The 21-year-old male is a potential candidate for a spot on a sanctuary island. Because of his lacking social behaviour, he can’t be released into the wild.
Waru was rescued from an oil palm plantation in East Kotawaringin Regency, Central Kalimantan, on June 25, 2004. When the BOS Foundation team rescued the male, he was without a mother, despite being only two years old and weighing a mere 2.4 kilograms.
Following quarantine, Waru entered forest school. He became known for often acting very spoiled and being insistent on staying close to his caretakers rather than up in the trees with other orangutans.
In May 2009, the team moved him from forest school into Socialization Complex No.9. Unfortunately, while in the complex, Waru showed he was completely unable to interact and compete with the other orangutans.
This behaviour, in combination with very low activity levels, aggression towards humans, and other negative personal traits, prevented him from ever moving to a pre-release island. Despite efforts to provide stimulation through enrichment and treatment, Waru’s behaviour never improved.
Waru is now 21 years old. Given his age and history, a pre-release island may not be a suitable place for him and may even be a potentially dangerous change if done suddenly. Instead, a smaller artificial sanctuary island, where technicians can monitor him closely, could make for a much better fit.
Please support our Sanctuary Island Appeal to give unreleasable orangutans like Waru a chance to live a cage-free life in an environment as close to the wild as possible.