JUN 04, 2017 8:47 AM PDT

Officials Successfully Rescue Captive Leucistic Orangutan on Borneo

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

You don’t see too many orangutans in the wild anymore; with that in mind, it’s not much of a surprise that they’re considered a critically endangered animal species by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

There are approximately 100,000 remaining in the wild today, which is almost 150,000 less than an estimate acquired over four decades ago. Their numbers could be more than halved within just the next decade if proper protection procedures are not followed accordingly. Their numbers have been driven down significantly by both habitat loss and human intervention; many locals like to capture the animals to keep them as pets.

It's pretty sad, considering orangutans are incredibly intelligent creatures. They've been known to watch and learn very effectively, which is exactly how this completely wild orangutan was able to learn how to use a saw to cut a tree.

While regular orangutans are a rare sight in and of themselves, no one ever thought that they would see an even more elusive leucistic orangutan. When they did finally stumble across one, it was a five-year-old female. Upon her discovery, she was captured and then placed in a cage on the island of Borneo by villagers.

The leucistic female orangutan had light hair and blue eyes, unlike most.

Image Credit: AFP/Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation

Differing from normal counterparts, the leucistic orangutan didn’t have reddish or brownish hair and dark eyes like all the rest do, but rather exhibited a light blond hair with blue eyes; an interesting sight to say the least.

Related: Being an albino animal is disadvantageous for wilderness survival

Photographs of the leucistic orangutan following her capture seem to reveal dried blood around her nose, which may be evidence of an injury from the struggle in her capture.

For whatever purpose that the villagers were holding her captive, authorities from the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) were quick to swoop in and rescue the animal from captivity. They reportedly made it to her within just two days of her capture, which is fortunate for her health and survival.

“Orangutans are rare, and an albino orangutan is even rarer,” BOSF spokesman Nico Hermanu said. “Since BOSF was founded 25 years ago, we had never before taken in an albino orangutan at our rehabilitation center.”

Related: Rare white giraffe spotted in Tanzania


She hasn’t been given a name yet, but she’s currently in BOSF’s professional care at one of their specialized rehabilitation centers, where hundreds of other orangutans also live.

Source: The Telegraph

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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