Orangutan Rescue: On the frontline in Sumatra

Orangutan Rescue: On the frontline in Sumatra


Sumatran orangutans are Critically Endangered, with only around 14,600 left in the wild. The greatest threat to their survival is the loss of their rain forest home – forest destruction for farmlands in Sumatra is happening on a massive scale. As a result, orangutans often become stranded in patches of forest surrounded by plantations. They are at risk of starvation, hunting and poaching. We rescue orangutans and work with farmers to help them protect their crops without harming wildlife.


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When orangutans get stranded in farmlands, they may raid the crops to find enough food to survive. This is bad news for both sides. For the farmers, raided or damaged crops can have a real impact on income. But for orangutans, the outcome can be catastrophic. They risk starvation and are exposed to higher levels of hunting and poaching. As a critically endangered species, these are risks the Sumatran orangutan could well do without.


The Orangutan Information Centre (OIC), our partners in Sumatra, work with farmers and plantation workers, providing training in various methods of Human-Orangutan Conflict prevention such as using noise to scare the orangutans off. The team is also regularly involved in rescuing orangutans being illegally kept as pets, or relocating orangutans found stranded in farmlands back into the forest.

Long-Term Impact

As well as rescuing orangutans in danger we support the government in their law enforcement efforts for wildlife and ecosystem conservation. Government officials always accompany our team on each rescue or confiscation mission for illegally held captive orangutans, so there is close collaboration and capacity building actively in place. Our hope and intention is that we will be able to support government and communities alike to reduce encroachment of farmlands and protect the remaining forests.

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