Adopt an Orangutan

Adopt wild Orangutans in Kutai

For $120 a year, you can adopt a wild orangutan living freely in Kutai National Park, E. Kalimantan, Indonesia.
At year’s end you will receive photos and stories about the orangutans we have seen over the year.

Your adoption donations help protect wild orangutans through Project OK and Kutai National Park Authorities. Until recently, Kutai was thought to be a write-off for orangutans, but new surveys indicate that the park’s orangutan population may be as large as 1000-2000. These orangutans are the easternmost subspecies of the endangered Bornean orangutan, Pongo pygmaeus morio. Morio are the toughest of all orangutans, living in the worst orangutan habitat—but they are poorly understood. Effectively protecting them requires understanding them and designing programs to suit their needs and preferences. Project OK has found over 30 orangutans in the study area, and you can adopt one of them.

What we give back to donors.

We cannot guarantee to monitor each individual orangutan adoptee continuously. Youngsters grow up and leave their mothers, and mature males are often transient visitors.

We will send an annual newsletter to active donors that reports the year’s major orangutan events, new scientific findings and contributions to conservation, and up- dated photographs and stories on all the adoptees that could be found and monitored.

Meet the orangutans

Putri & Pan

Learn about Putri & Pan

Putri is the only adult female we have been able to follow every year in Bendili . We have typically found her in our riverine area, March through September – October, and then rarely until early the next year (Jan. or Feb.). She has remained annoyed to see us, even though we have now followed her for dozens of days and hundreds of hours. In 2017, we found her twice; the pattern resembles earlier years – Jan. & Sept., in riverine areas, and still annoyed.

Putri was travelling with her infant son Pan in 2017, but is no longer accompanied by her son Pur, who we estimate is now an adolescent ca 8-9 years old. The last time we saw all three together was Nov. 2015. In May 2016 we found and followed Pur alone, and in Oct. and Nov. 2016 Putri with Pan alone. This suggests Pur stayed with Putri for about 2 years after Pan was born, until he was 7-8 years old. This is about the age when immatures leave their mothers in other areas of Borneo.

Unfortunately we have no more recent photos of Putri and Pan.

Sally & Sule

Learn about Sally & Sule

Early in July 2017, our field team found and followed (5 days) a young adult fe- male with an infant near the eastern edge of our Bendili area. They think she may be Sally, who we first followed in 2011 in the same area. At that time, Sally was an older juvenile still travelling with her mother, Sissy, and Sissy’s infant son. We followed Sally again in 2013, then an independent adolescent, also in the same area and travelling with an unflanged male. This year, we found Sally resting in a sengkuang tree (a favorite orangutan food tree) at the edge of the river and carrying an infant. They identified the infant as male, and estimated him to be about 1 year old (he ate and played a little by himself, but at most about 1 meter from his mother). They also found more indicators that she is Sally. First, just before they followed her, they found an older adult female with an infant in the same area who was very annoyed at being found. Her age, location and upset, suggest she was Sissy. Sally also ate that day in a pelai tree, one of the major places where we had seen her and Sissy had eaten in 2011.

If this orangutan is Sally then, for us, it is a valuable discovery. We found relatively few resident females in our Bendili study area, so she and her mother are important to orangutan survival in this area. Second Sally and her mother also both survived the severe droughts and bore infants, so we have further confirmation of KNP orangutans’ resilience.


Learn about Dao

Dao is the relatively young flanged adult male who ranges in the Prevab area forest. He had a rough time in 2016 due to a wound he suffered in a fight that would not heal. We were able to arrange help for him from the Kutai NP authority and a BOS Foundation veterinary team. The veterinary team caught him then cleaned and medicated his wound. Within two weeks his wound had dried up and he was eating up a storm. Within 3-4 months, he was back to normal.

We think he’s a great orangutan for adoption. It’s clear that orangutans in Kutai NP need help: while they’re surviving in area that is protected, it is surrounded by human industry and settlements and subject to poaching. Dao could have had to fight because of increasing competition for dwindling forest resources.

But it is also due to humans who care about orangutans that Dao has forest in which to live, and care when he needed it.


