We’d like to introduce you to two Very Important Primates, Shelton and Kopral, who, despite experiencing horrific trauma, never gave up on life and prove that where there’s life, there’s hope.

Shelton

When Shelton was 6-7 years old, he wandered into a village looking for food and was beaten, shot, and left for dead in an area of forest. The physical and psychological trauma he had suffered at the hands of humans made his recovery unimaginably hard but, once again, the love and expertise of the Samboja Lestari team turned his life around. Shelton gradually regained his confidence and learnt to trust them.

When he was fit enough, Shelton was moved to an enclosure in forest school, the door of which was open during the day. Kopral was one of the first to greet him, and that’s when this photo was taken. Perhaps because of the trauma they’d suffered, they sensed a kindred spirit in each other and, for a while, were the best of friends.

When he was fit enough, Shelton was moved to an enclosure in forest school, the door of which was open during the day. Kopral was one of the first to greet him, and that’s when this photo was taken. Perhaps because of the trauma they’d suffered, they sensed a kindred spirit in each other and, for a while, were the best of friends.

Shelton is now completely blind and, for his safety, can’t roam Forest School. Instead, he has his own enclosure, and it’s entirely natural for an adult orangutan to live alone; they are solitary animals.

Shelton’s enclosure is next to the night accommodation of a group of Forest School students, and they provide him with a lot of stimulation with their antics. His caregivers adore him and visit often during the day, keeping him entertained with food and enrichment items.

Kopral

Kopral is a double amputee. His arms had to be removed because of the electrocution burns he sustained when he escaped his captors, climbed a utility pole, and grabbed hold of the live wires. His ‘owner’ was convinced that Kopral would die, but as he was still alive a week after sustaining his injuries, he brought Kopral to Samboja Lestari, where our extraordinary Vets saved his life.

When Kopral’s dominance meant that he could no longer roam Forest school, it was decided that he should have one of the purpose-built Sanctuary Islands within the Centre. He shares the island with Marlon and his friend, Lesley.

Even though they are now separated, Kopral and Shelton maintained a friendship over the many years that Kopral was in Forest School. Kopral used to pop in to see Shelton around lunch time and would even bring his own lunch to Shelton’s complex so the two could eat together! It was always heart-warming to witness the friendship between these two very special orangutans. They truly inspire us all. 

There are other orangutans at the BOS Foundation who can’t be released back to the wild because of physical or mental health issues. They too are always on our minds.

To sponsor Shelton and Kopral
Head over to our adoption page