Last year we pledged £100,000 over a five-year period to Sintang Orangutan Center in Indonesia to enable them to build a second Forest School for rescued orangutans.
Twelve months on we’ve received a wonderful update to say the school in Jerora is now complete and the first group of orangutans – six-year-old Tom (who walks with his hands behind his back), five-year-old Manfred (the bravest of the group, despite being the youngest and smallest) and seven-year-old Kingkong (who loves exploring the Forest School) – took up residence on June 5.
Many of the orphaned orangutans arriving in their care are rescued by SOC after being kept as pets by local people, or those who have strayed into residential areas.
The new enclosure, which is two kilometres away from the SOC’s main base in Sintang, enables the orangutans to undergo behaviour rehabilitation, where they get the chance to learn basic survival skills, such as climbing, foraging for food and nest building, before being released into protected wild forests.
This newly built second facility not only allows the on-the-ground team to help rehabilitate more orangutans at the same time, but also speeds up the release process, with each group stopping at Forest School for at least one fruit season (one year), where staff continually evaluate each individual’s ability, including activity patterns, diet and their spatial use pattern.
Our sponsorship over the next four years will help fund the operational costs of the Forest School, including the provision of food, vitamins and medicines, as well as monitoring equipment and electricity costs.