Many primates, including orangutans, have been put in grave danger due to habitat loss and illegal poaching. Their population has shrunk at the fastest pace in history, and we are responsible for protecting them and helping them to thrive again.
t’s great to know that Alba, the only albino orangutan in the world, enjoys her happy life after being released in 2019. When the conservationists came to Indonesia’s Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park to introduce three other orangutans into the wild, they had an unexpected encounter with Alba, an albino ape with bright blue eyes and pale fur.
The three orangutan species – Bornean, Sumatran, and Tapanuli – are classified as critically endangered and only found on Sumatra island and the island of Borneo, which belongs to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. They are the miserable victims of habitat destruction when farmers clear forests for agricultural purposes. People even hunt these apes for food and attack them when they reach residential areas in search of food.
Young orangutans are even kept captivated as pets. Gizmodo’s George Dvorsky reported that Alba, a Bornean orangutan, used to be detained by Indonesian villagers. She was rescued in 2017 in terrible conditions, both mentally and physically, according to Borneo Orangutam Survival Foundation (BOSF) and the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency.
The 5-year-old Alba was taken to the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rescue and Rehabilitation Center and stayed there for nearly two years. It took some time to recover since an albino was more prone to health issues such as poor vision and sensitivity to light. However, she had “excellent climbing and socialisation skills,” according to BOSF.
In December 2018, she and another orangutan called Kika was released in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park, a protected forest serving for conservational purposes.
Rehabilitated apes are still tracked by the BOSF and the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park Office. The conservationists are cheerful to see Alba doing great during the first year and spending most of her time foraging, wandering, and relaxing.
It was reported that “Alba is capable of extensive exploration, skillful foraging, and deft nest building. She also socializes with other released orangutans within the national park.” It was even more exciting when seeing Alba come across her old friend, Unyu, in the center.
Alba was monitored for another three months so that experts could be certain about her situation. Agung Nugroho, head of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park Authority, said that her progress was “truly positive.” “We all hope that Alba continues to survive in this forest, and live wild,” he added.
What do you think of this unusual albino orangutan? What do you know about albino individuals? In your view, what can we do to contribute to wildlife preservation? Please leave your thoughts in the comment below and check out other posts on our site for more fascinating news and ideas!
Source:Borneo Orangutam Survival Foundation