The Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project – What's In Store for 2017?

The Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project – What's In Store for 2017?

Posted by Kate Helliwell on 10th Nov 2016

After an incredibly successful year at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project, we are already thinking forward to what 2017 holds - so anyone who is already booked or looking to book for 2017, get ready for the year ahead, as you'll be involved in some very exciting work!

Orangutan Islands

The orangutan islands at Samboja have been designed to help the orangutans in their rehabilitation, letting them get to grips with all of the challenges the jungle will throw at them upon their release, and this year volunteers helped to prepare three of these islands for the orangutans! The plan for next year is to move on to the other three islands that are currently housing over 18 orangutans. These islands are in desperate need of fixing after quite a few years of being destroyed by our very destructive forest relatives! We will therefore make and install new hammocks, barrels and climbing structures...and, of course, continue our favourite job of building platforms! The work on the islands is fun and rewarding, and we can't wait to see them all finished and filled with happy orangutans.

A New Dam

In order to get the three completed islands back into use for larger orangutans, we need to build a dam. The reason for this is that, currently, the water level around these three islands is too low to put adult orangutans on. In order to increase the water level, a dam needs to be built across the islands. This is a huge job, which will take approximately three months to complete, but will be the final step in getting orangutans onto these islands.

We'll be working with specialist builders to construct this dam, and once it's done we'll have 7 usable islands instead of 4, which will be fantastic!

A New Baby House

The baby nursery at Samboja Lestari is undergoing huge renovations next year with a new baby house being built. The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, with whom we work with at Samboja Lestari, have asked us and our volunteers to help build the new outdoor play area for the nursery. This will be an incredibly rewarding challenge, and one we are sure all our volunteers (and of course the orangutans) will find great enjoyment in!

Enclosures for the Sun bears

Over at the existing Sun Bear enclosures, there's currently a lot going on with new enclosure building. As well as making and giving enrichment, we will lend a hand where needed to help get these enclosures finished so that we can get the Sun Bears inside as soon as possible!

Continued Reforestation

This year we have been helping with reforestation at Samboja since the fires in October 2015. Next year, we want to assist even more by starting to take care of a 10 hectare area of land which will be completely designated for our volunteers to take care of for years to come. Here we will plant and maintain many different tree species, in a safe, secure area of land that has not yet been planted on. We'll create our own diverse rainforest within the existing rainforest, with our own Great Projects stamp on it. It is very rewarding to know that you can personally help with reforestation efforts here at Samboja, and we want everyone to be part of saving and rebuilding the forest.

Enrichment competition

Finally, we're excited to announce for the very first time the launch of a competition based at Samboja Lestari! The competition will be open to anyone willing to create a whole new enrichment idea for the orangutans, and the winner will win a trip to volunteer on the project, bringing their creation to life onsite. We are always looking for new and interesting types of enrichment for the orangutans, and I am personally really looking forward to seeing the results! For more information on this competition, please visit the competition page.

As you can see there is a lot going on next year at Samboja so it will be all hands on deck, but with the help of some dedicated volunteers we know we can achieve it all and more!


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