BOS Nyaru Menteng: The Story of Best Friends Rambo and Uwai

Text by: BOS Foundation Communication Team in Nyaru Menteng

July 8, 2020 — Orangutans share 97% of their DNA with humans, making them one of our closest evolutionary cousins. This could explain why, at times, orangutans and humans are eerily similar, not only in looks, but also in behavior. One example is the way in which both humans and orangutans create bonds with other individuals. The relationship between Rambo and Uwai, from the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Central Kalimantan, illustrates this perfectly.

Rambo and Uwai both came to Nyaru Menteng in June 2019. Uwai came from Kapuas Regency, while Rambo originated from Kasongan Regency. They were both around one year old at the time. After a period of quarantine, due to their tender age, they joined the Nursery Group especially for young infants. Here is where they began the long rehabilitation process of learning and developing natural skills and behaviors, to help them towards a future of living in the forest.

Despite being smaller than Rambo, Uwai was two months older and often led the way, with Rambo following close behind. Whatever Uwai did in Forest School – climbing the low-hanging branches or ropes, or exploring the Forest School area designated for the Nursery students – Rambo would always trail behind. Uwai did not seemed bothered by this, however, but rather accepted Rambo’s company.



Uwai and Rambo have made remarkable progress over the last year, and they now enjoy actively exploring and playing in Forest School. Uwai has gained a significant amount of weight and is now a similar size to Rambo. They still frequently drink milk and sleep together, however, Rambo is beginning to distance himself from Uwai on occasion to learn on his own.

We know that every step Rambo, Uwai, and other orangutans take in the rehabilitation process strengthens the abilities that they will to one day need to thrive in the forest and increases their chances of survival in a wild habitat.

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