Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation



Six More Orangutans Get Their Freedom in the Kehje Sewen Forest!

In cooperation with PT. RHOI and the East Kalimantan BKSDA, the BOS Foundation has successfully released six more orangutans to the Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kutai Regency. All six released orangutans had completed a long period of rehabilitation over several years through our Forest School system.

Ready to depart!

At the BOS Foundation’s Samboja Lestari centre, the orangutan release candidates – Reckie, Justin, Ung, Robert, Heli and Tree – were sedated one by one ahead of their trip to #OrangutanFreedom in the Kehje Sewen Forest. After being sedated, all six were placed into transport cages, which were then loaded onto transportation vehicles ready to depart.

Pembiusan orangutan di komplek sosialisasi Samboja Lestari

Reckie, Justin, Ung, Robert, Heli, and Tree are sedated one by one

Pemindahan orangutan ke kandang transport

Six orangutans are loaded onto their transport cage

The six orangutans departed from Samboja Lestari on April 25, and travel directly to the Kehje Sewen Forest. Our team followed strict protocols throughout the 20-hour road trip, stopping every two hours to check on the orangutans and provide them with food and water.

Pemeriksaan orangutan

Stopping along the journey to check on the orangutans

In the front yard of the East Kalimantan BKSDA, a ceremony and signing of documents marked the 12th Samboja Lestari release. Attending were BOSF Samboja Lestari’s Program Manager, Agus Irwanto, and Head of the East Kalimantan BKSDA, Ir. Sunandar Trigunajasa N.


Following the ceremony, the four female and two male orangutans embarked on a 12-hour overland trip to Muara Wahau, the sub-district city of East Kutai Regency.

Inauguration of new branch office

In Muara Wahau, the BOS Foundation inaugurated its new branch office, which also coincided with the 8th anniversary of PT. RHOI. The event included a traditional ceremony involving local community members from Bea Nehas, Diak Lay and Deabeq.

Peresmian kantor cabang baru BOSF di Muara Wahau

Representing the BOS Foundation was CEO Jamartin Sihite, who attended the event together with several local community members

Update from the Kehje Sewen forest!

The team reached Muara Wahau the following day, and from there continued on for another four hours until reaching a point 200 meters from the banks of the Telen River – the last point accessible by vehicle. The team then carried the transport cages down to the river bank and moved them across to the other side of the river using a ces (small boat). Once they reached the other side, the cages were loaded onto two waiting utility vehicles that would carry them to release points deep in the southern part of the Kehje Sewen Forest.

Angkut kandang transportasi orangutan ke titik riis

The team carries the transport cages down to the river bank

On April 26, at 14.21 pm, the six orangutans were finally given their freedom. The release of these six brings the total number of orangutans released by the BOS Foundation to the Kehje Sewen since 2012 to 68, and an overall 276 released to natural habitats from both the Samboja Lestari and Nyaru Menteng rehabilitation centres.

2 Justin cage opened by Miranti and Nur, Comdev staff in RHOI (4)

Justin's cage opened by RHOI Community Development Staff, Miranti and Nur | Further details of the release can be found on our Facebook page. Click here

6 Ung cage opened by Nicola Walpen (3)

Nicola Walpen from BOSF Switzerland opens Ung's cage | Further details of the release can be found on our Facebook page. Click here

This orangutan reintroduction was only made possible through cooperation with the East Kalimantan BKSDA, the Provincial Government of East Kalimantan, the local governments of East Kutai and Kutai Kartanegara regencies, and the local residents of said regencies. The BOS Foundation is extremely grateful for the moral and financial support provided by PT Narkata Rimba, BOS Switzerland, individual donors, and other partners and organizations from around the world concerned with orangutan conservation in Indonesia.

Text by: Communications Team, BOS Foundation Head Office

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