Who could forget Kopral, the armless male orangutan? Thanks to his extraordinary strength and resilience and the dedication of his caretakers, he now enjoys a semi-wild life on a Sanctuary Island.
When Kopral first came to Samboja Lestari from Samarinda, he was brought by taxi with both arms badly injured, almost rotting, from being electrocuted while escaping his captors. Without any other choice, the Samboja Lestari medical team decided to amputate both his arms to save his life.
For quite some time, he ‘ruled’ over Forest School Group 2, until, in February 2020, the BOS Foundation team decided that Kopral should be given the opportunity to live on island #3 in Samboja Lestari.
Earlier that year, Leann, Mayer, and Andreas were promoted from Forest School Group 1 to Group 2. With the arrival of Andreas – another male orangutan with a dominant disposition – it seemed that Kopral suddenly felt he had a rival. He immediately displayed his dominance and dislike for the newcomer, which resulted in the two engaging in an intense and serious wrestling match.
This rivalry led to lengthy discussions between the medical and animal welfare teams, and they decided to move Kopral to Island #3 to join Lesley, his former friend from Group 2. On the day of his transfer, seven staff members collected Kopral from the Group 2 complex. He had been kept inside the enclosure that day for biting Andreas’ finger.
Following the sedation process, the team transported the large male to Island #3 by car. The location of Group 2 Forest School is quite far from the island complex, and the trip took about 15 minutes. Several technicians were waiting at the river’s edge, ready to help ferry Kopral across by boat. After safely arriving on Island #3, he slowly regained consciousness.
Living on Island #3 allows Kopral to enjoy open space in an environment that resembles an orangutan’s natural habitat. His physical disadvantage means he can never be released to the forest for his own safety. However, Kopral can climb trees and forage for natural food using only his legs. This has allowed him to develop into a relatively independent individual while being closely monitored.
Kopral has come so far! He’s an inspiration to us all to never give in and never give up! He’s also a powerful reminder that orangutans should NEVER be kept as pets.
Please support our Sanctuary Island Appeal to give unreleasable orangutans like Kopral a chance to live a cage-free life in an environment as close to the wild as possible.