Pony’s New Life

Lately, Pony has been highly publicized in the cyberworld. An article in Bahasa Indonesia on Pony quickly spread because her story is so tragic. This beautiful female orangutan was taken from her habitat and kept in a house. Not to be kept as a pet, which in itself is illegal, but more appallingly, she was forced into prostitution.

Pony has gone through a tragic chapter in her life, and is now going through a long rehabilitation program to give her life back to her as a true orangutan. We hope this story will give us inspiration to stop any kind of animal abuse.

Pony’s Story
Pony was confiscated by the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority (BKSDA), working together with the BOS Foundation and local security forces, from a prostitution house in Kareng Pangi village, Central Kalimantan, in 2003. She was only around 6 years old at the time of confiscation.

Unthinkably, Pony was herself treated as a prostitute. Men could pay a certain amount of money to the house owner to have sex with her.

No-one knew how long Pony had been there. The house owner strongly refused to give up Pony. To her, Pony was a cash machine and a source of luck. It was not an easy effort to release Pony from this dreadful place; anyone who tried to do so faced an army of local people who were armed with cleavers, ready to fight for the house owner.

The house owner had shaved off all of Pony's hair.

Following an exhausting process that lasted for a year, the BOS Foundation and BKSDA together with the police and military forces, persuaded the house owner to give Pony to the BOS Foundation.

Pony first came to Nyaru Menteng on February 13, 2003. She was in a sad and horrible condition. The house owner had shaved off all of her hair and her body was covered in mosquito bites. She couldn’t stop scratching the bites and her skin had become infected.

A long rehabilitation process for Pony
In Nyaru Menteng, Pony received the much needed care she required after being subjected to such a terrible ordeal, and started to undergo the rehabilitation process. Living for so long with humans and being treated so appallingly whilst in captivity, it was not easy for Pony to learn to live as a wild orangutan.

Pony has been going through a long process of rehabilitation to forget her ordeal and regain her wild nature to become a true orangutan. She has lived in a socialisation complex with other female orangutans and also joined the Forest School. In 2005, Pony was placed on Bangamat Island, which is one of our pre-release islands, to encourage her to live more independently. Unfortunately, she was not ready for this advance stage of the learning process. Pony was not used to the trees. She preferred to stay on the ground. When hungry, she would wait for the technicians to give her food without ever trying to forage by herself. Unlike other orangutans, she never explored the island. Her travel was limited to crossing a small river between the islands to go to the technicians’ camp and ask for food.

Pony was placed on Bangamat Island to encourage her to live more independently.

Seeing that her skills only showed limited development, regretfully, Pony had to be brought back to the socialisation enclosure in Nyaru Menteng.

New Home, New Life for Pony
On her return to the socialisation complex, patiently the Nyaru Menteng technicians continued to take care of her and teach her the survival skills orangutans need to successfully live in the forest. Often, she would join younger orangutans at the forest school.

Now, 17 year old Pony has finally received another chance to live on a pre-release Island. June 29, 2013, and together with another 7 female orangutans, Pony was translocated to Kaja Island.

Pony has finally received another chance to live on a pre-release Island.

Her survival skills are growing satisfactorily compared to previous years. She is now able to make a nest and shows wild behaviour. This female weighs 72.1 kg and is now very dominant compared to her friends.

While living on the island, Pony will receive special care and attention from Nyaru Menteng.

While living on the island, Pony will receive special care and attention from the staff who will monitor her development and survival skills. There is still a long way to go, but we are very relieved and happy to see Pony once again living on a pre-release Island. Undeniably a better place for her to be than an enclosure or captivity. Enjoy your new home and life, Pony!


Text by: Monterado Fridman, Nyaru Menteng Communication and Education Coordinator
Photos: Indrayana, Nyaru Menteng Enrichment Staff and Photographer

52 Responses Add comment

    • Dae says:

      Thank you all so much for all you do!

