Alba, The Only Known Albino Orangutan In The World, Has Been Released Into An Indonesian Jungle

Alba Was Found In April Of Last Year Starving And Dehydrated

December 21, 2018
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The world’s only known albino orangutan has been returned to its natural habitat, after more than a year of being treated by the Borneo Orangutan Survival foundation. Alba, the albino orangutan, was found last year in an Indonesia village dehydrated and starving. Now back to a normal living condition, Alba was released into a remote Borneo jungle where she will continue to be tracked.

As she was released back into the wild, Alba began climbing trees, foraging for food, building a nest, and getting acclimated to her new environment. According to the Borneo Orangutan Survival foundation, she has tripled in weight since she was rescued in April of 2017. Alba, which means “white” in Latin and “dawn” in Spanish, was the name given to the rare orangutan after thousands appealed to give her a name.

Alba, along with another rehabilitation orangutan, Kika, was released into Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park in Indonesia on Wednesday. The journey to get to the National Park took 24 hours and included walking and hiking, along with car and boat travel. Originally the foundation planned to release Alba into a man-made, 12 acre “forest island,” but decided against that plan due to her strong physical condition.

Originally the group was worried about health issues related to her albinism, which include poor eyesight and hearing, along with the possibility of skin cancer. However, they decided she would be able to hold her own out in the wild. “I think the real threat actually comes from humans. What were worried about is poaching where this very special condition makes her a target,” said veterinarian Agus Fathoni.

Along with tracking Alba’s overall condition, patrols of her new home by national park and conservation agency staff will help to deter the threat of poachers. As of now, this journey is over, as Alba is back in her natural habitat, healthy and ready to live a normal orangutan life. While the species is endangered, the group will work hard in making sure the five year old Alba, continues living as the only known albino orangutan in the world.

Via The Washington Post