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Orangutan Island

Orangutan IslandCreating a society for young orphaned
  Orangutans in the wild is daunting, but
  when they have been raised by human
  surrogate mothers, how will these
  fascinating creatures survive without
  that special care? Orangutan Island
  follows the day-to-day life of these
  magnificent primates as they learn to
  adapt to living together in the jungle

HUNDREDS OF ORPHANED BABY ORANGUTANS face an uncertain future in Indonesia as Borneo
's rainforests the Orangutans' natural home are being destroyed by logging, mining, forest fires and hunting. The captivating yet mysterious red-haired 'people of the forest' were being pushed towards extinction until help came from the very race that threatened their survival: Man.

Some of these orphans have had very tragic early lives, torn from their mother's arms by poachers and abandoned to their fate or sold as pets. But thanks to the pioneering work of Lone Droscher-Neilsen and her specially-trained team at The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS), a groundbreaking new project has given new hope to these sometimes traumatised and unsettled orphans.

Lone has worked with Orangutans for over fifteen years and she heads the team that rescues and cares for the babies. It is the largest rescue primate project in the world and new orphans arrive every day, haunted by the traumatic events they have witnessed.

The Nyara Menteng Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre is relocating thirty-five young Orangutans — known as Forest School Group 103 — to a protected 100-acre island where they can roam freely while learning how to survive in their natural habitat.

Exploring the society of our primate cousins in a way never seen before, Demand DVD is delighted to announce the release of Animal Planet's Orangutan Island, which gives an amazing, in-depth look at this fascinating, solitary, mysterious species that shares 97 per cent of our DNA.

This is a documentary that has its fair share of dramas and there are plenty of characters among the lively, endearing bunch of furry friends — all with their own individual personalities — that make up Forest School Group 103, including the fearless Daisy, femme fatale Jasmine, moody Chen Chen, mischievous Saturnus and Cha Cha, who is a social butterfly with long golden hair who always wants to play centre stage.

Then there is the independent Oyoy, the nervous Nadi who was illegally sold as a pet and kept in a small outside cage and a trio of tearaways — the unruly Togar, Mila and Mercury, who are the youngest males in the island and are known as The Bandit Boys.


The orphans have been taught how to forage for food and build weatherproof sleeping nests high in the trees — things they would have been taught by their mothers. The unique classes run by the Centre are specifically aimed at preparing the charges for life in the wild. Those that cannot look after themselves will come back to the centre forever.

The lush tropical jungle island is home to a variety of wildlife and the orphans will be the first Orangutans ever to set foot there and their progress will be closely monitored. It is hoped that they can overcome their traumatic past and learn to live free from the helping hands of the humans upon whom they have become reliant.

But even in Paradise there are dangers and the youngsters experience a kidnapping, a thunderstorm during which the island is flooded, a threat from a crocodile and a close encounter with a snake. Orangutans cannot swim so they should be naturally wary of water. There is also the potential for fights to break out between males over food and females.

Orangutan Island is a compulsive, funny, heart-breaking, tragic but ultimately heart-warming and fascinating documentary about our close cousins that explores the orphaned Orangutans' behaviour and the dramas they have to face as they try to cope with life in the wild.

Will they be able to make a home on this island sanctuary? Could this be their last chance ever to live in the wild? Witness the lives of these solitary yet sociable creatures on DVD as they form their own society on Orangutan Island. While testing their skills — and each other's patience — these 35 rowdy young Orangutans wreak jungle havoc!

Orangutan Island is narrated by Rodd Houston; Photography is by Alain Compost and Rory McGuinness; the haunting music is by Plan 9 Music and the Series Producer is Judith Curran.

This groundbreaking series attracted a loyal following among viewers of Animal Planet in the UK, with audiences tuning in weekly to witness the lives, adventures and mishaps of this engaging new ape society.

Orangutan Island makes its UK DVD debut on 23 February (2009), courtesy of Demand DVD. RRP: 29.99 | Running Time: 4 DVD set — 240 mins

"Orangutan Island is a compulsive, funny, heart-breaking, tragic but ultimately heart-warming and fascinating documentary about our close cousins that explores the orphaned Orangutans' behaviour and the dramas they have to face as they try to cope with life in the wild" — Maggie Woods, MotorBar