Who We Are

Our vision is a world where orangutans in Sumatra and their rainforest habitat are always secure and thriving.


Our mission is saving and protecting captive and wild Sumatran (Pongo abelii) and Tapanuli (Pongo tapanuliensis) orangutans and their rainforest habitat, through science-based conservation, establishing new wild populations, advocacy, education and awareness building.


  • To ensure all remaining viable wild orangutan populations in Sumatra and their habitat are fully protected and safe from destruction;
  • To establish new viable populations of the species in the wild via reintroduction of confiscated illegal pets, serving as a safety net for the original wild population;
  • To increase knowledge of wild orangutan distribution, status, threats, behaviour and ecology;
  • To change perceptions among Indonesian citizens in terms of animal welfare, understanding of sustainable development, and natural resource management.

How We Started:

The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) first began activities in 1999 with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the PanEco Foundation, Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari (YEL), Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) and the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry’s Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation. One of its first targets was to establish a modern, state-of-the-art quarantine facility for confiscated illegal pets and a reintroduction programme to release these animals back to the wild. In 2002 the Batu Mbelin orangutan quarantine centre was completed near Medan in North Sumatra, Indonesia.

Since the start of SOCP over 360 orangutans have been brought to the quarantine center and more than 270 have already been transferred to the rainforest for reintroduction. SOCP continues to take a leading role in surveying and monitoring the status of all remaining wild orangutan populations in Sumatra using remote sensing and field surveys to record presence or absence, density estimates, and threats and population trends.

SOCP is seen as the foremost authority on the status and distribution of remaining wild Sumatran orangutans, and we are a key player in the battle to save the species and its remaining forest habitat.

An Orangutan's Eyes

"When you look into an orangutan’s eyes it’s obvious someone is looking back at you. Not a thing, but a person, an equal! There’s an instant emotional relationship, and too often also a sense of guilt, that we humans are capable of treating them so badly. Allowing them to disappear from the face of the earth would be one of the most despicable things human beings have ever done."

Regina Frey President and Founder PanEco Foundation
Programme Implementation
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