    • NIKKI says:

      i’m soooo happy to see pony getting a new life now, i’m crying.. this is such a tragic and ironic story, how could human treat her so bad, i cant imagine her terrible life i was like WTF?!! i was so shock to know that human can have sex with orangutan (with paying amounts of money)!! how degrading and shaming!!! i’m so mad, i’m so angry with this world..!!! makes me want to throw up!! but thank God now she’s save! i pray for the savety of all Orangutan in Indonesia, may God always be with BOFS, may people who saved orangutan given strength, and health always, may people who kills and treat Orangutan badly will suffer for the rest of their life until they realize they’re mistake!!

    • Rose Parta says:

      I was happy when BOS send back me by facebook to me about Pony life back and BOS send pony to nature. I hope no human touch all orang utan like pony anymore.

    • Arie Mulyahati R. Arlan says:

      seneng banget baca Pony yg sudah kembali ke habitat dan kehidupan barunya..salut dengan perjuangan kawan2 yg sudah membebaskan Poni..masih miris baca kehidupan Poni sebelumnya..bingung yang mana manusia dan yang mana binatang..semoga tidak ada Poni2 yang lain…

    • Ya Allah sedemikian kejamnya mereka pemilik dan pemakai prostitusi itu memperlakukan Pony, semoga mendapat balasan yang setimpal.
      Terimakasih kepada BOSF sudah mau bersusah payah dan bersabar untuk merawat dan melatih Pony agar bisa kembali ke kodratnya. Semoga banyak masyarakat tergugah untuk bersama-sama menjaga kodrat alam… amiiin
      Saya minta izin untuk me reblog artikel ini di Blog saya, bolehkah?? Kalau boleh terimakasih banyak… :)

      • Terima kasih atas dukungan Anda. Silakan membagi cerita kami kepada teman-teman yang lain.

    • Ozzy says:

      Pony derajatnya lebih tinggi dibanding orang2 yang menjadikannya sebagai pelampiasan nafsu ..

      astaghfirullah ..

    • Wika surowidjojo says:

      Big thanks to BOS for saving pony and all of your actions to save orangutan.
      I will certainly spread this good news and hopefully more people know about BOS and iys activities. I hope there are no other ponys out there..

    • Am a Proud Supporter of BOS. Thanks Pak Jamartin, Pak Anton, and all the BOSF TEAM who work tirelessly. Thankful to have you all!

    • Noni Ansyar says:

      Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah. Tuhan memberkati tim BOSF

    • elizabeth wallace says:

      We don’t treat human prostitutes this well. Still, thank god she is rescued.

      • Bela says:

        to Elizabeth Wallace – granted, forced prostitution is utterly abominable, deplorable, but that said, some humans choose prostitution by way of earning a living and who are we to judge those that do? Pony (is the name a cruel irony?) is a being without voice, without the capabilities ‘human’ prostitutes possess, to know right from wrong. Imagine her as a child. Abuse is abuse is ABUSE. Pure and simple.

    • Linda Boag Moores says:

      Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do for these incredible creatures. It is so sad the amoral behaviour of human kind, not just for the despicable actions endured by Pony, but for all the abuses of animals in this world.

    • yusty amelia says:

      benar2 tragis dan biadab..
      terimakasih kpd BOS, BKSDA, aparat kepolisian dan militer kalimantan tengah yang telah berjuang dan bersusah payah untuk memperjuangkan kebebasan pony.. merupakan pekerjaan yang mulia.. :)

    • anta says:

      Wah.. senang mendengar keadaan Pony sekarang. Kebetulan saya sedang ditugaskan di Nyaru saat Pony disita. Dari Nyaru diantaranya yg menyita saat itu adalah mas Eko (masih sebagai paramedis). Yg mungkin tdk diketahui/dibayangkan banyak orang adalah penyitaan tersebut prosesnya begitu berliku, dan tim betul-betul mempertaruhkan nyawa, karena saat itu pemilik sudah mengerahkan massa untuk mengepung dan siap melakukan apa pun utk mempertahankan Pony.. Jadi terharu kalau mengingat itu semua & membandingkan keadaan Pony sekarang. Syukurlah.. Keep the good work. Tetap semangat!!!

