Video: Amazing Yuyun Moves to an Island

Date Posted July 5, 2023
Text by: BOS Samboja Lestari Communications Team, East Kalimantan

Yuyun is a 29-year-old female orangutan with Orangutan Respiratory Disease Syndrome (ORDS) who previously occupied an individual enclosure at the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre. She is one of 23 individuals with chronic respiratory diseases cared for by our team.

In addition to suffering from ORDS, Yuyun also belongs to a category of orangutans that exhibit abnormal behaviours, resulting from the trauma associated with being kept in captivity for a long period. Prior to their rescues, many of these individuals had been trained extensively for exploitation in the entertainment industry. Orangutans with abnormal habits tend to show little to no progression throughout the rehabilitation process. They can also exhibit some rather troubling behaviors, such as regurgitating their food and swallowing it.

Yuyun was often seen vomiting up her food and then eating it. Sometimes she would throw vomit at people who came near her enclosure. According to our veterinary team, this behavior was triggered by distress. In an attempt to alleviate Yuyun’s distress at having humans in close proximity, our animal welfare and veterinary teams moved her to Island 0, on 28 February. Her transfer will give her the opportunity to live in a semi-wild habitat where she could move around freely and interact with other orangutans.


On Island 0, Yuyun is accompanied by Jeffrey, who is the first resident of the island. Jeffrey was moved to Island 0 on 6 March 2020, after undergoing treatment for a dislocated pelvic bone. Yuyun has yet to show any interest in her fellow resident. It seems that she needs more time to adjust to her new home before she will start interacting with Jeffrey.

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