In regards to the #OrangutanFreedom campaign launched in 2017, the BOS Foundation is releasing another batch of 7 orangutans into the Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kutai Regency. Here are the profiles of those seven orangutans.



Abel is an adult female orangutan aged around 21 years. She was handed over by a local villager from Teluk Pandan, Sangatta, on March 21, 2001. At the time, she was just four years old and weighed 10.5 kilograms. The villager claimed to have caught Abel after she encroached on his farm.

Since Abel was still exhibiting wild behaviors, she could not join Forest School, as would have likely tried to run away so she was cared for in a socialization enclosure.

On October 6, 2010, Abel gave birth to Alejandro and fortunately for Alejandro, Abel’s deep maternal instincts meant the pair was able to be moved to a special island for mothers and infants.

To this day Abel avoids interactions with people and she and her son are now ready to return to a life in the wild.


Alejandro is a 7-year-old juvenile male orangutan who was born at Samboja Lestari on October 6, 2010. In the first few days following his birth, Alejandro had difficulty nursing, however, he overcame this challenge and has since developed well under his mother’s guidance and care.

Alejandro has grown into a healthy young orangutan, and he is still extremely close to his mother. He is a shy individual and avoids interaction with humans.


Imut is an adult female orangutan aged around 19 years. She was handed over by a local resident of Samarinda on July 26, 2000, when she was about two years old. She arrived at BOS Foundation offering from diarrhea, a worm infection, and suspected pneumonia, and had to immediately undergo medical treatment.

On March 3, 2010, Imut gave birth to a baby boy we named Ical. When Ical arrived, Imut appeared to have the ‘baby blues’, and abandoned her newborn son. Mother and child were separated for eight days before Imut finally accepted her new infant.

Imut’s experience can be common among rehabilitated female orangutans since females we receive are often traumatically separated from their own mothers at a very early age. The loss of her mother left Imut – and many female orangutans like her – clueless of a mother’s role.


Ical is a 7-year-old juvenile male, like Alejandro. Ical is fearless and likes to explore the island alone. This mischievous young orangutan is not intimidated easily, and doesn’t much care for humans, with the exception of his favorite technician; Syahrul.


Belinda is a 22-year-old female orangutan who was rescued in Sebulu region on September 25, 1998. At the time of her rescue, she was just two years old and was still displaying wild behaviors.

Belinda is an independent loner with relatively good forest skills. We rarely see her because she prefers to hide and avoid technicians.


Maureen is a 6-year-old juvenile female orangutan born at Samboja Lestari on May 17, 2011, to mother Marlies. In 2015, Maureen had to be separated from Marlies, who was suffering from melioidosis; an infectious bacterial disease. Maureen has since formed close relationships with Abel and Belinda, two adult females who live on the same island.

Maureen is quite independent and avoids contact with technicians, which is a good sign that she will also avoid any humans once she is released into the forest.


Kumar is a flanged male aged around 23 years. He came to Samboja Lestari on October 26, 1998, when he was four years old. He was rescued in the Kaltim Prima Coal area of Sangatta, and upon his rescue still demonstrated wild behavior.

Kumar tends to avoid humans and has sound forest skills that will help him survive in the wild.

Justin and Reckie Adapt Well to Forest Life

It was 5 a.m., and the PRM team should have already left on its mission that day to locate orangutans in their nests. However, it was still raining from the night before, and knowing thatorangutans do not rise and start the day in wet weather, the team waited until 7 a.m. before heading out in search of transmitter signals. On that particular day, the team had planned to observe Justin (male) and Reckie (female), who were both released in April this year.

Upon locating Justin and Reckie that morning, both were spotted still relaxing in their nests and had not risen for the day, as expected.

Justin and Reckie had been seen together two days earlier, with Justin following Reckie wherever she ventured. Both moved through the trees together, ate in the same tree, and scratched each other’s backs.

Reckie was seen occasionally stealing food from Justin, who didn’t object. Perhaps Justin was hoping for a returned favour; for we saw him approach Reckie in a sexual manner several times,only to meet her refusal. Justin and Reckie were once spotted resting together in the same tree, without engaging in sexual activity. Perhaps Reckie just want to take it slow?

Justin and Reckie ate a wide varietyof forest food together, including bark, fruit, and young leaves. They also climbed down to the forest floor to forage for shoots and termites.

As usual, that afternoon, Justin started building his night nest earlier than Reckie, with both positioning their nests in close proximity to each other (about 10-20 meters apart).