Learn about Darwin

Darwin is a young male we followed often in Bendili 2011-14. We found him rarely through the drought (not all in 2014 or 2016, twice in 2015). In 2017, in late October, we found and followed a lone young male our observers identified tentatively as Darwin. The fact that he only occasionally kiss squeaked suggests he is used to our following him – as Darwin would be. He was very calm – Darwin was always especially calm and tolerant. Finally, he got rid of our observers by coming to the ground and disappearing into the thick undergrowth – a technique Darwin was especially adept at using.

If this was Darwin, he is now ca. 14 years old (we estimated him to be ca. 8 in 2011). Through 2014 we often found him traveling with other young males but by 2015 he appeared annoyed with them rather than friendly, typical of increasing competitiveness in maturing males. In 2017 he was alone, in line with his maturation.


Learn about Tanjung

Tanjung is the grande dame of Kutai NP. She has lived for decades in the Prevab area. From historical records we know she is over 50 years old. The first I heard of her was in a 1989 research report by Dr. Akira Suzuki, who found and followed her in the 1980s in the Prevab area. In his report he described her as an adult female with a new infant (born Oct 1988) plus an older dependent son Dekong. Orangutan pregnancy is about 8 months long, females in Kutai NP give birth every 6-7 years, and wild female orangutans have their first infant at about 15.8 years of age (on average). Counting backwards, that means Tanjung must have been born in 1965 or earlier, and that makes her at least 52 years old today.

We also know that Tanjung has had at least 5 offspring (Dekong, Danau, Bayur, Deng, and a 5th infant born in 2006 but disappeared in 2009). Bayur, her daughter, has had two young – Bumi (born 2010, disappeared) and Bulan (born 2015, still with her). We have periodically seen Tanjung visit Bayur with her and her youngster for a few days. Bayur behaves as if she puts up with her mother’s presence but doesn’t welcome it. We have also seen Tanjung trying to attract males within the last couple of years; unfortunately for her, they don’t seem to be interested.

At 52+ Tanjung has some disabilities. She is blind in one eye and she moves slowly and carefully – but otherwise healthy and active. She has survived three exceptionally severe droughts and the great fires of Borneo in 1982-83 and 1997-98. And she’s among the oldest wild female orangutans known.

For all these reasons, she is one of the most impressive wild orangutans alive.

Labu, Luna, & Langit

Learn about Labu Luna & Langit

Labu is an adult female orangutan with two daughters, Langit (now ~ 7 years old) and Luna (~ 2 years old). We have been following Labu and her two young daughters with great interest to see how they manage the difficult job of finding enough food for all three of them and how long Langit will remain with her mother and baby sister. Early in 2017 Langit was still sometimes “near” Labu and Luna, ca. 20 m away.

Since May, she has not been with Luna and Labu – at least not while we were following Labu. We did find all three of them in the same area in June-July, so although Langit no longer stays close to her mother she may range nearby and gain some assistance or guidance by doing so.

What your adoption donations support

These orangutans are wild, so your adoption supports efforts to protect them and their habitat by helping to fund Project OK’s collaborative work with Kutai National Park authorities. Project OK does not interfere with their lives beyond monitoring and strives to minimize impact on the park itself. The project’s regular work involves following these orangutans nest to nest, monitoring conditions (food availability, weather) that influence their health, habitat use and travel, and monitoring human incursions into Kutai National Park.

Project OK activities support these orangutans in the following ways:

• Understanding. Following and monitoring improves understanding of the behavior and life patterns, preferences, and forest needs and usage of orangutans in Kutai National Park.

• Speaking out. Publicizing OK’s findings to scientific, political, and public audiences helps to protect these orangutans by raising awareness of the strength of Kutai’s recovering orangutan population and habitat, their importance, and their unique qualities.

• Being thereField researchers are recognized to help protect orangutans and habitat by their regular presence and monitoring. OK field staff are continuously active in the park and have already helped reduce illegal human activities there.

• Enhancing conservation effectiveness. The OK Project applies their findings about the distinctive behaviors of Kutai orangutans and about Kutai habitat to develop more effective orangutan conservation and management programs in and around the park.