Six Unreleasable Orangutans Move to New Home in Salat Islands

Palangka Raya, 5 November 2018 - PT Sawit Sumbermas Sarana Tbk (SSMS), together with Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF), released six orangutans in Badak Kecil Island, one of the islands in the Salat Islands conservation area, Central Kalimantan.


The six orangutans, consisting of Moncos, Yasmin, Manis, Caesar, Mama Lasa, and Pepsi, are between 20-28 years old and fall into the unreleasable category. They cannot be released into the wild because they have failed to develop the appropriate survival skills as they have been interacting with humans for far too long before BOSF rescued them.


"There are at least 20 orangutans in our care that fall into the unreleasable category," said BOSF CEO Jamartin Sihite. "Even though they will be able to enjoy living in the forest on Badak Kecil Island, we need to understand that commitment and participation of all parties are needed to protect the forest and to prevent the orangutans from having to leave their natural habitat."


Salat Islands, which have been prepared as the permanent home for the six orangutans, is a conservation area of ??2,089 hectares. This conservation area also has several islands that function as pre-release sites for orangutans undergoing rehabilitation. Orangutans who have successfully completed the rehabilitation program will return to the wild.


The Salat Islands conservation program results from a collaboration between private company and NGO elements which, of course, is also supported by the government. This is in accordance with the appeal of the United Nations regarding the Sustainable Development Goals that voices the mobilization of resources from various parties to care for biodiversity. This collaboration is also a clear evidence that, together, the elements are able to contribute directly to the preservation of the environment.


"In this collaboration, BOSF applies the best practices in caring for the orangutans," said SSMS CEO Vallauthan Subraminam. "Meanwhile, SSMS has provided thousands of hectares of land and conservation infrastructure such as platforms, buildings, and the canals that separates the islands."

This conservation program also tries to provide economy benefits for the community through letting them provide the fruits that orangutans eat, as well as for the water transportation required. In addition, SSMS also facilitates the provision of lodging managed by the community. This lodging will be useful for conservation technicians, guests, and researchers who visit the Salat Islands. SSMS involves the community so that they have a sense of belonging, and help maintain the conservation efforts in the Salat Islands and protect the orangutans that live in it.