The rare albino orangutan was rescued by conservationists in Indonesia last month. Image Credit: © BOSF

Public asked to name rare albino orangutan

  • BY AG Staff |
  • May 12, 2017

A five-year-old albino orangutan has been rescued from a village in Borneo, and the public is being asked to help give her a name in the hope she can become an ambassador for her species.

ON 29 APRIL, A volunteer organisation dedicated to helping the endangered orangutans of Indonesia rescued a rare albino orangutan from a village in Borneo.

The rescue took place in Central Kalimantan, after local police discovered the 5-year-old female being held by local villagers. The orangutan is now recovering at a nearby rehabilitation centre run by not-for-profit organisation the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation, where she is receiving ongoing care. Due to her complete absence of skin pigmentation, she is being housed in a shaded quarantine enclosure.

“Our priority is to ensure her health and safety. Orangutans stay with their mothers until the age of eight so it's a concern how long she has been on her own," said Tony Gilding, BOS Australia President.

According to the Foundation, the orangutan was displaying wild behaviours when she was rescued, which means there is a good chance she can be released back to a natural habitat.

rare albino orangutan

Members of the public have been asked to help name this rare albino orangutan in the hope she can become an ambassador for her species. (Image: © BOSF)

BOS Australia reported that the orangutan weighed just 8.3kg at the time of her rescue, when she would only accept sugarcane to eat. However, after just 10 days in care, her weight had increased to 12.8kg and she is now enjoying a varied diet of fruits. 

The BOS Foundation hopes the unique albino orangutan can become an ambassador for her critically endangered species, and are inviting members of the public to help come up with a name for her.

“It is very rare to find an albino orangutan, and considering the significant conservation challenges wild orangutans face, we want that to be recognised in her name,” said Dr Jamartin Sihite, BOS Foundation CEO.

Name suggestions are being accepted until 14 May and can be emailed to contact@orangutans.com.au or on social media using the hashtag #albinoorangutan

The chosen name will be announced on Monday, 15 May.

The BOS Foundation currently provides care and rehabilitation to 700 orphaned or displaced orangutans at their two centres in Borneo. Visit www.orangutans.com.au for more information.

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