Back in 2013, a female orangutan named Cici missed her chance at true freedom when her release was postponed. Cici is now 24 years old and a resident of Kaja Island, where she has lived since 26 November 2018.
Cici was initially handed over to the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre by the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) of DKI Jakarta on 8 January 2003. She underwent the usual rehabilitation process, which included time spent in both Forest School and on a pre-release island. Cici was almost set to be released into the Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan, with 12 other orangutans in October 2013. However, health investigations, including DNA tests, revealed that Cici belonged to the Central Kalimantan subspecies of orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) rather than the East Kalimantan subspecies (Pongo pygmaeus morio).
Due to this revelation, the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation team decided to postpone Cici’s journey to freedom. This decision was not made lightly, considering Cici’s readiness to survive in the wild. Cici, alongside orangutans, Karen, Roma, Donna, and Marwoto, was relocated to the Nyaru Menteng Rehabilitation Centre on 28 November 2013, in a move to ensure they all could live in their natural habitat.
This is not the first time this has occurred at the BOS Foundation: cross-provincial orangutan releases have been carried out multiple times in the past. However, the release candidates at that time were orangutans from Central Kalimantan who were ultimately released in East Kalimantan: Yayang, Sayang, and Diah. Cici’s story is a similar case but with the opposite background to these three orangutans.
Cici, and seven other orangutans, are now finally ready to be released back to the protected Bukit Batikap Forest, after a 10-year rehabilitation process at the Nyaru Menteng Rehabilitation Centre. Enjoy your freedom, Cici. We hope this delay to your homecoming makes the moment just that much sweeter!
Text by: Communication Team BOS Headquarters, Bogor, West Java
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