Orangutan Translocations

For some rehabilitated orangutans, their size and dominance can mean that they need more space than the Kabili Reserve surrounding the Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre can provide. In this case, the orangutan can be translocated to a remote protected reserve where they can live truly wild. Since 2000 OAUK have translocated selected suitable orangutans to the Tabin Reserve which is twice the size of Singapore, 6 of which by helicopter.

Tiger Helicopter Translocation

After a very tough start to life, a large male orangutan named Tiger was deemed to be a suitable candidate for translocation to Tabin. Tiger was rehabilitated at Sepilok after he was rescued in a plantation but his journey was not a lucky one and Tiger was struck down with illness which impeded his progress. Once he was fit enough, and now in his teenage years, Tiger was released into the Kabili reserve. However, a visiting dominant male to the reserve, competing for female attention, attacked Tiger leaving him dangerously injured.

The teams at Sepilok closely monitored Tiger and cared for him in the clinic until he was able to recover. It was decided that Tiger needed a true chance at freedom in an area where he could establish his own territory. Following the Appeal's successful translocations, it was agreed that Tiger should be flown into Tabin by helicopter to his new home.

Sue Dr Sen At Tigers Release

The helicopter flew Tiger into a remote area of the reserve where there are no roads so human contact is unlikely. OAUK Chairperson Sue Sheward and Sabah Wildlife Department's Chief Vet Dr Sen Nathan, helped to carry Tiger into the forest where the door of his travelling crate was opened. The team stayed to watch Tiger from a distance to make sure he was happy with his new environment and were delighted to hear him begin to make 'long calls', a male orangutan's calling card to the females in the area!

The translocation was a success and it can only be hoped that Tiger will make this beautiful tranquil forest his forever home - he definitely deserves it.