A rare albino orangutan has been rescued from captivity in Indonesia

L’animale, una femmina di cinque anni, era detenuto in cattività in un villaggio. L’orango sarà curato e, appena possibile, rimesso in libertà.

A group of activists of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) have rescued an albino organgutan from captivity. The rare primate was being held captive in a remote village in Kapuas Hulu, on the island of Kalimantan in the Indonesian Borneo.

An extremely rare organgutan

The 5-year-old female orangutan has blue eyes and white hair that make her different from her fellow orangutans, which usually have brown eyes and reddish-brown hair. According to volunteers at the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, albino orangutans are extremely rare – 1 out of 10,000 individuals. Indeed, this is the first albino orangutan the organisation has seen in 25 years of activity.

Orango albino, Borneo
The 5-year-old albino female orangutan was rescued on 29 April © AFP /Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation

Back into the wild 

The albino orangutan has been brought to the BOSF rehabilitation centre for being examined and assessed. “We will continue to observe her and conduct routine health tests,” BOSF said in a statement. As the orangutan “still displays wild behaviours”, she will be soon released back into the wild.

A hard life for orangutans

Sadly, orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) are just a step away from extinction and are listed as “critically endangered” by the IUCN Red List. These peaceful primates are threatened by the unbridled deforestation carried out in Bornean and Sumatran forests that is wiping out their habitat. The IUCN estimates that around 100,000 orangutans now survive in the wild (in 1973 there were 288,500) and their population is expected to further decrease to up to 47,000 individuals by 2025.

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