Orangutan Jungle School
DON’T MISS THIS AWARD WINNING SERIES FOLLOWING THE EDUCATION OF ORPHANED ORANGUTANS
Do you remember Orangutan Island? Well, get ready for some more amazing stories from BOS Nyaru Menteng! This new series will take viewers on a roller coaster ride of the adventures, trials and tribulations, heartaches, fun, friends, failures and successes of all the orangutans who attend the BOS Foundation’s unique school in a Borneo jungle in Central Kalimantan Indonesia. They are all orphans and are learning skills that one day will enable them to live once again in a true wilderness.
With their rain forest habitat being destroyed by deforestation at an alarming rate there are currently over 300 students going through the school system divided up to suit the age and skill range from babies just a few weeks old, to teenagers and young adults.
Through their lessons in baby nursery, forest school and the island “university” all these youngsters are adapting to the challenges of being taught survival skills by humans as they also deal with the ever-increasing social pressures of life in a tightly-knit community which could determine the future of their species.
This incredible series has it all: friendship, romance, bullies, danger, drama, raging hormones, fear, humor, medical emergencies, heartache, rescues, reunions, attempted escapes, and even teenage pregnancy! And of course most importantly – actual release for graduates – back into the wild.
How to Watch Orangutan Jungle School in the U.S.*
1) All episodes of ORANGUTAN JUNGLE SCHOOL Season 1 are available to stream on Smithsonian Channel Plus, with the first two episodes free for those without a subscription.
2) ORANGUTAN JUNGLE SCHOOL Season 2 airs on the Smithsonian Channel (cable tv) beginning January 19, 2020.
Two episodes will air on Sundays from January 19 — February 16, 2020, with the first episode airing at 8 AM EST and the second at 9 AM EST. (so remember to set your DVR!)
Complete information available on the Smithsonian Channel website.
*For viewing information outside the US, please visit Orangutan Jungle School website.
Support the orangutans featured in Orangutan Jungle School by ADOPTING A STAR or making a donation to the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF)!
Adopt one of the Stars!
Brave little Topan is now a member of our youngest group in the Forest School’s Nursery. Initially, she was uncomfortable around humans and other orangutans and avoided socializing. However, she has slowly grown to become a friendly nursery student and a brave little climber, who shows little hesitation when ascending tall trees or dangling from high branches. Topan is comparatively smaller than her peers, yet hugely courageous!
Topan was rescued on October 13, 2017, and arrived at Nyaru Menteng in a very weak state after being found by local villagers near a river. She was severely dehydrated, malnourished, and dangerously underweight at only 1.5 kg. After spending a few days in our intensive care unit, Topan’s condition improved, and she was able to join other babies in the quarantined section of the Baby House. Thanks to the dedication and loving care of our Nyaru Menteng team, Topan is slowly regaining her health and confidence.
In June 2018, the BOS Nyaru Menteng rescue team joined forces with local authorities to rescue a baby orangutan who was being held illegally in a small village. A man claimed to have found the baby stranded alone in a forested area near a palm-oil plantation and he had decided to take her home. During her captivity, she was treated like a human baby. She was bathed and dressed in clothing. To be clear, a mother orangutan will NEVER abandon her baby, so there is likely far more to this story than we were being told. Fortunately, the baby had not sustained any injuries and was in good physical health. The medical team gave her a name as beautiful as she is: Monita.
On June 18, 2016, a baby boy arrived at BOS Nyaru Menteng and was given the name Bumi (meaning ‘Earth’ in Indonesian). He was in very poor health, noticeably weak and shivering. The rescue team initially estimated Bumi's age at around two months. However, after a more thorough examination, they discovered that he had a fresh wound on his belly button from his umbilical cord, indicating that he was actually a new-born less than two weeks old. The veterinarian prescribed a course of antibiotics to prevent infection in the wound and aid the healing process, but poor Bumi was so incredibly weak that he could not even open his eyelids. We believe that he was violently separated from his mother shortly after his birth...
Sweet Meryl is a great role model for the juniors in her group: She has been known to take Jelapat and others into the forest to explore and demonstrate how to forage and build nests. Her peers are happy to engage in the process and enthusiastically follow suit. But she didn’t want to venture deep into the forest. It was only after she was encouraged by her friends that she bravely started to explore her surroundings.
Meryl was rescued from captivity in early 2015, when she was just 8 months old. She was cared for by our vet, Meryl Yemima, whom she was later named after. After a period of quarantine and a complete health assessment, Meryl entered Baby School. She is now a member of Forest School Group 1.
Jelapat is an active 3-year-old male orangutan who likes to climb trees and play with his best friend, Talaken, in Forest School Group 1. Whenever Talaken is worried or in danger, Jelapat will come to the rescue and give her a protective hug. She also does the same for him. Jelapat is a playful character who loves to wrestle babysitters to indicate that he wants to play. He always approaches new faces and seeks their attention. As restless as he may be, he is still well liked by his peers!
Jelapat was being kept as a pet illegally by a local villager in Central Kalimantan. The local resident, who had named him Jelapat, claimed to have found him wandering alone and weak in a gold-mining area. Forest fires had devastated the area around that time, destroying all the trees and blanketing the region in a thick haze: Sadly, his mother undoubtedly perished in the fires or was killed intentionally.
Playful Cinta loves to engage with her peers and babysitters, and will always find ways to surprise them; like throwing twigs in their direction from behind bushes, or suddenly crouching down in the path of an approaching babysitter. Nothing seems to deter her from her fun antics, and she is too quick for anyone to stop! She also has a special hiding place, away from the babysitters: up high in the trees. Cinta relies on her extraordinary climbing skills to quickly shoot up the trees and brachiate through the canopy, leaving her babysitters rushing to keep up. She certainly keeps the team on their toes!
Cinta's Background Story
Cinta was rescued on February 14, 2015, in Tumbang Jalemu village. She was around 5 months old at the time and weighed 2 kgs. Special guest and former president of Indonesia, Megawati Soekarnoputri, was visiting Nyaru Menteng at the time and gave her the name Cinta, which means ‘love’ in Indonesian. We certainly have a huge amount of love to give Cinta, the girl who was rescued on Valentines Day.
Jumbo is full of energy and loves nothing more than to play. Cinta, who arrived at the same time as Jumbo, absolutely adores him and will often approach him for a cuddle or play. He grudgingly puts up with this attention – although we all think he secretly enjoys it! Besides learning to climb trees, Jumbo is also learning how to build sturdy nests. He also passed on some important skills to other orangutans, including tips on how to forage for natural foods. He was often seen pointing out new foods to his juniors, who would then follow suit. What a great teacher!
Jumbo was sadly separated from his mother after hunting dogs scared her away in the forest. The trauma of losing his mother at such a young age is still evident, and Jumbo oftens wraps his arms around his body and hugs himself when he is surprised or scared.