This week, the world’s only known albino orangutan was returned to the wild in Indonesia.
Making the momentous occasion even better, Alba, who was rescued more than one year ago from a cage where she was being kept as a pet by villagers in Central Kalimantan, was joined by fellow rescued orangutan, Kika.
The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) which rescued a then five-year-old blue-eyed, white-haired, blooded, and malnourished primate more than one year ago, facilitated Alba’s release in collaboration with The KSDAE Directorate General.
“The decision to return the only albino orangutan ever found back to the forest supports the government’s commitment to protecting Indonesia’s diverse wildlife, including orangutans and their habitats,” the organization which rescued and rehabilitated Alba, noted in a post on its Facebook page. “We at the BOS Foundation will use all of our experience to support the government’s plans, and make this release the most successful it possibly can be to protect Alba as best we can!”
As per the organization, this successful release now brings the number of orangutans released in Indonesia to 114, and brings the total number of orangutans released by BOS Foundation since 2012 across Kalimantan release sites to 386 individuals!
While some fear for Alba’s safety in the wild, the BOS Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team will conduct intensive monitoring for a period of six months to evaluate Alba’s adaptation progress and behavior.
“Since the day she entered BOS Foundation’s Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Alba has shown significant improvement in terms of her physical condition,” Jamartin Sihite, BOS Foundation CEO said in a statement. “Alba has consistently displayed sound climbing skills and moves with ease around the branches, which are good indicators that she may be ready to live in the wild.”
However, the PRM team will continue determine if she can truly adapt to the forest and they are prepared to intervene and rescue her in coordination with the BKSDA if they feel that her life is in danger at any point.
May Alba and all the other rescued and released orangutans live long and remain safe in the wild for many years to come!