Orphaned Orangutan, Lana, finds his Freedom in the Forests of East Kalimantan
Santa Monica, CA - 31 December 2016 - Orang Utan Republik Foundation. Orang Utan Republik Foundation President Dr. Gary Shapiro representing The Orangutan Project (TOP), joined staff from the Center for Orangutan Protection (COP) and other organizations on 10 December 2016, in the translocation of a wild juvenile male orangutan to a section of the Lesan River Protected Forest, within the Berau District of East Kalimantan, Indonesia.
The orangutan, named Lana (“explorer” in Indonesian), was orphaned only weeks earlier at a local palm oil plantation. Lana was first held at a local forestry office facility then brought to the COP rehabilitation center while the COP team was able to gain approval and seek a site for his release. The day long event to release Lana involved placing him into a transport cage, driving him to the Lesan Dayak village in the “Ape Defender” (a truck provided by The Orangutan Project), then upriver by boat, and finally carried a couple kilometers inland to the final release area. Over thirty individuals from various government and nongovernment offices, the Dayak village and local companies participated in the translocation.
Prior to the release, Lana was examined by the orangutan experts and veterinarians at COP rehabilitation center. He was shown to be independent, skilled at nest building, able to move through the forest, and capable of foraging for food,thus deemed healthy and fit for a translocation release. Other younger orphans typically spend years at rehabilitation centers until they can learn the skills necessary to be released to the wild. It was determined Lana’s translocation into the Lesan River Protected Forest of 11,342 hectares with other wild orangutans was ecologically and ethically appropriate to end his brief captivity for a life in the forest. Lana was monitored by COP staff for days afterwards to insure his safety and ability to survive in the forest.
COP’s Program in Berau, East Kalimantan receives financial support of The Orangutan Project, Orangutan Outreach, With Compassion & Soul and other organizations. Videoclips of the release are available on the Orang Utan Republik Foundation’s Youtube channel at: https://youtu.be/DaH3gc8EFz8 and https://youtu.be/rbLvXVtxQEM.