The world’s only albino orangutan is loving life back in the wild

Albino orangutan.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Andi Jatmiko)

Alba was "starving and dehydrated" in an Indonesian village a little more than a year ago. Today she's back in the wild and absolutely thriving.

The world's only known albino orangutan, named "Alba" because it means white in Latin, was being kept in a cage as a pet when conservationists found her last April, per The Sydney Morning Herald. The five-year-old is part of a critically endangered species, found only on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. Hearing and eyesight difficulties stemming from Alba's albinism put her life in even more danger.

Alba has tripled her weight since arriving at Borneo Orangutan Survival last year, Channel NewsAsia says. Still, conservationists said they'd worried she'd have an "inferiority complex" and suggested creating a mini "forest island" for her to live on.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Alba quickly smashed those fears after being released into Indonesia's Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park on Friday. She's not only climbing 15-foot trees and foraging for food; she's also "very confident compared to other orangutans," a veterinarian tells the Morning Herald. The biggest threat actually comes from humans, vets say. The park is stocked with staff to deter poachers, and Alba is being electronically tracked in hopes that she can keep loving her jungle home for years to come.

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us