Introducing the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation
Find out how the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSf) make such a positive difference to the welfare of Orangutans…
At The Happy Prawn Co., we proudly support various conservation organisations in the areas we operate. Such an organisation is the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSf).
Who are BOSf and BOSf Samboja Lestari?
Founded in 1991, the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation is an international, non-profit NGO. It currently holds 2 orangutan rescue and rehabilitation centres and 3 conservation, reforestation and research centres in various regions of Indonesia. However, the success of the foundation not only lies with the passionate staff, but also the community. By constantly encouraging support from the local people, they have managed to generate awareness about the importance of protecting and conserving these magnificent creatures and forest regions throughout north Indonesia. In fact, this technique is specifically used in Samboja Lestari, the facility which we proudly support.
Based in East Kalimantan, Samboja Lestari was established in 2006 and was the first centre to successfully implement the 1991 Reintroduction Program. This program sought to provide care and rehabilitation for displaced or orphaned orangutans in the area, which was achieved in two ways. Firstly, BOSf Samboja Lestari maintains a healthy partnership with the East Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority (BKSDA), and secondly, BOSf Samboja Lestari constantly involves the local communities in the region. By hosting talks, opening the sanctuary to volunteers and visiting schools, the communities of East Kalimantan became increasingly aware of the efforts BOSf Samboja Lestari were taking in their region and started to partake in activities to generate funding and awareness to the cause. An example of a community that supports them are our farming community, which donates a portion of their earnings towards this fantastic program.
Image: Young orangutans being fed some wild berries. Credits: BOSf
What difference does BOSf Samboja Lestari make?
BOSf Samboja Lestari are involved in the orangutan reintroduction program. This program involves the following steps:
- An orangutan has been rescued by the sanctuary or given to the sanctuary by the locals.
- The orangutan is then quarantined and given a health check, to ensure they are not carrying disease and are suitable for being introduced to the school.
- Orangutan school involves a kindergarten for very young orangutans, or Island 1 for older orangutans. Here, they begin their rehabilitation program that allows them to become self-sufficient in the wild.
- Islands 1-8 are isolated areas that see the orangutans being increasingly introduced to forest-like conditions and a gradual minimisation of human contact. This is to make the orangutan wild to ensure a long survival rate, upon their release into wild.
- After completing island 8 and deemed wild, they are taken away from the foundation and reintroduced deep into to the wild forests of Kalimantan, where they are left to tend to themselves. Click here to read about their recent release.
If an orangutan is physically or mentally unwell upon their arrival into Samboja Lestari, they are quarantined in a separate area. If they are able to recover, then they will be introduced to the correct island. However, if they suffer from an ailment that is uncurable or are seriously physically and/or mentally challenged, then the foundation takes it upon themselves to provide them with care until their death.
Lastly, lesser known is the difference BOSf Samboja Lestari makes to the sun-bears. These bears are often black with yellow markings on their bodies, resembling sun rays. This specie is more endangered than the orangutan and are only found within the foundation’s enclosure, as there is not a suitable habitat for them. This is because these bears are virtually blind and rely on their powerful snout to smell food, their direction and other bears. Not only that, but due to the locals not being familiarised with the sun-bears, both pose a threat to one another. As a result, the sanctuary dotingly looks after them and will continue to do so until they feel it is fine to release them.
Why should we support them?
BOSf have taken it upon themselves to protect mistreated orangutans as well as conserve the environment in Indonesia. Without their presence, orangutans and the sun-bears may have been extinct a long time ago! It is for this reason that they deserve our support. On a larger scale, it is fair to say that they work tirelessly towards the protection and conservation of an ecosystem that contributes towards our environment. This is why we, at The Happy Prawn Co., support them. We work alongside the environment and understand the need to ensure that steps are taken to conserve it, especially as the environment is an essential instrument in traditional farming.
Five fun facts about Orangutans!
- The name ‘Orangutan’ come from the Indonesian ‘Orang’ meaning people and ‘Hutan’ meaning forest – they are people of the forest!
- Fact 1 is supported as we share 97% of our DNA with them.
- Orangutans are usually 1.2 – 1.5 m but have an arm-length of up to 2m.
- Orangutans have 3 species: The Borneo Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), the Sumatra orangutan (Pongo abelii) and Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis) -all found in Borneo and Sumatra only.
- They are protectors of the forest as they open up the canopy to let sunlight to encourage regrowth of the various plants below.
Image: Young orangutan in the trees. Credits:BOSf
The Happy Prawn Co. have proudly supported BOSf since 2007.
About The Happy Prawn Co.
The Happy Prawn Co. is an independent, ethical brand producing 100% natural, 100% traceable Black Tiger prawns from Indonesia. Aimed at seafood lovers and foodies alike, the brand officially launched in 2018, but it’s the result of more than a decade’s dedication.