According to a statement, the female orangutan wasrescued five times before and relocated to safer locations, but this rescue was different, Maria was found suffering from a medical condition that required intensive care. She was then transferred to the Sumatran Orangutan Quarantine and Rehabilitation Center.
Efforts to release Maria this time required a five-hour boat trip to her new home which is deeper in the woods to deter her from returning to residential areas.
Described as a “unique wild orangutan,” it was important to strategically release Maria in a safer location so that she can have the chance to survive and reproduce.
In a sign of the times, and an attempt to stop the spread of disease, officers involved in the release had to be free of COVID-19. During her 14-day quarantine, Maria also tested negative for COVID-19 before she could be relocated.