Are you a member?


Today, we would like to share the conservation journey of another orangutan warrior from the BOS Foundation’s Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in East Kalimantan. This story starts many years ago, not too far away from the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre.

Medi was born in Samboja, East Kalimantan on May 2, 1991. He later started his career as an animal care technician at Wanariset Samboja. This is the original location where the BOS Foundation was first founded, also in 1991. It stayed the hub for our operations in East Kalimantan until 2004, when we started replanting the 1,850-hectare area of land named Samboja Lestari. When working at Wanariset Samboja, Medi was responsible for caring for a number of adult orangutans that were categorised as ‘un-releasable’. These orangutans were not able to be released into the wild due to a variety of reasons, such as underdeveloped natural behaviours from prolonged captivity, chronic infectious diseases like tuberculosis and hepatitis, or physical disabilities.

Medi says he had many unique experiences during his time working at Wanariset Samboja. One time, three orangutans managed to escape from their enclosures and fled to the old area of Wanariset, or the 'research forest'. The orangutans quickly moved quite far into the forest and Medi had decided to go after them alone. After trekking for a while, he found them eating not far from one other. The three instantly recognised Medi and, unexpectedly, were willing to return to their cages without much protest. Medi has always believed that the orangutans easily complied because he had cared for them daily and built up strong relationships with them.

At Samboja Lestari, Medi is currently assigned to the Special Care Unit (SCU) complex, a huge complex that can accommodate around 50 orangutans in separate enclosures. The complex came into use at the end of 2015, after it was specially built to accommodate orangutans suffering from infectious and potentially deadly diseases, such as tuberculosis and ORDS (Orangutan Respiratory Disease Syndrome). The SCU complex is located quite far from other facilities in Samboja Lestari. As the supervisor of the complex, Medi witnesses first-hand the many challenges of orangutan conservation and the sad reality that some orangutans, due to their conditions, will never get the chance to taste true freedom.


Medi’s past experience working as a technician in Forest School and the Socialisation Complex taught him a lot about how healthy orangutans interact with one another. His time as a technician has also afforded him a variety of experiences from tasks like feeding orangutans and cleaning cages, and to managing teams and nebulizing orangutans suffering from ORDS.

“My experiences have made me more focused when interacting with animals, in this case orangutans,” Medi said of his varied experiences at the BOS Foundation. “Working with the BOS Foundation has made me realise that this is not just an ordinary job, but rather a calling, to better appreciate nature and all its creatures.”

Medi has high aspirations for the BOS Foundation and hopes the organisation continues to carry out its mission and continue to move towards realising its vision. He hopes the BOS Foundation’s team members will keep improving and building upon their strong teamwork.

“Hopefully, the work that my friends and I are doing at the BOS Foundation will produce the best results for the orangutans we care for. I believe we can all provide a better life for orangutans. So, let's do it together!” Medi said, optimistic about the future for orangutan conservation.

Think others should hear about this? Share it!

image image image