prime orangutan habitat, which we are safeguarding with guard posts and patrols.
Please support our work, you can donate online, and follow our news.

The Body Shop Foundation Goes Ape at the Plight of Orangutans

The Body Shop Foundation Goes Ape at the Plight of Orangutans!The Body Shop Foundation has teamed up with Charity Challenge for a Sumatra Jungle Trek to raise funds for The Orangutan Foundation.

This month, 24 volunteers from The Body Shop and its extended family from Sweden to Asia, from The Body Shop at Home Consultants to employees working at the Head Office at Littlehampton, will come together on a quest to change lives and fight for the survival of the Sumatran orangutans.

“Its time to step up again” says Lisa Jackson, CEO of The Body Shop Foundation. “After the success of our Sahara Trek, where we raised an incredible £42,000 for WaterAid, when we heard about the plight of the orangutans we knew it was time to act again. We have an incredible network of activists – all prepared to walk their talk and raise money for the Orangutan Foundation. This challenge will see them all face their fears – from leeches, steep inclines, spiders and negotiating deep rainforest terrain, with all our challengers prepared to overcome hostile conditions to raise awareness about the survival of this magnificent great ape species.”

Joanne Laker, Fundraising Manager, is heading up the challenge “We’ve been bowled over by the enthusiasm and determination from our challengers. They are already coming up with incredible innovative fundraising ideas to support this, so we’d encourage everyone to get involved locally with their fundraising endeavours, knowing that you too can play your part to save this very special species of great ape.”

From Friday 5 April to Sunday 21 April, two groups of passionate volunteers will trek through hostile jungle terrain, covering over 35kms in intense conditions.

To follow their incredible journey, please visit their Facebook page here during the challenge times.

You can also show your support for the trekkers by donating here.

New Enclosure For Blind Orangutan, Aan.

Aan, who is still sedated, in her new enclosure

Aan, who is still sedated, in her new enclosure.


Please help with a donation to help us care for Aan.

Find details about donating here.

Find out more on our blog.

Orangutan Conservation

Find out how Orangutan Foundation is working towards a future for orangutans, forests and people.

Orangutan Tours

Adopt an Orangutan

Support the return of orangutans back on their slow journey back to the wild by adopting an orphan orangutan.

Adopt Wenda at Care For The Wild

Online Shop

Buy from a range of books, artwork, cards, toys and t-shirts to help support the Orangutan Foundation.

Olivia the Orangutan Cuddly Toy

Leaving a Legacy

Leaving a legacy is the greatest gift you can give us as it provides a secure resource for our crucial work.

Leaving a lasting legacy