This Orangutan Was Rescued Years Ago as a Baby, Now She’s Finally Going Home

Orangutans are increasingly facing a host of threats to their survival, but thanks to the compassionate efforts of people working to help save them, many in need are getting the happy endings they deserve.

That’s the case for an orangutan named Bunga, who was saved by International Animal Rescue (IAR) back in 2009 when she was just an infant. According to IAR, her owner claimed to have found her and kept her as a pet for three months before handing her over.

Fortunately for Bunga, she was taken to IAR’s Orangutan Rescue and Conservation Center where she began a long journey that would eventually lead her back home.

Had she been with her mother, she would have stayed with her for years learning the skills she would need to survive on her own and while that sadly wasn’t the case for her, she did get the love and attention of caretakers who would help her learn.

7_veAWWgCredit: International Animal Rescue

She also enjoyed the company of others of her kind in ‘forest school’ where she would learn how to climb, find food and build nests to sleep in, and learn how to be increasingly independent.

Xeb_5xfQCredit: International Animal Rescue

Now, her rescuers are celebrating her return to the wild. After successfully completing her rehabilitation, a team from IAR, along with local officials, brought her to Mount Tarak in West Borneo and released her.

bDTYyw_ACredit: International Animal Rescue

While she is now officially back in her forest home, she still won’t be entirely on her own for a quite a while.

etNgjK2gCredit: International Animal Rescue

“Bunga is one of the first orangutans we rescued back in 2009. Now, after eight years of rehabilitation, she has finally been given the chance to return to her natural habitat. But for some time ahead, she won’t be completely on her own because our team will be following and monitoring her to ensure she adapts well to her new environment. I’m so thrilled that Bunga has completed her journey through rehabilitation and hope she has a bright future ahead of her back in the forest,” said Karmele L Sanchez, Director of the IAR Indonesia.

oGkfo3jQCredit: International Animal Rescue

Along with Bunga, three slow lorises who were also kept as pets were released into a habituation enclosure where they’ll spend a short time before being fully released. Hopefully they’ll all thrive in their new home, but their stories are a sad reminder about the plights of their species, and how much goes into saving individuals whose lives are incredibly valuable.

govn2cKQCredit: International Animal Rescue

While they each have their own special needs, rehabilitation is a lengthy and expensive undertaking, and sadly not every individual who is rescued is a good candidate for release.

According to IAR, it can be seven or eight years before an orangutan is ready to be released and it’s currently caring for more than 100 individuals who are being prepared to be reintroduced to the wild.

X0bvjj1ACredit: International Animal Rescue

While IAR is helping those they can, the organization is also working with officials to raise awareness among both local and international communities about how we can help prevent these species from needing so much intervention in the first place.

“It is so worthwhile and so uplifting to release animals like these back into their natural habitat. But our conservation efforts are far from complete. We will continue with this work until there are no more animals to release because they have all been returned to their rightful home and are living in their natural habitat. Only then will our job be done,” added Sadtata Noor, Head of the West Kalimantan Conservation Agency for Natural Resources (BKSDA).

Photo credit: International Animal Rescue


HEIKKI R1 months ago

thank you

Catherine Z
Catherine Z1 months ago

a heart felt nice

Sophie A
Sophie A1 months ago


Camilla V
Camilla Vaga1 months ago


Glennis W
Glennis W2 months ago

All so awesome Thank you for caring and sharing

Glennis W
Glennis W2 months ago

Beautiful photos so adorable Thank you for caring and sharing

Glennis W
Glennis W2 months ago

Just so wonderful Thank you for caring and sharing

Glennis W
Glennis W2 months ago

Greatest news to end a good week Thank you for caring and sharing

Janis K
Janis K2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

hELEN h2 months ago