Breaking! Extremely Rare Albino Orangutan Rescued In Borneo

The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation

The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) has announced that, in cooperation with Central Kalimantan BKSDA, it rescued a 5-year-old female albino orangutan on April 29, 2017.

According to the Daily Mail, the extremely rare primate was recovered from locals who were holding her captive in Tanggirang Village, Kapuas Hulu sub-district, Kapuas Regency, Central Kalimantan.

A preliminary examination confirmed that the orangutan was albino because “her hair, eye, and skin color has no pigment, and she is also sensitive to light.

BOS is continuing to observe her. “She was held captive by local residents for two days and still displays wild behaviors, meaning there is a good chance she could soon be released back to a natural habitat.”

The orangutan with blonde hair and blue eyes is reportedly the first albino orangutan to be rescued by the BOS Foundation.

Albino orangutans are extremely rare; there approximately only one in 10,000 in the wild.

In 2003, the passing of Snowflake, the only known albino gorilla, made headlines, who was a 40-year resident at the Barcelona Zoo.

An article in the Daily Mail noted at the time that “Spanish scientists discovered his parents were closely related, sharing 12 percent of their DNA, which suggests they were uncle and niece.”

While many people have long confused the two primates, orangutans and gorillas are not the same.

According to, the main differences are as follows:

  • Orangutans are the largest arboreal primate, whereas gorillas are the largest among all primates.

  • Orangutans are reddish brown, while Gorillas are mostly black in coloration.

  • Orangutans have a prominent face wereas Gorillas have a prominent forehead.

  • Both have long arms, but Orangutans have longer arms compared to their legs than Gorillas.

  • Orangutans have a shorter life-span in the wild compared to Gorillas

Orangutans are found in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. There are two distinct species and both of them are threatened according to the IUCN red list categories. The two species are known as Bornean Orangutan (Endangered) and Sumatran Orangutan (Critically Endangered).

In addition to the IUCN categorizations, Orangutans are listed in the Appendix 1 of the CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora).

The characteristics of these large arboreal animals are long arms, which are as long as twice their legs or hind limbs.

Although they are arboreal animals, they can walk on the ground in an upright posture, and measure 1.2 – 1.5 metres when standing on their feet. They weigh from 33 to 80 kilograms, with the males being heavier than 110 kilograms.

With Gorillas, there are also two species and they are both the largest among all primates. They naturally inhabit the tropical to subtropical forests of Central and Western Africa and nowhere else. The two species of gorilla are known as Western gorilla and Eastern gorilla. Eastern Gorillas ranges in some of the Central African countries including Uganda and Rwanda. The Western Gorillas have been recorded from western African countries, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Angola. Adult males, (aka) silverbacks, are the largest of all the primates measuring about 1.5 – 1.8 meters of height, and weighing from 140 to 200 kilograms.

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