An Update from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project!

An Update from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project!

Posted by Kate Helliwell on 29th Apr 2022

We were thrilled to welcome back volunteers this month to the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project! After a two years pause due to the pandemic, there is a lot to get stuck into at the sanctuary. We caught up with volunteer coordinator Kate to find out what the volunteers, orangutans and sun bears have been up to this month:

"As the first month back in Samboja comes to an end, we want to thank our dedicated volunteers and BOS Foundation for a great month. 

Sun Bear Giono's House

These last two weeks, the group have worked hard to finish the refurbishments for Sun bear Giono’s enclosure, and after final checks, he will be moving back into his enclosure soon. We installed a new low platform and shade cover in his indoor area, cemented in any holes or degraded areas, and cleaned and painted the interior to protect it from rust. One of our volunteers Alicia, also hand-painted Giono a sign for those extra homey touches!

Sun Bear Giono's House Sign

In the outside of his enclosure, we dug two sand pits for him to rest in and added a water container that he can easily climb in. Giono has neurological problems and struggles with locomotion. Because of this, he is unable to climb well hence why his enclosure has incorporated only ground level. We're looking forward to updating you once he is back in his enclosure.

Water Container For Giono

Our next project for the year is to build some higher large platforms in another sun bear enclosure. The bears in this enclosure are able to climb, so this will give them a nice resting space as an alternative to their indoor area. This week we started to move some of the reclaimed wood we will use to build our first platform next week. 

Ready To Build Sun Bear Platforms

Our volunteers also continued to help with daily enrichments for the orangutans and sun bears. As the Ramadan celebrations are coming up here in Indonesia, the orangutans got an early gift to celebrate!

Pass the Leaf Parcel!

Part of the group helped make ‘pass the leaf parcels’ for the un-releasable orangutans on the islands. This fun enrichment idea consisted of hiding treats in layer after layer of leaves, each parcel getting bigger as they went. The orangutans then have to undo every layer, bit by bit, to reveal the treats as they go. After this, they had huge leaves to play with or hide under, which made for hours of fun!

Grabbing His Leaf Parcel

Outside of the sanctuary, the group also enjoyed a trip to the Black River to see the proboscis monkeys. This week, we were extra lucky to see 8 different groups of monkeys, and many of them were very close up. Our group was very lucky indeed!" 

Black River Cruise

Feeling inspired? Head over to the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project page to find out how you can make a difference to the lives of orangutans and sun bears in Borneo!


Share this Article...

Share this article with your friends and followers by using the social media buttons below.


Leave a Comment...

Wanting to add something to this story or just let us know your thoughts? Just leave your comments below. Please be aware that all comments will be moderated: abusive behaviour or self-promotion will not be allowed.

500 characters remaining

Has this blog inspired you to volunteer? If so, why not enquire today? Simply fill out an enquiry form, and allow a member of our travel team to assist with your query! Please note that blog comments are not monitored by the travel team, so any questions related to bookings may be missed.


Featured Blog Arcticles


Featured Videos


Discover all that is involved in volunteering on The Great White Shark Project in South Africa.

Volunteers talk about their recent experience at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary in Borneo.

See what you could get up to as a volunteer at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary!

Latest Blog Arcticles


Sun Bear Update From Samboja Lestari

Sun Bear Update From Samboja Lestari

After a lot of hard work by the June 2022 volunteer group,...

The Latest From The Great Orangutan Project!

The Latest From The Great Orangutan Project!

The Great Projects volunteer coordinator, Jess, is...

An Update from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project!

An Update from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project!

Samboja Lestari welcomed back volunteers this month, and...

Kathy & Drew's Great Gorilla Experience

Kathy & Drew's Great Gorilla Experience

Kathy and Drew joined The Great Gorilla Project in January...

Raja Ampat Diving Project - Magical Manta Ray Moments!

Raja Ampat Diving Project - Magical Manta Ray Moments!

Manta ray season is at its peak at the Raja Ampat Diving...

Leeann Reviews The Great Gorilla Project!

Leeann Reviews The Great Gorilla Project!

"I will definitely do this project again and will recommend...

Florian's Review of the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary!

Florian's Review of the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary!

Florian volunteered at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary in...

Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary's Roaring Success At TimBila

Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary's Roaring Success At TimBila

The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary celebrates a roaring success...


Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 7DX
United Kingdom

Opening hours:
   Mon-Fri 8:30am–5:30pm
   Sat 10am-4pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987