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5th February 2021

Three orangutans have been successfully released onto Badak Kecil Orangutan Sanctuary Island.


Number of Orangutans

Release type

Sanctuary island

Release site

Badak Kecil Island
The female orangutans Dilla, Mawas and Jeliva spent years undergoing the rehabilitation process at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, but were ultimately deemed unsuccessful in developing the natural skills and behaviours needed to survive independently in the wild.

Their good health, however, allows them to live on a sanctuary island with an environment similar to that of a natural forest.

Take a look at their transfer journey and in their new home:

Final medical check by the veterinary team
Loading onto one of our vehicles
Arriving at the sanctuary island by boat
The moment of release!
Exploring their surroundings

Dillia's Background

While all orangutans in BOS Foundation care have a tragic backstory, Dilla had a particularly rough start at life. When she was rescued, Dilla was estimated to be almost five years old, but she had spent over four years in captivity at the hands of humans. Most orangutans are only subjected to a number of months before they are surrendered or reported, but poor Dilla withstood the ordeal for many years. When she arrived at the Nyaru Menteng, she was also in questionable physical condition as we quickly found her to be blind in her left eye, due to untreated cataracts.


When an orangutan enters our care with as much trauma as Dilla, we know it will be a challenge to rehabilitate them, and it appears it also prevented Dilla from caring for her own daughter.

After a long period of assessment, it was decided that Dilla was more suited for life on a sanctuary island where there is less competition with other orangutans and the technicians can provide her with even greater support to make up for her lacking skillset. On a sanctuary island, despite being unable to initially overcome the trauma of her past, Dilla will still be able to live out a natural life. And maybe, just maybe, still develop skills over the years so that she can return to a true forest.

Dilla and her daughter Delilah from Orangutan Jungle School

Update on Delilah, Dilla's daughter

Delilah is now 2.5 years old and of the 14 students in the nursery, she’s is one of the most capable. Delilah is fearless at forest school and her current record is climbing over 20 metres into a tree; very impressive for someone under the age of 3! Once in the canopy, Delilah typically chooses to spend her day there, only descending when the surrogate mothers offer fruit or milk. She is also a social individual as she has befriended each and every orangutan in the nursery!


Although Delilah will not be raised by her own mother, she lacks the intense traumatic memories that torment so many of the other orangutans in rehabilitation, including Dilla. This in combination with her outgoing personality, fearless adventuring, and avid curiosity, lead us to believe that Delilah is already on the path towards being a release candidate in the future.

Delilah with Monita