Both Justin and Reckie were in sound health and foraging well, while maintaining a good balancein activities post-release in the Kehje Sewen Forest.

Keep thriving, Justin and Reckie!

Text by: PRM team in Camp Nles Mamse, Kehje Sewen Forest

You can make a difference right now and help save orangutans! DONATE NOW

[PRESS RELEASE] BOS Foundation Receives World Branding Award

Jakarta, June 22, 2017. Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation receives another global recognition for their dedication and commitment to saving Bornean orangutans and their habitat. In an event held in the Throne Room of the Hofburg Palace,Vienna, the official office and residence of the President of Austria, Dr. Jamartin Sihite, CEO and Jacqueline Sunderland-Groves, Deputy CEO of BOS Foundation proudly received the Animalis Edition of the World Branding Award.

The Animalis Edition is the international top accolade decided by an advisory council that is made up of luminaries from the world of pet and animal care, and welfare and conservation.

Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, BOS Foundation CEO said, “We are extremely honored to receive this award, in recognition of our hard work and commitment to conserving Bornean orangutans over the last 25 years. We have faced many challenges and each one of those experiences has taught us valuable lessons. We have rescued more than 2,300 orangutans over a quarter of a century, and we are still rehabilitating around 650 Bornean orangutans within our 2 rehabilitation centers for their eventual return to safe wild habitat. Our 440 highly dedicated staff work around the clock to ensure the welfare and conservation of orangutans.

We are not alone in our task. To be able to conserve nature, we must work together and now more than ever, we need everyone to join hands to safeguard our remaining forest and its wildlife. This is a global effort and wherever you are, we need to cherish and respect what nature has given us. To this end, this award is a symbol. A symbol of hope, that we, the people of this planet, will stand and work together to conserve nature.”

Founded in 1991, BOS Foundation works to save Bornean orangutans in Central and East Kalimantan provinces focusing on orangutan rescue, rehabilitation and reintroduction; and the long-term conservation of wild orangutan populations and their habitat. After a decade of being unable to release orangutans back to the forest, the Foundation overcame a major challenge in securing safe wild habitat and recommenced their orangutan reintroduction program in 2012. Since then, BOS Foundation has reintroduced 282 orangutans back to forests of Borneo. BOS Foundation works together with the government of Indonesia, local communities, the private sector and conservation organisations from around the world.

The World Branding Award is an annual event organised by The World Branding Forum, a registered non-profit organisation in England and Wales. Awards are only presented to the very top household names, recognized globally and in their home countries and BOS Foundation thanks all those who supported and voted for our organization.


Nico Hermanu

Communication Officer



Editor’s Note:


Founded in 1991, BOS Foundation is a non-profit Indonesian organization dedicated to the conservation of Bornean orangutans and theirnatural habitats, working together with local communities, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, and international partner organizations.

BOS Foundation currently has around 650 orangutans in two rehabilitation centres, with support from 440 highly dedicated staff and experts in the fields of primatology, biodiversity, ecology, forest rehabilitation, agroforestry, community empowerment, communications, education, and orangutan welfare. For further information, please visit

Cindy a Remarkable Mother to Riwut

Cindy and Riwut, a mother-infant pair, have been living in Central Kalimantan’s Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest for almost four years now. I recently accompanied a monitoring team into the forest, where we were lucky to find Cindy and Riwut looking healthy as they went about their daily activities high up in the trees.

At first, I spotted Riwut playing alone in a fallen tree, whilst mum Cindy observed from above. Once Riwut became aware of our presence, she scampered to Cindy, seeking refuge.

Riwut plays alone

Cindy and Riwut

The two quickly moved away through the forest canopy, eventually stopping at a tree to consume its bark. Both mother and offspring stayed awhile to enjoy their bark snack, and then continued on their exploration of the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

After several hours of observation, Cindy and Riwut again became aware of ourpresence; Mother Cindy kiss-squeaked to voice her displeasure at being disturbed.

Cindy and Riwut become aware they are being observed

Uncomfortable with being watched from below, both quickly moved away again to evade their observers. The pair was quick, and we lost them in no time. As the sun was about to set, we decided to call it a day and head back to camp.

During my observations of the pair, I noticed that Riwut has learned a lot from Cindy: she is not breastfeeding as much as before, and is beginning to display good foraging skills.

It was completely satisfying to see the progress of this mother-infant pair in the wild. Cindy is a wonderful mother who continues to patiently and calmly teach her daughter the ways of life in the forest. I hope one day Riwut will become an amazing mother just like Cindy!

