The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) released 21 rehabilitated orangutans into Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.
Thirteen of the orangutans were released on Wednesday, while the remaining eight will be released on Thursday.
BOSF communication and education coordinator Monterado Fridman said on Wednesday that the apes had training programs in which they were taught to live independently in the forest. Some have been in the foundation’s facility in Nyaru Menteng, Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan for up to 13 years.
Monterado said most of the orangutans were young when they were abducted or had become pets, so they did not have, or had lost, their ability to survive alone at the forest, tempo.co reported.
The release is part of the effort on the Indonesian Orangutan Conservation Action Plan 2007-2017, launched by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during the Climate Change Conference in Bali, in 2007.
“The number of orangutans released this time is higher than before. This courageous step is being taken since we were successful in releasing a total of 23 orangutans into Central Kalimantan in three previous attempts. We are striving to meet the target of releasing 150 orangutans by the end of 2013,” Dr. Jamartin Sihite, CEO of BOSF said on its official website, http://orangutan.or.id/.
The success of program is credited to cooperation between the Forestry Ministry, Central Sulawesi administration, Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Center and Murung Raya Society. (cor/iwa)