    • ptandll says:

      We have some very SICK SICK people in this world! I hate to even think that people would even want to do this, let alone paying to do it. Thank god for BOS. All of you are doing a wonderful job with the orangutans, please don’t stop keeping us informed.

    • Crystal Yap says:

      Thank you all you kind souls for giving Pony a new lease of life. I was in tears reading about her sad story. An ape with such intelligence! And yet abused by humans in such an unfathomable way. May god bless all of you. Big respect to you guys.

    • Muffid plur says:

      terimah kasih kepda tim BOS dan BKSDA kalimantan yang telah bersusah payah menyelelamatkan pony dari orang2 biadap,semoga pony bisa hidup layak dan bisa hidup bebas layakny orang utan,,,,,,terimah kasih buwat tim BOS dan BKSDA sukses bwat kalian

    • sarrah says:

      untung pony segera diselamatkan, entah apa nasibnya jika ia terus-terusan dalam kesiksaan itu. miris bacanya;”

    • andrea says:

      I read some place, that it took over 2 yrs to get her back. And when they did finally, it took over 20 men, with AKs and other weaponry. I do think of pony actually. Omg it really frightened me. Also, I have been told that there are rumors of this happening in Thailand still. Brothels and prostitution is really a tragic thing.

    • william says:


    • Titik says:

      saya shocked bacanya, bagaimana bisa manusia menganiaya binatang sampai sekejam itu. Pelaku, baik pelanggan dan yang menyewakan harus dihukum berat.

    • Merinding saya bacanya. Keterlaluan sekali. Sebegitunya ya. Syukurlah kalau Pony sudah diselamatkan. Gila dunia ini.

    • Elang says:

      Sudah 10 tahun sejak Pony disita dari Desa Kareng Pangi. Sejak itu, tidak adakah orangutan lainnya yang bernasib sama dengan Pony (di Kareng Pangi atau di desa lainnya)? Bukankah ada kemungkinan, si pemilik rumah prostitusi menjalankan aksinya lagi dengan orangutan lainnya?

    • Ada apa dengan manusia? Se-rusak dan se-sakit itukah manusia modern hari ini?

    • Silvana says:

      I’m so happy to hear a good news from Pony… She deserves a freedom and a happy life with her friends in the forest :) hopefully there will be no more tragic happens to another Pony out there !

    • mabe says:

      I’m tearing up, reading this. Thank you for everything you’ve done to save Pony.

    • Lila says:

      Thank you Nyaru Menteng for saving Pony from the horrors of prostitution and helping her start a new life in freedom and in nature!!!

      Are there other Orangutans used for prostitution in Indonesia? I imagine that Pony isn’t/wasn’t the only one… Please do confiscate, rescue, and rehabilitate the other Orangutans who are still suffering this terrible abuse!!!

      Best wishes to you, Pony! You’re a strong, brave girl and a survivor!! May you live a Long, Happy, Healthy, and Safe life forever!!!!!

    • Zamira Loebi says:

      Thanks to all crew at Nyaru Menteng…. God bless you all. Keep up the good work. What you’re doing are just wonderful…

    • Tracie says:

      Can we do anything for the female orangutan GUNDEL she had been chained up in a garbage dump her whole life…..we owe it to her as humans, to try and give her a better life, as is what is happening to pony…..gundel went to a private zoo …can anyone help me find her PLEASE

    • Tami says:

      Thank you for saving Pony! Thank the Lord for people like you to look after these wonderful, beautiful creatures. They should never be subjected to such horrible injustices! I’m so happy to hear that Pony is doing so much better now and can swing from the trees and be free. :)

    • Dby says:

      thanks for all your effort, humanity is becoming insane, save our animals, specially orang utan.. you must be loved by pony and other orangutans, we’re proud of you :) thanks

    • jhony black says:

      terima kasih untuk anda semua yang terlibat dalam konservasi orang utan dan mungkin juga satwa lainnya, sungguh sy sangat bangga atas perjuangan anda sekalian. salam hormat saya, semoga suatu saat sy bisa turut berkontribusi….


