Since 2001 the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) has released more than 300 orangutans at the edge of the Bukit Tigapuluh National Park in Jambi and in the Jantho Pine Forest Reserve in Aceh. At both sites SOCP is gradually establishing two entirely new genetically viable and self-sustaining wild orangutan populations as a safety net should a catastrophe befall the remaining original wild populations. There are currently more individuals being cared for at the SOCP Orangutan Rehabilitation and Quarantine Centre in North Sumatra. Most of these will eventually be released into the wild as well.
Some of the orangutans that the SOCP receives, however, cannot be returned to the wild as they would not survive. Given that orangutans can live to 40 or 50 years or more, the Orangutan Haven has been created to provide these individuals the best possible care and welfare for the rest of their lives, on large naturally vegetated islands, rather than living out their days in the large metal cages they previously occupied. The islands are equipped with climbing structures, ropes, plants, nesting baskets and fresh drinking water pools, and are separated from each other by wide water moats. These islands allow the orangutans to live a much more natural and enriched life, while still receiving all the care they need. They are also able to play an important education role, helping to educate visitors about the plight of orangutans both in captivity and in the wild. In this way, even though they are no longer able to live wild in the forest, they can still continue to play an important role in the future survival of their species and their natural rainforest habitat. The Orangutan Haven is a unique resource for conservation, education, sustainable development, and recreation, and a major asset for the city of Medan and the surrounding area.