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Mar 1, 2024

Candidates For The 27th Orangutan Release From Samboja Lestari

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia (KLHK), the Natural Resources Conservation Centre (BKSDA) of East Kalimantan, and the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation, supported by Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) & PT. Bank Central Asia (BCA) Tbk., will soon conduct the 27th orangutan release from the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre into the Kehje Sewen Forest. Here are the orangutan candidates up for release:

Release candidate: Siti


Siti, a female orangutan, has been rescued twice now by the BOS Foundation. The first time was back in the 90s and her rehabilitation successfully ended with her release on November 2, 1997 in the Sungai Wain Protection Forest. Siti returned to Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre after BKSDA Balikpapan got a complaint from PT. Balikpapan Wana Lestari (BWL) via the Balikpapan Regional Conservation Section’s (SKW) 3 call centre about an orangutan entering their work camp.

The team immediately rescued Siti and brought her to the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre for further assessment. Upon her arrival, Siti was placed in Socialisation Complex A for quarantine and has remained there awaiting her chance to be released back into the wild.

Release candidate: Mori


Mori, who is now 15 years old, was originally captured and turned over by residents of Sanggata to Kutai National Park. Being only 2-3 years old and without a mother at the time, she needed to undergo rehabilitation and on February 24, 2012 she was transferred to BOS Foundation’s Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre. Despite her tragic past, Mori has grown into an independent orangutan who does not like to be around humans. 

Mori was originally released in 2019 into the Kehje Sewen Forest, but when her physical condition deteriorated, the team had no choice but to return her to the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre for treatment of a disease called melioidosis. Now, this young orangutan is ready to be released back into the wild and enjoy her freedom once again. 

Release candidate: Reno


On October 1, 1997, a one-year-old orangutan was rescued in the Sebulu area. This male orangutan went on to be named Reno and begin his rehabilitation journey with the BOS Foundation.

Reno attended a special forest school until he was 4 years old, after which he was transferred to the Wanariset Socialisation Cage. The sudden move was due to him being diagnosed with Hepatitis B, which required he be quarantined to protect other orangutans. In 2010, new research revealed that there was a strain of Hepatitis B in orangutans which is harmless and carries no risk of transmission to other orangutans. This welcome news meant that after a decade’s pause,  Reno was finally able to restart his rehabilitation journey.

Today, 27-year-old Reno is known as an aloof orangutan who has no desire to be close to humans. He tends to be indifferent to the actions of the BOS Foundation technicians and will not come close, even if called by the technicians. He is certainly ready to take even more distance from humans in the vast expanse of the Kehje Sewen Forest.

Release candidate: Uli


Uli originally underwent rehabilitation at the BOS Foundation’s Wanariset Centre in the 90s and was successfully released on September 9, 1999. However, in June of 2021, videos of an orangutan near the Loesan Village went viral, prompting a quick rescue and transfer to the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre. The team quickly identified the male orangutan as Uli, thanks to his unique microchip number. Having already survived for over 20 years in the wild, Uli is very ready to be released back into his natural home once again.

Text by: Communication Team in Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan