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Reintroduction to the wild

In the two reintroduction stations in the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park and the Jantho Nature Reserve, the orangutans are carefully prepared for life in their natural environment. If they are ready to live in freedom, they are gradually released while being continually monitored. The released orangutans help the SOCP team to establish two new, genetically viable and self-sustaining populations.

Transport to the reintroduction station

Once «groups» of compatible orangutans have been established in the socialization cages of the Rescue and rehabilitation station, they are then transferred to one of the SOCP’s two reintroduction sites, at the edge of Bukit Tigapuluh National Park in Jambi and in the Jantho Pine Forest Nature Reserve in Aceh. Accompanied by familiar staff and travelling together as a «group of friends» minimises stress and helps them adjust to their new environment. At their new location they are temporarily housed in holding cages again, only this time deep in the heart of the rainforest.

Preparation for an independent life in the rainforest

Once settled, the orangutans begin learning about life in the trees. They must gain the knowledge and new skills they need before release to have the best possible chance of survival. Staff collect natural foods and nesting materials in the forest for them, so they already know what is food and how to eat it when they are released. Experienced caretakers assess the progress of each orangutan and when considered likely to be able to survive in the wild they are taken to a suitable site and finally released.

Monitoring of the released orangutans

After the orangutans are released, SOCP staff continue to monitor their progress on a daily basis, until satisfied that they are managing to cope by themselves. Even then, they continue to monitor them in the forest and remote survey teams.