June E-News

Two rescued orangutans returned to the wild

Shifa is now living free in the protected Lamandau Wildlife Reserve

Shifa is now living free in the protected Lamandau Wildlife Reserve

Two critically endangered orangutans are now back in the wild, where they belong, thanks to the dedicated work of the Orangutan Foundation’s team and the Natural Resources Conservancy Agency of Central Kalimantan (BKSDA). Watch video of Shifa’s release.

Ashley Leiman OBE, Orangutan Foundation Founder and Director/Trustee, was present for the two releases and was encouraged to see how readily both orangutans clambered up into the trees to begin their new life.

As soon as the transport cage door opened Shifa shot straight out and climbed up the nearest tree.

As soon as the transport cage door opened Shifa shot straight out and climbed up the nearest tree.

Both orangutans were wild born but tragically ended up orphaned. Shifa was rescued from being kept as a pet in September 2016, when she was only 2-years-old. Panglima, was rescued at the end of March 2019, from community forest, he is thought to be about 5-years-old but showed extremely wild behaviour . Read full story here.

5-year-old orangutan, Panglima, released into the reserve.

5-year-old orangutan, Panglima, released into the reserve.

Shifa was taken to the 158,000-acre protected Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. She lived at Camp Buluh, one of five post-release monitoring sites in the reserve, which she shared with Okto, another orphaned orangutan. The two young orangutans were great playmates and Okto helped Shifa to adjust to her new life.

Okto (right) and Shifa (left) in 2017

Okto (right) and Shifa (left) in 2017

Shifa and Panglima have had to overcome massive hurdles early on in their life. Our challenge now is to ensure the rest of their life is spent in the wild. We are doing this by safeguarding their globally important forest habitat in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve. Orangutan Foundation actively monitor the reserve with a network of guard posts and regular patrolling to prevent illegal activities from destroying the forests and harming wildlife.