Finally, the time has come: The first orangutans can be transported from the rescue and rehabilitation center of our orangutan conservation program back to the reintroduction stations. Once there, it won’t be long before they will be free orangutans again.
For many months all of the SOCP’s orangutan centres have been in lock down due to the Corona virus pandemic. Whilst there has been a steady trickle of new arrivals at the quarantine and rehabilitation centre, making good use of the new biosafety cages we built in 2020 to safely quarantine them, none of the orangutans have been transferred to the release sites over the last 12 months.
Now, however, with strict new procedures in place and full protective clothing to minimise the risks of infections we are finally able to start moving some of them to Jambi and Jantho again for eventual release.
On 7 March, five orangutans, four males and one female, were transported from the the rescue and rehabilitation centre to the Jambi release centre, managed by our partners in Sumatra the Frankfurt Zoological Society. Housed individually in transport boxes, they spent a little over 26 hours on the road before arriving safely at their new home in the forest. More than 180 have been released there at the edge of the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park since the centre began operations in 2003. At both the Jambi and Jantho reintroduction centres we are gradually establishing two entirely new, wild populations of this critically endangered species.