Rescue
Rescuers built a habitat for only known albino orangutan in the world
She needed somewhere special where she could learn and grow.
Rachel Shapiro
10.06.21

Primates are humans’ closest relatives. Like us, they have unique personalities and form incredible bonds. But there’s one primate who’s even more unique than the rest.

Meet Alba, the world’s only known albino orangutan.

BOS Foundation via YouTube
Source:
BOS Foundation via YouTube

Alba was rescued from poachers when she was young by the BOS Foundation.

Alba received her name through a naming contest back in May of 2017 through the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. Fittingly, ‘Alba’ is the Latin word for ‘white.’ She was rescued in April of 2017 via a joint effort with the BOS Foundation and the Central Kalimantan Natural Resource Conservation Agency in Indonesia.

The special orangutan has led a good life so far; however, after her rescue, she gained national attention, and people were concerned about her well-being and longevity of life.

So, the rescue groups put together an ingenious plan to help protect her.

Due to her albinism, Alba is at risk of health complications including hearing problems, poor eyesight, and skin cancer. She is also more vulnerable to hunting because of her unique lack of pigmentation.

BOS Foundation via YouTube
Source:
BOS Foundation via YouTube

Because of these potential threats, the BOS Foundation created a special 10-hectare man-made island for her to live in complete freedom without worry of peril.

Alba moved to her personal island with three other orangutan friends.

Radmala (a 4-year-old female), Kika (a 6-year-old female), and Unyu (a 4-year-old male) lived with Alba in the protected forest. All three of these orangutans have been introduced to Alba, and they all get along wonderfully.

BOS Foundation via YouTube
Source:
BOS Foundation via YouTube

Alba did very well in her man-made habitat. She did so well that her rescuers soon started to think about releasing her back into the wild.

It was clear that Alba was happy and healthy, and since she was able to live independently, it only seemed right to give her freedom.

And so, in December 2018, the rescuers released Alba into the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.

BOS Foundation via YouTube
Source:
BOS Foundation via YouTube

The BOS Foundation kept a close eye on Alba during her first year in the wild. And thankfully, they found she was doing very well.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, Agung Nugroho, head of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park Authority, said his team’s reports indicated:

“Alba is capable of extensive exploration, skilful foraging, and deft nest building. She also socializes with other released orangutans within the national park.”

BOS Foundation via YouTube
Source:
BOS Foundation via YouTube

In February 2020, the BOS Foundation shared a video showing how much Alba has grown and how happy she is. Thanks to the amazing efforts of the BOS Foundation, Alba has the skills she needs to lead a long, healthy, and happy life.

Check out the video of Alba in the wild below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Rachel Shapiro
hi@sbly.com
Rachel Shapiro is a contributing writing at Shareably. She is based in New York and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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