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FIVE MORE ORANGUTANS TO GAIN FREEDOM IN KEHJE SEWEN


Samboja, East Kalimantan

The BOS Foundation will today release five orangutans from the East Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program in Samboja Lestari to the Kehje Sewen Forest. This event will bring the total population of released orangutans in the Kehje Sewen to 91.

The BOS Foundation is again working in cooperation with the East Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) to release another five orangutans from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre. This is the 16th orangutan release conducted by the BOS Foundation - winner of 2017 World Branding Award Animalis Edition - in the Kehje Sewen Forest. Since 2012, this 86,450-hectare Ecosystem Restoration Concession forest, located in Muara Wahau Subdistrict, East Kutai Regency, has become home to 86 rehabilitated orangutans.

The five orangutans to be released include one male, Julien (aged 7 years), and four females, Erina (8), Cheryl (7), Nicola (13), and Choki (7). All five will depart from Samboja Lestari on a 20-hour journey to pre-determined release points in the Kehje Sewen Forest. These orangutans have been assessed as possessing the skills and behaviours required to survive independently in a wild forest.

Past orangutan releases conducted by the BOS Foundation have succeeded in increasing the orangutan population in the Kehje Sewen Forest. On the other hand, this has also pushed the forest’s carrying capacity to its limit. Surveys conducted in the Kehje Sewen indicate that the forest can only sustain around 150 orangutans: The population will reach 91 following this release. Therefore, the BOS Foundation is currently searching for suitable and sustainable forest areas for future orangutan releases.

DR. IR. JAMARTIN SIHITE, BOS Foundation CEO said; «We will keep on fulfilling our dream of releasing all the orangutans currently in our care to natural habitats, to ensure that Bornean orangutans will not become extinct. There are more than one hundred orangutans waiting for release in Samboja Lestari, but the carrying capacity of our release forest is not high enough to accommodate them all. The BOS Foundation, therefore, humbly requests support from the community, the regional government, and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to help us acquire more forest areas in East Kalimantan in which to release rehabilitated orangutans.

We need to remember that mankind desperately depends on forests - for clean air and water, forest products, and a well-regulated climate. Orangutans maintain the quality of forests; therefore, their existence is critical to our very own survival. Collectively, we must protect orangutans and their forest environments.»

IR. SUNANDAR TRIGUNAJASA N., Head of the East Kalimantan BKSDA, said; «Cooperation between the East Kalimantan BKSDA and the BOS Foundation makes both successful rescues and returning orangutans to their natural habitats, possible. This cooperation has also involved several business entities, which traditionally are not frontrunners in the conservation effort. Thanks to this cooperation, we have managed to save hundreds of orangutans and release almost one hundred back to natural forests in East Kalimantan.

I believe cooperation is the key, and I sincerely hope other stakeholders replicate this cooperation and develop it even further. I am still receiving reports of people keeping wild animals as pets, including protected species like orangutans. Here is where you all can lend your support; report these people, and hand wild animals over to us. Please stop hunting, capturing, killing, and holding animals such as orangutans, gibbons and hornbills, captive. These animals are protected by law. Let’s conserve our forests and the biodiversity found within.»

DR. ALDRIANTO PRIADJATI, Director of Conservation PT. Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia (RHOI) added; «Working together with the BOS Foundation, PT. RHOI has thus far conducted 16 orangutan releases in the Kehje Sewen Forest. We conducted the first release in 2012, and have recorded some live births among our released orangutans in the years since.

Our initial survey in the area indicated that the Kehje Sewen Forest could accommodate around 150 orangutans; this means that we still have space to release around 60-70 more. However, there are more than one hundred orangutans currently under our care at the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Center, waiting for their chance to be released. This is a challenging task for all of us; to provide safe forest areas for rehabilitated orangutans to inhabit, and sanctuaries to accommodate those orangutans that cannot be released to the wild, within the framework of an Ecosystem Restoration Concession in East Kalimantan. We really need support from all parties.»


The BOS Foundation acknowledges cooperation from the East Kalimantan BKSDA, the governments of East Kalimantan Province, East Kutai Regency, and Kutai Kartanegara, and the local residents of said regencies. The BOS Foundation is also extremely grateful for the moral and financial support provided by our global partners: BOS Switzerland and BOS Germany, individual donors, and other organisations from around the world concerned with orangutan conservation in Indonesia. 

Editors Note :

Paulina Laurensia Ela
BOSF Communications Specialist
Email: pauline@orangutan.or.id

Nico Hermanu
Communications Officer
Email: nico@orangutan.or.id

The press release is available to download here:



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