Creating New Wild Orangutan Populations

The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) is the only project actively establishing entirely new, genetically viable and self-sustaining wild populations of any great ape species, anywhere in the world.

Who We Are

The Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) is a collaborative initiative between the Indonesia-based NGO the Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari (YEL; Sustainable Ecosystem Foundation), Swiss-based NGO the PanEco Foundation, and the Indonesian Government’s Directorate General of Natural Resource and Ecosystem Conservation. The SOCP works on all aspects of conservation of the Critically Endangered Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii).

What We Do


The SOCP collaborates with the Indonesian Government’s Conservation Authorities (Ditjen KSDAE) to locate and confiscate orangutans kept illegally as pets and to assist them in prosecuting actors involved in the illegal trade of orangutans.


Confiscated orangutans are brought to the SOCP’s purpose built Orangutan Quarantine Centre outside of Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia where they undergo extensive medical checks and are rehabilitated in socialization groups and on-site 'forest schools'.


Once deemed mature enough and fit for returning to the wild, orangutans are transferred in groups to one of our Reintroduction Centres. Here they will be released to form new, genetically viable populations in extensive, protected forest blocks.


With regional, national and international universities and institutions, the SOCP conducts essential surveys and monitoring of wild and reintroduced Sumatran orangutan populations and their habitat, and continues the long-term studies of their behaviour and ecology in the wild.

Habitat Protection

The SOCP advocates for the expansion of conservation areas as well as the improvement of protection in existing areas. Working closely with local and international partners, we are working to prevent and mitigate threats to the species and to strengthen protection of orangutan habitat.

Orangutan Haven

The Orangutan Haven is the solution for those orangutans under our care that can't be returned to the wild. Here they will live on naturalistic islands, as ambassadors for their wild counterparts, where they will be instrumental in improving visitor perceptions and attitudes of nature and wildlife.

Latest News

Quarantine center-Maxime Aliaga-114

Thank you all for a very successful GAGD 2017!

And with the strike of midnight EST Great Apes Giving Day 2017 is over, and per the photo it’s time to take a quick rest!   All of us here at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) thank everyone immensely for their generous support, with the SOCP having received close to 5,000 USD in donation […]

A critically endangered Sumatran orangutan infant (Pongo abelii) who was rescued from illegal pet traders after his mother was killed, is now safe in the arms of its keeper at the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program's Care Center in Medan, where he needs to live until he is old enough to be released safely back into the wild, Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia

SOCP and Great Apes Giving Day

For the second year in a row the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) is participating in Great Apes Giving Day, an initiative from our friends with the Arcus Foundation – Great Ape Conservation and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS)! This year’s GAGD falls on October 17, 2017, from 12:00 AM EST to 11:59 PM […]