Orangutans Released Into The Wild

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The Bornean Orangutan Rescue Alliance have released two endangered Bornean orangutans into the Busana reserve, one of the last remaining habitats for orangutans in Borneo.

The pair, a mother and daughter, were deemed eligible for release after completing rehabilitation at the BORA rescue centre.

Rescued from an amusement park

Previously the pair had been cared for at a rescue centre on the Indonesian island of Java. The mother, called Ucokwati was brought to the centre after being rescued from an amusement park in October 2011. She gave birth to her daughter Mungil in May 2013. At the time of completing their rehabilitation, Ucokwati was 18 years old and Mungil was eight.

It is unknown how long Ucokwati was in captivity within the amusement park. It is likely that she was taken from her mother as an infant and sold illegally as a pet.

The pairs move to the BORA centre was brought about by the closure of the centre in Java. The Javan centre was forced to close following financial difficulties in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic. The pair were luckily identified as successful candidates for release.

Healthy dislike for humans

Both had shown the ability to forage and make nests and importantly had a healthy dislike of humans. Uckokwati is particularly untrusting of humans and is aggressive towards them having been treated badly during her time in the amusement park.

The pair were released into the Busang reserve, 10 hours away from the BORA centre. Their release, on to a remove island provides the opportunity to experience the freedom of life in the wild while still being monitored by the BORA rescue centre.

More orangutans set for release

It is thought that the pair will make a full transition back in to the wild but will take several months to do so. In another month two further orangutans will be released by the BORA centre in to the Busang ecosystem. This time it will be two males.

The leaders of the centre are right at the forefront of dealing with the current crisis in dealing with the impact of habitat loss and illegal trade of wildlife. The importance of ecosystems like the one in Busang is vital to keeping species such as orangutans from extinction.

Critical for orangutan future

The Busang reserve is one of eight that have been identified as being critical for the future of orangutans. Each ecosystem requires a minimum of 2,000 orangutans to ensure the population is sustainable.

The release of orangutans such as Ucokwati and Mungil back into the wild gives everyone working at the rehabilitation centre hope that they can revert their extinction. However, constant help is needed to protect these ecosystems.

If you would like to find out more about orangutan conservation please visit our Adopt an Orangutan page.

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