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  • The primeval forests of Borneo - home of the Orangutans - are cut down and destroyed in favour of big-scale oil palm plantations.
  • Deprived of their “home”, orangutans escape the trees. Consequently, many are killed while others are sold or taken away in order to be held as pets.
  • The orangutans brought to the SOC by the forest police are cared for and prepared for a life in the wild.

step 1

Sintang Orangutan Center

The SOC receives orangutans who have been kept as pets or have been victims of the illegal wildlife trade.



On the island of Borneo primeval rainforests are being cut down in order to make way for palm oil plantations and commercial tropical timber trade. The orangutans living in these forests are forced out of their natural habitat. They often come into confrontation with local people which for many results in their being captured and sold, or killed. The young animals are taken away from their mothers, who are most times shot dead, in order to be kept as pets. Sadly, most of them are kept under abominable circumstances. The BKSDA, an Indonesian governmental organisation investigates the possession of young orangutans and confiscates them from their captors when possible.


The SOC receives orangutans after they have been taken away from people by the BKSDA forest police. Very often these animals are weak, traumatised,undernourished and sick. To make it possible to release them successfully and as quickly as possible, they are taken to the SOC to get medical treatment . In addition they are stimulated to perform their natural behaviours. As soon as they have made a recovery , they are transferred to forest school Tembak Lestari. This is where they learn by practice how to survive in the wild.


After arrival, the orangutans are medically checked followed by a four-week quarantine. During this time they learn how to eat proper orangutan food. During their captivity orangutans are not fed a natural diet and as a result they often suffer from serious malnutrition. After having finished quarantine they are placed together with fellow orangutans. In this sociable environment they are able to develop their natural behaviours and practice skills they will need in the future. They are given special stimulating material and toys (enrichment) to learn how to cope with and solve the problems they are naturally confronted with in the wild. They are offered leaves and branches in order to learn how to build their nests.

When the animals have sufficiently recovered, they move to the forest school Tembak Lestari, where they can be prepared for their release into the wild.

plattegrond SOC
  1. Quarantine enclosures
  2. Hospital
  3. Nursery
  4. Socialisation enclosure
  5. Forest playground
  6. Transfer cage
  7. Office building