Baby orangutans get a second chance at life at a Borneo orphanage

Staff take on parenting duties and spend a decade preparing them for life back into the wild CBC Docs

Travel to Borneo to visit the Orangutan Care Centre. At this jungle nursery, hospital and school, staff are dedicated to saving a species. They provide medical treatment and urgent care for sick or injured orangutans and raise orphaned babies whose mothers have been killed.

Local caregivers become surrogate parents, with round-the-clock care to replicate the intense family bond an orangutan would have with its mother in the wild. They teach their young charges how to forage, socialize and navigate in the forest, a process that can take up to ten years.

Eventually, the juvenile orangutans are released back into the wild where they get a second chance at life.

The centre was originally founded thirty years ago by Biruté Galdikas, one of the intrepid primate researchers who is featured in the Nature of Things documentary She Walks with Apes.

Available on CBC Gem

She Walks with Apes

Nature of Things