    • Christine says:

      Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for saving Pony ! I don’t know what some of these orangutans would do without you!! My heart breaks for these orangutans that are being hurt by humans! The so called humans that did this to Pony are truly disgusting despicable #***#*^#! Thank God we have amazing people like you that take care of and help the orangutans!!!

    • Sinta Nopiyanti says:

      Thanks good :)

    • Steven Hanley says:

      I hope the police had to shoot some of the bastard villagers etc. The whole lot of them deserve to be slaughtered.

    • Jamie Blom says:

      so happy for what you have done!!!!!!!!! If I could pick my world, it would be with helping animals get their lives back….maybe……

    • Ismail says:

      Hukum di Indonesia terlalu lemah. Masyarakatnya terlalu barbaric. Polisi dan agensinya korup. Di Negara lain perbuatan begini berkemungkinan mendapat hukuman mati oleh masyarakat setempat kerana jijiknya manusia atau pelakunya. Semoga Tuhan menurunkan bala buat seluruh penduduk kampong yang membiarkan kezaliman ini berlaku.

    • M. Sage says:

      I have been appaled at Pony’s story. I believe this kind of activities are still going on. Not only we are taken away their homes, we are also taken them from their homes. This highly intelligent apes deserve so much better. I have created a petition to highlight their plight. I would appreciate it if you support this petition.

    • Marilyn Cole says:

      It’s wonderful that you rescued Pony from an appalling situation, but I worry that the brothel owner will get another orangutan to replace her

    • karin says:

      hoping that person will get his reward later on in the future

    • Javi says:

      Im so happy to know that Pony is fine now.. her story should never be repeated again. Thank you so much for all of your work and share it with us

    • Allwin says:

      Feeling ashamed myself to be a homosapien

    • Nahomy says:

      This story made me cry, God bless all of you that fight for animal rights and help them!

    • Skye says:

      I remembered reading about Pony when I was at university & I googled to see what had become of her. I’m pleased to read that she is no longer being used as a prostitute & that she is in a safe place.

    • Ashlynn says:

      I learned about Pony and her tragic story by accident while casually researching something tangentially related on Wikipedia and doing further Googling in reference to the shocking and appalling case of the “Orangutan Prostitute.”

      I’m often saddened to hear reports about the many ways in which human activity accidentally or inadvertently harms animals around the world; but to read a story in which people so intentionally, aggressively, and brutally chose to inflict physical and psychological harm on an individual animal made me feel deeply angry and physically ill. It’s so sickening and bizarre a thing to me that I cannot even imagine what might possibly bring a person to act so cruelly.

      That said, I was so very happy to find this report on Pony’s rescue and rehabilitation. I was forced to stop multiple times as I scrolled down the page to wipe away my tears—at once, tears of disappointment in the many humans that corroborated in committing these dispicable acts upons her; tears of empathy at her struggle to reassimilate to orangutan culture; tears of joy at her eventual triumph; and tears of gratitude to all the people who worked so hard to right this breathtaking injustice.

      Though I am finding out about all of this months later, I just wanted you all to know that I thank you for what you’ve done. Like it or not, we’re all connected as human beings, and I absolutely celebrate the lengths to which you all have gone to lift us up, to make the world a better a place, and to end the suffering & better the life of one hurting orangutan in one corner of the world. I can’t overstate what a wonderful thing that is. Thank you and may God bless you all.

    • Catherine says:

      This is unbelievably sick and weird. Thank goodness Pony has been saved. What is wrong with some people to treat an animal like this? The mind boggles.

    • Maria says:

      Brothels that offer this abomination with sheeps, dogs, cows and other animals are operating right now in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. This is what homo sapiens is capable to do! Thank you, rescuers, BOS, thank you, you are the only reason why I still believe there is a God. You give dignity to all Humankind. Thank you.

      • Vicki says:

        Thank you to BOS so very much for your pesistence and rescuing Pony despite all the odds!!! Other countries like Romania, Slovinia and Bosnia also ALLOW BEASTIALITY! What an F@#$#D Up species we are!!!

    • Syanthi says:

      sooooo…..happy for Pony and thank you so much BOS for all you’ve done to rescue her.


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