Jungle School Chronicles: Vet Andhani's Vital Work

Meet the Wildlife Vet Bringing Healing & Hope to the Heart of the Jungle

Jungle School Chronicles:

Vet Andhani's Vital Work

Deep within the dense foliage of the Bukit Tigapuluh Ecosystem, where the wild reigns supreme, a compassionate soul named Andhani Widya Hartanti has dedicated her life to saving and caring for the remarkable orangutans that call this wilderness home.

Meet Vet Andhani

Meet Andhani Widya Hartanti, a dedicated and highly skilled veterinarian. She works with our cheeky orangutan ‘students daily, ensuring their well-being and watching their progress keenly.

Andhani also plays a vital role in supporting the released orangutans, including supplemental food when necessary.

As they grow more proficient in their forest environment, the frequency of check-ins decreases. Some ‘alumni’ have even successfully become parents in the wild, marking a significant achievement in their rehabilitation journey.

Amidst the joyful chaos of Jungle School, Vet Andhani is a constant presence for the orangutans preparing for freedom. At Jungle School, you’ll often find the shyer students clinging on to her before branching out.

The Bukit Tigapuluh (BTP) Project

Jungle School is just one piece of a much larger puzzle— a vital partnership between the Frankfurt Zoological Society and The Orangutan Project. Together, we’ve been working to preserve the remarkable biodiversity in the last remaining wilderness areas on Earth, in Bukit Tigapuluh.

Since 2002, over 170 Sumatran orangutans have been transferred to the SORC in Bukit Tigapuluh from the SOCP Orangutan Quarantine Centre in North Sumatra.

Learn more and save the Bukit Tigapuluh forests here.

Jungle School: More than just fun and games

In the heart of the lush Bukit Tigapuluh Ecosystem, there's a special place called Jungle School. 

It might look like all fun and games - but there is so much more to it.

This sanctuary serves as a training ground where trainers and veterinarians work tirelessly to equip rescued orangutans with the skills they need to thrive in their natural habitat.

The goal is to get orangutans here as young as possible to learn essential forest skills during rehabilitation, like building nests, moving through the trees, and finding food


Andhani's Conservation Journey

Her journey began with her veterinary studies, and she felt a profound calling to dedicate her life to conserving Indonesia's precious wildlife.

Her dedication to ensuring the well-being of these orangutans is nothing short of extraordinary. Her role is challenging, often in remote areas inaccessible by conventional means. Racing against time, Andhani and her team work tirelessly to evacuate sick orangutans, navigating treacherous off-road terrains and sometimes even travelling at night.

Additionally, as a woman in this demanding role, Andhani faces additional physical demands to keep up with her male counterparts. Working with orangutans presents unique challenges, as they can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous.

Despite these challenges, Andhani's passion for wildlife medicine has driven her to persevere.


Latest Happenings from the Jungle ‘Schoolyard’

Over the past quarter, Jungle School hosted a total of 99 sessions, each averaging an impressive 5.9 hours. This signifies the dedication of trainers and vets like Andhani and the eagerness of the orangutans to embrace their training. 

These sessions are designed to minimise stress for the orangutans and expedite their learning process, a crucial aspect of their journey to self-sufficiency in the wild.

Orangutan Report Cards

Want to see how your favourite little students went this quarter? Here are their ‘report cards’, brought to you by dedicated veterinarians like Andhani, who spend their days monitoring the movements of our forest friends.


Yaya, known for her playful nature, engaged more in movement and playing around the cage.

However, her dedication to improving her feeding habits shone through, as she willingly consumed forest delicacies such as cambium and leaves.


Agile and adventurous, Payet dominated the forest with his playful antics.

His interactions with fellow orangutans, Opid and Tegal, have honed his survival skills, especially in foraging for forest fruits.


Balibon's remarkable climbing skills allowed him to scale trees, often reaching heights over 25 meters confidently.

Although his journey faced a brief setback when bees attacked him and Opid, their resilience is a testament to their readiness for release into the wild.


Tegal focused on movement and eating during jungle school sessions.

His increased activity in exploring the forest showcased his climbing, foraging, and nest-building skills.


Langkat, the eldest orangutan in OOS, demonstrated an insatiable curiosity for exploring the forest during jungle school.

His newfound interest in building nests and expanding his diet to include various forest items showcased his improving foraging skills.


Opid's jungle school sessions were fewer this quarter, but he spent extended periods outside the cage during the two weeks he went missing with Balibon.

His climbing and foraging skills have substantially improved; he even survived without supplemental food during his absence.


A Message for Aspiring Conservationists

For young women who aspire to follow in her footsteps, Andhani offers words of encouragement. She implores them to stay intense and persistent in pursuing their dreams. Regardless of their chosen profession, she advises giving their all with unwavering dedication. She believes that working in the conservation field is a privilege and an opportunity to contribute to the nation with passion and pride.

The Future of Orangutan Conservation

Looking ahead, Andhani holds hope for the future. She envisions a new generation deeply committed to conservation, ready to take meaningful action. With this collective dedication, she anticipates the released orangutans flourishing in the Bukit Tigapuluh forest, contributing to the vitality of this unique ecosystem.


Jungle School isn't merely a place of play; it's a sanctuary where devoted trainers and veterinarians like Vet Andhani transform fun and games into serious business. Their relentless efforts and unwavering dedication bring us one step closer to securing the future of orangutans in the Bukit Tigapuluh Ecosystem. These orangutans' small but significant steps forward are foundational in returning to their wild forest homes. And through their journey, we find hope for the survival of this critically endangered species.

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