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Orangutans who enter a BOS Foundation centre have been brought to us following unspeakable tragedy. Those that are young enough to enter forest school to be taught key survival skills are the lucky ones. Oftentimes, older or disabled orangutans are rescued, and while they may never be able to return to the jungle, we work to ensure that they are cared for and live long lives, in freedom and dignity.

Over the last 3 decades over 1,200 orangutans have entered through BOSF rehabilitation centres as part of their rescue and rehabilitation processes. Today, approximately 450 orangutans remain in Nyaru Menteng and Samboja Lestari and while wild, forested futures await most of them, nearly 200 individuals may never be released back into the jungles of Borneo. Many of these individuals were simply rescued from captivity too late in life for forest school and do not possess the skills needed to survive unaided in the wild. Others suffer from ailments such as tuberculosis or chronic respiratory disease, requiring them to remain in permanent quarantine as they would otherwise pose a health threat to other orangutans. In the most unfortunate of cases, some orangutans need long-term intensive care due to severe physical disabilities.

While we cannot fully rehabilitate these individuals, the BOS Foundation does not forsake them. Currently, many of these orangutans occupy enclosures at Nyaru Menteng and Samboja Lestari where their medical needs are met by a team of veterinarians, in addition to food and enrichment that are provided by dedicated caregivers 365 days a year. Plans are being developed for the construction of larger, long-term enclosures designed to meet the specific needs of orangutans with severe physical disabilities, such as multiple missing limbs or complete blindness.

For the individuals with no serious physical impairments, we work to give them freedom in the form of sanctuary islands. On these forested islands, orangutans lacking survival skills can still live outside the confines of a cage. The river boundaries keep out most predators and BOSF teams deliver food on a daily basis to supplement the natural sources on the islands. The largest of these sanctuary islands is the 105-hectare Badak Kecil, which will one day be home to dozens of orangutans. There are plans underway for the construction of even more sanctuary islands in both East and Central Kalimantan as we dream of the day when all capable orangutans are free from their cages.

BOSF’s Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre also contains a sun bear sanctuary. We currently care for over 60 sun bears, the vast majority of which are located at Samboja Lestari. Our brand-new facilities there include 15 outdoor enclosures which are connected to indoor dens and surrounded by secure electric fencing. Any sun bears that arrive at Nyaru Menteng are eventually transferred to the Samboja Lestari facility.

Each and every animal who enters BOSF centres deserves a life in the wild. For those from which this future was stolen by the actions of man, the BOS Foundation strives to give them the highest quality of care available, but this is only possible with your support!


As the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, we spend a lot of time talking about orangutans. But we also know that every organism in a forest has a unique role to play in keeping the ecosystem healthy – and that includes sun bears.

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Learn more about how we rescue animals from areas of conflict and work to ensure that orphaned orangutans are prepared to survive in the wild.

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You can play an active role in orangutan conservation. Learn more about how to get involved.

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