Meet Alba, the Bornean orangutan; with her white fur and piercing blue eyes, she is the rarest and most unique ape in the entire world.
Alba is the world’s only albino orangutan. She was rescued from a cage and released back into the wild in 2017.
Her uniqueness is not only beautiful but also dangerous for her as she is a clear target for poachers and wildlife traffickers.
Unfortunately, as with all albinos, Alba is more susceptible to skin diseases as well as hearing and vision loss than her pigment-rich counterparts.
The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation luckily stepped and took action to keep her safe. They released her story and spent months fundraising to buy Alba her very own island, as she would never be safe in her old home.
Her story went viral, and after raising $80,000, Alba’s dream became a reality. The foundation purchased a remote island which was made into a sanctuary for Alba and three of her friends.
The ‘forest-island’ is home to a 25-acre jungle surrounded by a dense canal system. BOS provides extra security as well as round-the-clock observation for health and behavior.
“The new forest-island for Alba will be secured 24/7 by security staff patrolling the island regularly,” Nico Hermanu, communications officer for BOS, told The Dodo. “The sanctuary initiative also involves cooperation from the local government and communities. This way, we can safely say that Alba should be well-protected in her new forest-island.”
As Alba was taken from her home in the wild when she was young, she missed out on learning certain essential requirements for living.
So she will undergo forest training and socialization sessions to learn the instinctual way they would from their mothers.
Finally, the rarest and most unique ape in the world will be able to live in safety.