Creating New Wild Orangutan Populations

The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) is the only project actively establishing entirely new, genetically viable and self-sustaining wild populations of any great ape species, anywhere in the world.

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Orangutans are a lot like us. They share 97% of our DNA and, tragically, are now at risk from coronavirus. Scientists fear the virus could easily jump to orangutans. If the virus were to infect even one wild orangutan, experts fear it could potentially spread unchecked and wipe out an entire population.

This a serious concern for Sumatra's only Orangutan Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre. The risk of transmission to wild populations means even healthy animals must wait now before they can be returned to their rainforest home. But new cases keep arriving, some requiring urgent treatment, as orangutans are rescued from illegal captivity.

The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme's (SOCP) Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre urgently needs your help. We have launched a new fundraising campaign to help us meet significant, unanticipated costs to help protect orangutans from coronavirus Please see our new video and consider a donation at this critical time!

Who We Are

The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) is a collaborative initiative between the Indonesia-based NGO the Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari (YEL; Sustainable Ecosystem Foundation), Swiss-based NGO the PanEco Foundation, and the Indonesian Government’s Directorate General of Natural Resource and Ecosystem Conservation. The SOCP works on all aspects of conservation of the Critically Endangered Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) and Tapanuli orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis).

What We Do


The SOCP collaborates with the Indonesian Government’s Conservation Authorities (Ditjen KSDAE) to locate and confiscate orangutans kept illegally as pets and to assist them in prosecuting actors involved in the illegal trade of orangutans.


Confiscated orangutans are brought to the SOCP’s purpose built Orangutan Quarantine Centre outside of Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia where they undergo extensive medical checks and are rehabilitated in socialization groups and on-site 'forest schools'.


Once deemed mature enough and fit for returning to the wild, orangutans are transferred in groups to one of our Reintroduction Centres. Here they will be released to form new, genetically viable populations in extensive, protected forest blocks.


With regional, national and international universities and institutions, the SOCP conducts essential surveys and monitoring of wild and reintroduced Sumatran orangutan populations and their habitat, and continues the long-term studies of their behaviour and ecology in the wild.

Habitat Protection

The SOCP advocates for the expansion of conservation areas as well as the improvement of protection in existing areas. Working closely with local and international partners, we are working to prevent and mitigate threats to the species and to strengthen protection of orangutan habitat.

Orangutan Haven

The Orangutan Haven is the solution for those orangutans under our care that can't be returned to the wild. Here they will live on naturalistic islands, as ambassadors for their wild counterparts, where they will be instrumental in improving visitor perceptions and attitudes of nature and wildlife.

Latest News


Four babies orangutans arrived during the pandemic

Despite the ongoing of COVID-19 outbreak in the world include Indonesia, there are still orangutans separated from their mother, and since third week of march 2020, four orangutan babies arrived at the SOCP Orangutan Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre. Two of them are female who are estimated to be 1-1,5 years old, another one is male […]

One of our staff cleaning the cage area

Preparing in case of COVID-19 at the SOCP Orangutan Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre

The spreading of COVID-19 outbreak is increasingly worrying from day to day in many countries including Indonesia. Therefore, we have officially temporarily closed all stations under Sumatran Orangutan Programme (SOCP) to anyone except key staff, including the Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre since March 16th, 2020This step was taken to reduce the risk of the orangutans […]


The 400th orangutan arrives at SOCP

In Early 2020, Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) has accepted the 400th orangutan since the center was founded in 2020. The orangutan is a male who is estimated to be 3 years old was confiscated from Kutacane, Aceh Southeast. The orangutan was confiscated by Conservation and Natural Resources (BKSDA) Aceh from a resident in Kutacane […]