Orangutan Jungle Shool

Orangutan Jungle School

26 x 60' Love Nature/Smithsonian Network

In Indonesian Borneo, at the largest primate rescue and rehabilitation project in the world, orangutan orphans, all carrying the weight of traumatic pasts, progress through a unique Jungle School system.

There are over 500 students at Nyaru Menteng – which has four schooling stages divided up to suit the age range from babies just a few weeks old to young adults (equivalent to a nineteen-year-old).

Through their lessons in nursery and forest school, (the orangutan version of elementary, middle and high school) to ‘university’ on a pre-release island all these youngsters have to adapt to the challenges of this being taught survival skills by humans and deal with the ever-increasing social pressures of life in a tightly knit community which could determine the future of their species.

In the wild orangutans live solitary lives, with mother and offspring being the key relationship, but here at Jungle School the orphans learn to rely on each other as they learn their wild lessons.

This series follows the real life, day to day struggles, triumphs and dramas of a number of hero characters as they progress through each stage of Jungle School with the help of their human teachers and carers. Graduation and a return to life in the wild are the ultimate goals but the students all have distinct personalities and like human children some are more affected by their traumatic past than others, which means they all have different trajectories of learning. Some will make it through the system - while others might not.

The stakes are super high for all these orangutan orphans.