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In 2022, we took in several young, orphaned orangutans at our rehabilitation centres in Nyaru Menteng and Samboja Lestari. Little Rumba was one of them.

Rumba was less than 12 months old when she arrived at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Central Kalimantan. Residents of Kasongan, Katingan Regency, voluntarily handed over this beautiful baby girl after she had been kept as a pet for one month. Once Rumba had reached a stable condition, the BOS team placed her in the small Forest School group. 

Young orangutans, like human children, all have unique characteristics. They can be active, diligent, lazy, or incredibly curious. Rumba is somewhat of a loner who spends most of her time clinging to her surrogate mother in Forest School. The only other orangutan she will play with is Iqo, a friend she met during quarantine. 


Forest School is dotted with muddy puddles, where Rumba likes to spend a lot of time playing. Apart from her time spent in puddles, Rumba is not very active in Forest School: She usually takes a nap in the hammock the surrogate mothers sit in when observing the orangutans playing in the trees. Rumba has forced them to give up their hammocks several times so she can nap.

The little female is very clingy with the surrogate mothers. When one moves from one position to another, even just to get fruit from the basket, Rumba will cry out as if afraid of being left behind. Despite being insecure, Rumba is a quick learner. She recently learned to climb trees and eat forest leaves. She is not picky and will eat whatever the surrogate mothers offer her, especially when our veterinarian gives her bananas and vitamin C.

According to our veterinary team, Rumba has remained in good health. She is also becoming more active in Forest School. We hope she will continue to grow in confidence and independence to be someday free to explore the forests of Kalimantan.

If you would like to support Rumba and her Forest School friends, please consider adopting one of them. You will receive a personalised certificate and regular updates on their progress – a wonderful way to join their journey to freedom.

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