Text and photos by: Arga Sawung Kusuma, BOSF Nyaru Menteng Veterinarian

You can make a difference right now and help save orangutans! DONATE NOW

Update on Long and Arief

Our PRM team from Camp Nles Mamse, in the southern part of the Kehje Sewen Forest, recently set off in the morning to conduct observations on some of our released orangutans. The team used radio transmitters to pick up signals emitted by the chips implanted in the orangutans, and on that day were able to pick up signals from Long and Arief, a non-biological mother-and-son pair released in August 2015.

The sweet story of Long and Arief began at Samboja Lestari when one day, Long, an adult female, moved away from her group to explore an area she had never been to before. She accidently moved into the Forest School Group 1 area, where Arief was busy learning. To everybody’s surprise, Long suddenly picked Arief up and carried him off in her arms. Still very young and in desperate need of a mother’s touch, Arief accepted Long’s affection, and the two became inseparable. (Read their story here: Long’s Love for Arief)

When the team picked up their signals and encountered them in the forest, Long and Arief were spotted together, relaxing in a tree. Long was still doting over Arief, just as she had done in Samboja Lestari from the very first day she had taken him under her wing.

On the day of observation, Long and Arief spent a lot of time up in the trees, and only climbed down to pluck shoots and forage for termites in weathered logs. That day, the two looked very satisfied with the natural food they consumed

Long eats termites

Arief eats termites, following Long’s lead

In general, both Long and Arief looked to be in perfect condition, and ate a healthy amount of forest food. Long was seen patiently teaching Arief how to forage and move through the trees, fulfilling her motherly duty of arming him with the life skills he needs to survive in the wild.

Arief appeared to be growing well, and with help from his surrogate mother, looks well on his way to becoming an independent orangutan in the Kehje Sewen Forest.

Text by: PRM team in Camp Nles Mamse, Kehje Sewen Forest

You can support our monitoring team. DONATE NOW to the BOS Foundation!

Zahri Needs Your Help!

Zahri arrived with two bullets in his body. He needs urgent medical care. He is one of many orphaned orangutans needing our help. Help us to save him and other’s lives!

A few weeks ago a little baby orangutan was delivered to us by BKSDA from the Bukit Batu Mentangai Kapuas area. We don’t know much about his history, but he arrived malnourished with 2 gunshot pellets buried in his tiny body.

Our team is giving him the round the clock care he needs to recover and we have called him Zahri. Zahri is still in quarantine and once he is strong enough, we can see if surgery is the best option to help him fully recover.

Zahri like many of the orphaned infants we receive will need a lot of love and care to help him recover both physically and mentally.

Please donate and help us provide all the medical care ZAHRI needs! DONATE NOW

Thank you ♥

Earth Day with BCU Students

Nyaru Menteng staff, together with students and teachers from Bina Cita Utama (BCU) School in Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan, celebrated Earth Day 2017 with a fundraising event for orangutans at the BOS Foundation’s Orangutan Reintroduction Center in Nyaru Menteng.

The day started with a presentation on deforestation, wildlife protection, energy, and climate change, followed by a video about one of our orangutans named Meryl, who was adopted by BCU students. The students, all dressed in orange t-shirts, were excited to see how Meryl had learned to climb during her days in the Nursery Group and later graduate to Forest School.

The students enjoyed the many activities throughout the day; the food bazaar proving to be the biggest hit of all. Parents donated healthy snacks for students to purchase, with all proceeds going towards orangutan rehabilitation.

With a small donation, students could become Orangutan Lifesavers and enjoy the many games on offer throughout the day, including puzzles, tug-of-war challenges, musical chairs, face-painting, and the chance to participate in the quiz, ‘Are You Smarter Than An Orangutan?’, which was won by 5th grader Nouval Malik Dwi Prihandani (Adan). Participants could also buy merchandise, donate, adopt an orangutan, or contribute to a ‘Gift in Kind’ at the BOS Foundation’s booth.

It was a great event resulting in a donation of IDR7,013,600!

We hope Adan and his classmates will share the experience they had with their friends, family members and the wider community, to help raise awareness of the importance of orangutans and environmental conservation.

Text by: Kinanti Octavian Alif, BOS Foundation Fundraising Officer for Central Kalimantan Programs

You can make a difference and help save orangutans! DONATE NOW

Ung’s Encounter with a Wild Male

Ung is one of six orangutans released to the Kehje Sewen Forest on April 26. Due to her speed, agility, and wide range, our Post-Release Monitoring team had lost her track after the first threedays of monitoring following her release. However, the team persisted in locating her to ensure she is thriving in the forest, and recently managed to catch up with her.


