Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Project, Borneo, Indonesia

The Nyaru Menteng Care Centre is situated 28km outside of Palangka Raya, the capital of Central Kalimantan. It is located within the boundaries of the Nyaru Menteng Arboretum, a 62.5 ha lowland peat-swamp forest ecosystem, founded in 1988 by the Ministry of Forestry Regional office of Central Kalimantan.

The aim of the Nyaru Menteng Care Centre is to rescue orangutans that have been displaced from their habitat or held in captivity as illegal pets, and through quarantine and half-way housing release them back into their natural environment.

The clinic, quarantine facilities and socialisation cages are inside a fenced area of 1.5 ha, while mid-way housing is at the farthest end of the Arboretum. The project has good forest for the smallest orangutans and is undisturbed by visitors. The larger orangutans are situated on half-way islands in the Rungan River, located eight kilometres away by road. On these islands the orangutans are free to roam and learn important forest survival skills.

The Nyaru Menteng Care Centre employs more than 150 people including vets, technicians and orangutan babysitters. Nyaru Menteng also aims to help protect large areas of untouched forest for this purpose. One of the biggest challenges BOS faces today is finding suitable and safe habitat for release.

There are overy 650 orangutans at Nyaru Menteng - a number well beyond the intended capacity of the centre. Approximately 100 orangutans should be released in newly secured forest within the next 12 months. These orangutans will have new transmitters inserted under their skin between the shoulder blades so they can be tracked and their progress in the forest can be monitored. The Orangutan Project contributed to this massive planned orangutan release with urgent cage repairs at Nyaru Menteng.