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Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation Hosts Species360 Training

Thank you to everyone participating this week in Species360 ZIMS training Sjoukje Vaartjes at the BOS Foundation’s Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Center BOS Foundation!


Photo courtesy of OneGreenPlanet: A young orphaned orangutan waits as a caretaker assesses progress toward rehabilitation, at the BOS Foundation’s Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Center.

Our Adjunct ZIMS Training and ZAA Convenor, Sjoukje Vaartjes successfully completed training with the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation’s two sanctuary sites. BOS is an Indonesian non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the Bornean orangutan and its habitat, in cooperation with local communities, the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and international partner organizations.

Report from Sjoukje Vaartjes:
ARKSAG Convenor – ZAA
Adjunct Trainer – Species360

In late 2019 I was asked if I would be interested in running a ZIMS training workshop in Borneo, for BOS.  The answer wasn’t difficult!

I think we can tend to forget how easy we do actually have it for the most part in having internet and ZIMS access in the Zoo world.  Most of us would have also had ARKS – which meant we already had a local ID system in place that was migrated across when we went to ZIMS. 

The 2 BOS facilities – Nyaru Menteng in Central Kalimantan and Samboja Lestari in East Kalimantan had NO Local ID system for their nearly 600 orphaned orangutan.
Internet wasn’t that reliable, and the use of mobile hotspots was needed (at NM – we had the problem of Macaques trying to steal the hotspot! ).

They had several spreadsheets with Orangs and Sun bears on them – but the number on each sheet would be different.  So House names were being used, but again, these could be spelt differently between the various documents.  Part of the preparation before the workshops, was, with the head office in Jakarta, to decide on a Local ID system that would make sense to the staff and be easy to  pick up.  We decided on NMXXXX and SLXXXX – so that staff wouldn’t be seeing the same ID for animals.  We also then used the year digits to indicate the year the animal was acquired.  Then just a simple incremental counting.  So, for animals acquired in 1999 at NM – it would be NM991, 2, 3 etc or SL991,2 3.  Because they don’t have the problem of animals being acquired in 1920, we were able to have the system continue for new animals this year being NM201, 2, 3 and so on.  They did pick this up, and appreciated that at a quick glance they can know how long they’ve had the animals for. 

All in all, I think it was really successful, though the 3 day workshop, could easily have been extended, as the agendas were jam packed.


Wildlife experts at more than 1200 zoos, aquariums, wildlife refuge and research centers in 99 countries collaborate as part of global nonprofit Species360. Together, they curate vital species data using ZIMS, and maintain and share one of the largest sets of wildlife data in the world.

Species360 will provide more than 50 training sessions in husbandry, care and welfare, aquatics systems, medical records, and studbooks management for wildlife experts around the world in 2020, including adjunct trainers like Sjoukje who provide invaluable expertise to teams like the one at BOS Foundation.

THANK YOU Sjoukje for teaching, and thanks to Species360 member BOS Foundation for all for your work on behalf of this important species.

Special thanks to Species360 adjunct trainer Sjoukje Vaartjes for sharing expertise in ZIMS with wildlife experts at the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation in Indonesia.
BOS Foundation saves Borneo orangutan in their native habitat of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.

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