OPTIMISED RESETTLEMENT PROCESS
In the middle of November, four orangutans were relocated from the SOCP’s rescue and rehabilitation station to Jantho, where they will be released back into the wild. As a last step before their release, they are introduced to the conditions in the local rainforest of the Jantho Nature Reserve.
The journey for most orangutans we rescue is a long one: As soon as they arrive at the rescue and rehabilitation station, most of them must undergo medical treatment for a long period of time. Following their stay, they are transported to the location of their release, where they can accustom themselves to their new environment, before they are released back into the wilderness.
Four orangutans between the ages of five and seven, that were once confiscated and subsequently spent two to three and a half years in the rescue and rehabilitation station, are now in the last stage of this process. During their time with the Sumatran-Orangutan-Conservation-Programme, they were able to grow up and recover from their illnesses under medical supervision. It was also necessary for them to learn certain skills in order to survive in the rainforest. Finally they were allowed to feed on natural components such as fruits and vegetables and they learned or relearned to climb like orangutans. In addition, they had to learn typical behaviour, after having lived with humans for most of their lives. This usually happens in the socialisation cage with other orangutans.
«Aruna», «Cut Luwes», «Leo» and «Ully» are now the first candidates for resettlement, who can pass through the newly optimised process. Recently the acclimatisation has not only taken place in the rescue and rehabilitation station, but also increasingly in the resettlement area,. There, in a similar fashion to the «rainforest school» the orangutans are left in a small, defined piece of forest under supervision. When we deem the candidates ready for an entirely independent life, they are released in the same area into a huge rainforest reserve.
The resettlement candidates
«Aruna»: This young female orangutan was confiscated in 2015. She was dehydrated and malnourished, when she came to us. Luckily, she recovered quickly.
«Cut Luwes», a young female as well, was voluntarily brought to the police by her former owner. Her name is reminiscent of her original habitat, «Gayo Lues», and is a bit of a wordplay from the SOCP-caretakers.
The most important step of our resettlement project is to create new, independent, genetically sustainable populations. The four new orangutans will soon be supporting the Jantho Population and thus help us achieve our main goal in preventing the extinction of orangutans.