Learning to be free

 Orphaned orangutans Adib (left) and Mona (right) with Orangutan Foundation field assistants.

Orphaned orangutans Adib (left) and Mona (right) with Orangutan Foundation field assistants.

All the young orangutans in our care had previously been kept as pets. This was a local issue and not a commercial part of the international pet trade. People out hunting birds and deer, or perhaps coming across crop-raiding orangutans in the forest, would often shoot the mother and then bring a ‘cute’ baby orangutan back as a pet. We would never hear the whole story, or find out what happened to the mothers.

Many families were reluctant to give them up, but we worked with the local authorities to encourage ‘handovers’ of these pets, so that they could be rehabilitated for release back into the wild. The young orangutans that we care for all have individual characters, and some learn faster than others. Under the care of our vet and field staff, they are all learning the skills they need to return to a life in the wild.

Meet the orangutans living at Camp JL, Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Indonesian Borneo.

Mona (female, 3 years) and Boy (male, 5 years) spend their time trying to make nests and often use them to rest in when they are tired. Nyunyu (female, 5 years) was brought to us around the same time as Mona. She was found tied up in a garden. Despite being kept as a pet for about two years, Nyunyu displays wild behaviour.

 Nyunyu was kept as a pet for 2 years but she still has a wild spirit and is the most adventurous of the orangutans at Camp JL.

Nyunyu was kept as a pet for 2 years but she still has a wild spirit and is the most adventurous of the orangutans at Camp JL.

Boy and Nyunyu play together and being so active, it’s difficult to get them back to their enclosure. Other orangutans return to the enclosure when it’s raining, but Nyunyu just wants to stay out and play!

Timtom (female 3.5 years) was just nine months old when she was handed over in January 2016. Adib (male 2.5 years) was found in October 2017 when he was about 1.5 years old. He is the youngest orangutan in our care. Mona plays with Timtom and Adib, encouraging them to climb high into the trees.

 Timtom was only 9 months old when she was rescued, now 3.5 years, she likes to play with Adib and Mona.

Timtom was only 9 months old when she was rescued, now 3.5 years, she likes to play with Adib and Mona.

 Boy, likes to make nests with Mona and then they share rest in it together!

Boy, likes to make nests with Mona and then they share rest in it together!

Adopt Mona with the Orangutan Foundation
from 30.00

Adopt orphaned orangutan Mona with the Orangutan Foundation for a year and supports her return to the wild.

Adoption pack includes:

  • An adoption certificate with your name on it

  • A soft-toy orangutan

  • An orangutan fact-sheet

  • Updates on your adopted orangutan after six months with the Orangutan Foundation’s newsletter.

You can now purchase an environmentally-friendly E-Adoption! (Please note - this will not include orangutan toy or sticker and all communication is by e-mail.).

E-Adoptions qualify for free delivery.