When the team finally located Ung, she was seen hanging around a wild male orangutan that had previously been spotted roaming in southern part of the Kehje Sewen Forest. The team had once observed this wild male with Ajeng, a female released in September 2015 (Read the full story here: When Ajeng Met a Wild Male)

The wild male orangutan

The pair seemed to be having a quiet moment together, eating fruit in the same tree. The team moved cautiously into position to observe them, for we knew this particular wild male firmly disliked human presence. The last time we saw him, he had kiss-squeaked loudly, aggressively shaken a tree, and thrown branches at us. This time, however, we managed to observe him copulating with Ung without him even detecting us.

Ung appeared to be in very good condition, still moving very quickly and making it hard for us to keep pace with herover the hilly terrain of the Kehje Sewen. Ung actively ate rattan shoots and Etlingera, one of her favourite forest foods, and was seen grabbinga variety of different fruits along her way as she explored her environment.

Ung climbs down to pluck shoots

Ung eats some shoots

After a few hours of monitoring Ung’s movements, the rain began to fall heavily. Aware that she could move off at any moment and disappear out of sight again, the team kept a close eye on her. Ung sat quietly in a tree and sheltered herself from the rain using broad leaves. The heavy rainfall, however, prevented us from collecting sufficient data. Finally, we decided to head back to camp, hoping to catch up with Ung the very next day.

Text by: PRM team in Camp Nles Mamse, Kehje Sewen Forest

 You can support our monitoring team. DONATE NOW to the BOS Foundation!

Freedom for Romeo

Freedom is a basic right, which we may at times take for granted. But for 30-year-old Romeo, and other orangutans like him, freedom is something not experienced for many years. Our goal of #OrangutanFreedom focuses on changing that to give every orangutan under our care their rightful freedom.

Romeo has lived in confinement his whole life. His early years were spent in a zoo in Taiwan, where he was the main attraction. Caged in an area with limited space, Romeo was unable to move freely or indeed do anything without being watched.

When he was six years old, Romeo was repatriated back to Indonesia and transferred to BOS Foundation where his first years were spent at Wanariset and then later at Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. Here he would have the chance to join our rehabilitation program. However, fate cruelly intervened to put yet another obstacle in the way of Romeo’s road to freedom.

In 1993, when Romeo arrived, he tested positive for hepatitis B, a contagious virus known to be transmittable among both humans and orangutans. Back then for orangutans who tested positive for hepatitis B, there was no choice but to separate them from the other orangutans in our care to avoid disease transmission within the population. For Romeo, this meant he needed to be housed within an isolation complex, and obviously could not join Forest School.

Over the past two decades, a lot has happened and advanced medical science has determinedthat hepatitis B found in orangutans (Orangutan hepadnavirus) naturally occurs in the wild and is not dangerous. It has long evolved with orangutans themselves. This strand of hepatitis B has actually been found to build up the natural immune system in orangutans and poses no threat to their survival. This was great news for Romeo and for us! This meant he could socialise with other orangutans and maybe even have the chance to one day be released. But after spending 30 years in captivity, we remain concerned as to whether Romeo can develop the life skills required to survive in the wild. Normally our orangutans go through a whole process of Forest School and pre-release islands during their early life, to ready them with the skills they need to survive in the wild. Romeo has lost that opportunity and has been unable to learn the skills he needs in Forest School alongside the younger, more agile orangutans. But we are not giving up and we want to at least give him the opportunity to try with our help.

We have designed a program especially for Romeo; the first step being to move him to a pre-release island, where he might be able to learn the survival skills he needs from observing his peers in a more natural outdoor environment.

On June 7, we released Romeo to our pre-release Island 5, which is one of seven manmade islands in Samboja Lestari. The islands were built to help orangutans become accustomed toindependent life once they have completed all stages of Forest School. On the islands, orangutanslive in an open area and learn to socialise with other individuals, just as they would have to in the wild. Romeo was placed on Island 5 together with two females, Fani and Isti, who were transferred the previous day.

After sedating and moving Romeo to the clinic for a final health check, Romeo was then moved to the island.

Romeo having a medical check-up prior to leaving

Romeo regained consciousness on the island with our team on stand-by to support him and slowly started to take in his new surroundings. This is the first time in 24 years that Romeo has not seen the world through the bars of a cage. So far Romeo is taking everything in his stride and we will be monitoring both Romeo and the girls closely over the coming months to see if we can move them on to a bigger island where they can learn even more skills.

