Exciting news as we celebrate Orangutan Caring Week!

Beautiful male orangutan Leuser (totally blind), whose heart-breaking history includes being shot 62 times with an air rifle, is one of five rescued orangutans now enjoying life at Orangutan Haven - a ground-breaking new facility in North Sumatra, Indonesia.

Orangutan Haven is the vision and creation of our friends and conservation colleagues from the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program (SOCP), which Auckland Zoo has both practically and financially supported (through our visiting community) for over 20 years.

As well as a stunning enriching forever-home for rescued and rehabilitated orangutans, whose disabilities mean they can’t be released back to the wild, it is also to become a unique conservation, education, and recreational community resource – to open to public in 2024.

Our deputy curator of mammals Amy, who has volunteered at the haven and at SOCP‘s nearby quarantine and rehabilitation centre where Leuser and the other orangutans have lived for many years, says SOCP has done an incredible job over the past 10 years to bring Orangutan Haven to fruition.

“This 48ha haven, the first of its kind in the world, is made up of nine islands with habitats that are brilliantly designed to meet the specific needs of Leuser (now in his 20s) and the other orangutans who will call Orangutan Haven home. They are all victims of human-wildlife conflict from deforestation and the illegal pet trade, and could live up to 50+ years. As powerful conservation ambassadors, they will hopefully inspire many more people to actively understand and care about orangutans and thousands of other rainforest species.”

You can find out more Leuser’s story in Episode 4 of our Wild Work Sumatra Series, and check out more about Orangutan Haven here.