Romeo auf einer bewaldeten Insel, seiner neuen Heimat
Romeo on one of our forested islands, his new home. © Aaron Gekoski

Help us set them free!

Romeo slowly wakes up from his deep sleep. To bring him to his new home, we must anesthetise this imposing male orangutan prior to transport, and then there it is again: that magical moment when we free one of these amazing creatures from their cages and bring them to one of our forested river islands. After release, we watch Romeo slowly begin to explore his new surroundings. His first steps in the open air and between the trees are incredibly serene.

Years ago, a life in freedom for Romeo seemed impossible. He was torn from his mother as an infant, illegally smuggled to Taiwan and kept there for years in a zoo. He shared this fate with thousands of other orangutans who continue to be abused for entertainment purposes in safari parks, circuses or zoos. 

The tourism industry makes enormous profits from wildlife exploitation. These questionable facilities not only cost the animals their freedom and dignity; but also often causes permanent damage and illness. Being close to people always means being close to life-threatening diseases. Romeo was diagnosed with hepatitis B, and to stop the virus from spreading to other orangutans, we had to isolate him.

Luckily, new research revealed hepatitis B occurs naturally in the wild and is not harmful. The discovery changed Romeo’s life and that of so many other orangutans forever.

Inspired by the new results, we could finally prepare Romeo for his move to one of our pre-release islands. Now, he is thriving in his new home under the watchful eyes of our technicians. His future might be even brighter: If he proves he can live a completely independent life, we can release him back to his true home in a protected Bornean rainforest.   Hundreds of orangutans are currently waiting for their release in our isolated quarantine stations. To continue these lifesaving stories, we rely entirely on donations. Please help us give orangutans the freedom they deserve.

New islands for orangutans

Unfortunately, we are not able to release all rescued orangutans back into the wild. Many are physically disabled or mentally unsuitable and cannot attend Forest School. It was always clear to us that it should not be their fate to spend the rest of their lives in a cage.   BOS has set itself the goal of becoming the world’s first rescue centre without cages for healthy orangutans. Therefore, we are building forested islands where our orangutans can live in small groups. We have already built 15 islands separated by canals. Up to 300 orangutans now spend a dignified life in a natural and species-appropriate environment.

Even with this progress, we still need more islands. Our work for orangutans with no hope of returning to the wild has only just begun. We urgently need donations for the construction of additional islands.

Please support our mission to enable orangutans that cannot be reintroduced into the wild to live outside cages!

Your donation will help finance:

  • Preparing orangutans for their release into the wild
  • Lifelong care of orangutans that we cannot release into the wild
  • The construction of pre-release and sanctuary islands for orangutans