International Animal Rescue (IAR) has released two orangutans back into their natural habitat of the Bornean rainforest. The great apes were released into the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park by the organization’s team in Indonesia in cooperation with the Institute for Natural Resources Conservation and the National Park.

Amin and Shila, the lucky pair, were rescued several years ago. Before the rescue, Amin was living on land belonging to a mining company where he was kept by one of the mine workers. The rescue team found Amin in alarming condition – he had a chain around his neck and had a number of scars all over his body. His friend, Shila, was brought to the center after being rescued from Monterado Village.

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The orangutans were rehabilitated at IAR’s Conservation Centre in Ketapang. During that important time, they learned such basic survival skills as climbing, feeding, and making nests to sleep in. Rehabilitation is not quick and is often a difficult process, but once Amin and Shila were ready to start their new life in the wild, they were thoroughly examined by the medical team and assessed to be suitable candidates for reintroduction.

The journey to their new home was a long one – but in ended with the most beautiful moment! “You only have to watch Amin’s and Shila’s long journey back to the forest,” said Alan Knight, IAR’s Chief Executive, “to appreciate the vital importance of our work for each individual orangutan we rescue and for the survival of this Critically Endangered species as a whole.”

To learn more about International Animal Rescue, click here.

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