Romeo still has far to go, but for now we couldn’t be happier to see Romeo out of a cage and enjoying living in freedom on his island.

Romeo on the platform in #5 Island

Text by: BOS Foundation Communication Team

You can make a difference and help save orangutans! DONATE NOW

[PRESS RELEASE] BOS Foundation Sets Free an Orangutan Living in an Enclosure for 24 Years

Celebrating World Environment Day which falls on June 5, Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation is forging ahead with our 2017 #OrangutanFreedom campaign, and releases an adult male named Romeo from his enclosure onto a pre-release island located in the BOS Foundation Samboja Lestari East Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program (Samboja Lestari). If Romeo is able to adapt well on the pre-release island, we can assess his potential for release to the wild.

Samboja, East Kalimantan, June 7, 2017. Celebrating World Environment Day which occurred two days ago, June 5, 2017, BOS Foundation is freeing an adult male by the name of Romeo, from his enclosure to live on a pre-release island in Samboja Lestari.

Currently there are seven pre-release islands in Samboja Lestari, with four more islands under construction. The total carrying capacity of those seven islands is around 30 orangutans. Every orangutan who completes Forest School will be placed onto one of these islands prior to being released to natural forest. Here they will live in an open environment whilst technicians monitor and observe their progress and adaptation. These islands are also used for those orangutans who have spent years living in enclosure complexes to assess their potential for release. On Island #5, Romeo will be placed with two females previously transferred, Fani and Isti.

Island #5

Romeo is one of the oldest orangutans in Samboja Lestari. In 1993, 6-year old Romeo was repatriated from Taiwan and has been progressing through rehabilitation in Samboja Lestari ever since.

Ir. Jamartin Sihite, BOS Foundation CEO said, “2017 is the year of #OrangutanFreedom, and we have released 13 orangutans to the Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kutai this year alone. After Eid, we will be ready to release more orangutans into the forest. Today, we are setting free one of our orangutans who has been living in Samboja Lestari for years, so he can live in an open environment, after 24 years of living in one of our enclosures. Today he will move to the pre-release island, and once we can gauge his progress in a more natural environment, we can take the necessary steps to prepare him for true freedom in the forest.”

“Our orangutan reintroduction plans were halted for 10-years because there was no forest available to accomodate our ex-rehabilitated orangutans. This led to the accumulation of hundreds of orangutans who share a similar fate to Romeo, waiting for the opportunity of freedom. We have overcome this tremendous challenge, but the forest in East Kalimantan that BOS Foundation now manages – Kehje Sewen – is still unable to accomodate the other 100 orangutans we plan to release. We need support to secure new forest areas. We all need the forest for clean water, oxygen and a well-regulated climate, so we need orangutans living in the forest, since they help improve quality of the forest. To keep them safe in the forest we keep the forest from being destroyed.”

Ir. Sunandar Trigunajasa N., Head of East Kalimantan BKSDA said, “In order to commemorate World Environment Day, this effort to move an orangutan from an enclosed facility into an open one by BOS Foundation displays real action. We can see that orangutans must be able to live freely and safely in the wild, however, considering their current ‘critically endangered’ conservation status, all of us, including myself and my staff, in East Kalimantan BKSDA must step up and improve efforts to conserve orangutans and habitat. Today we move one male, who joins two females moved the day before, and hopefully in the future, we can move several more to a bigger pre-release island and then from the island into the forest. The quicker we move, the better chance we have of improving the conservation prospects for orangutans in their natural habitat. We need to work together to make this happen.”

Romeo’s transfer along with two females into the pre-release island in Samboja Lestari has only been possible through cooperation with the East Kalimantan BKSDA, and our partner organisations such as BOS Switzerland, BOS Germany, BOS Australia, and The Great Projects. BOS Foundation is also extremely grateful for the support by individual donors, other partners, and organizations from around the world concerned with orangutan conservation in Indonesia.



Nico Hermanu

Communication Staff



Samboja Lestari Communication Staff



Editor’s Note:


Founded In 1991, the BOS Foundation is a non-profit Indonesian organization dedicated to the conservation of Bornean orangutans and their habitats, working together with local communities, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia and international partner organizations.

Currently, the BOS Foundation is working to rehabilitate more than 700 orangutans with the support of 440 highly dedicated staff and experts in the fields of primatology, biodiversity, ecology, forest rehabilitation, agroforestry, community empowerment, communications, education, and orangutan welfare. For further information, please visit