The long journey home to Borneo

“This is the story of two of my dear friends, Bento and Is. They are orangutans and yes they indeed are my friends. What they went through is a sad story but unfortunately theirs is far from unique. So many of their fellow orangutans have had it even much worse. So what makes their journey so special? It is what they and their upcoming experiences will hopefully represent. They are the first two adult male orangutans of what we hope might be about 150 male, cheekpadder orangutans presently in less than optimal conditions in captivity, that have virtually no chance on a better life without bars anymore”

The transport had been exhausting for the staff and stressfull for Bento and Is. But it was remarkable how quickly both people and orangutans recovered.  Nevertheless the arrival of Bento and Is gives real hope for a long term solution for those big “unreleasable” orangutans.

“Back to my friends Bento and Is. Is (short for Iskandar, which is the name of the police that helped rescue him) was a four to five month baby orangutan smuggled from Kalimantan to North Sulawesi in a small box by airplane. Luckily the Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue team found out and coordinated with the local law enforcement agency and eventually at midnight on April 30, 2004, intercepted the smuggling effort”.

In the travelogue The long journey home to Borneo of Willie Smits, you will find the whole story of Bento and Iskander and their journey to Borneo.