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Beni and Boni the Orangutans Back to Borneo

August is quite a proud month for us. Apart from commemorating Indonesia’s independence day, on the same day we translocated two adult male orangutans named Beni and Boni to the Arsari Orangutan Sanctuary Center in East Kalimantan. Beni and Boni have been living and being cared for in our center for a long time because they have no hope of being released into their habitat due to their mental state.
Beni, who has been coming to WRC since a long time ago, has a tendency to throw tantrums whenever a stranger comes near his cage. He also can’t make eye contact with humans because it is said that his owner didn’t care for him properly, so Beni is traumatized.

Boni, on the other hand, came longer to WRC Jogja in 2006. He came from the Zoo in Central Java and reportedly injured one of his animal keepers, and they were overwhelmed to take care of him. Boni has a tendency to be spoiled and lazy, and if there is an illness, such as a wound on her body, she will show it to humans to ask for treatment.

At PSO Arsari, Beni and Boni will each be placed in a much bigger cage than at WRC Jogja. There they will be cared for by Bento, an adult male orangutan owned by PSO Arsari. Even though they are the same in the cage, at least they have returned to their habitat in East Kalimantan. They will be introduced to fruits native to East Kalimantan and given treatment in the form of enrichment, which is even more focused because Arsari PSO was built specifically for adult male orangutans. It is hoped that Beni and Boni can live happier there, of course, with bigger cages and more adequate facilities.

Due to the Community Activities Restrictions Enforcement (PPKM) rules, we are still limiting student internship programs to avoid transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, we are more focused on improving the animal area and also developing knowledge for some staff, such as observing animal behavior. The goal is for the staff to develop more and understand animal behavior, which can add to their knowledge about the world of conservation.

We don’t know how long the restriction will last, but we are still optimistic that there will be a brighter tomorrow for us to continue to be able to take good care of the animals here without worrying about viruses. We have carried out a vaccination program for all employees. Next month, all our employees will be fully vaccinated. We also hope that the adoption and donation programs for animals will continue to support our operations.

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Tojeiro volunteered at WRC in 2018 and instantly fell in love. He decided to leave his job in the Netherlands to work alongside our keepers, managing projects and making sure all the animals get the best care possible. During the relocation period, Tojeiro studied animal health management to increase his capacity in the field of animal welfare.