First it was scooped up from the forest to become someone’s pet in Lampung, Sumatra.
But then, the extremely rare albino Sumatran slow loris was rescued on Aug. 31 with an eye to releasing it back to the wild.
After undergoing treatment and rehabilitation at the Natural Resources Conservation Centre for Natural Resources Conservation in Bandar Lampung, that slow loris is now enjoying freedom.
The U.K.-based International Animal Rescue group shared some amazing footage of the moment.
“In what is a first for our team in Indonesia, we have released an extremely rare albino slow loris into a protected National Park,” the group announced. “We are very proud to be a part of this release which is likely to be the first time ever an albino slow loris has been returned to the wild.”
The animal was released into Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park Area, Lampung Province on Oct. 8.
The 320,000-hectare expanse is what officials call the “last stronghold of tropical rain forests in Lampung Province.”
Teguh Ismail, Head of Lampung Region III Conservation Section BKSDA Bengkulu, said the slow loris will be monitored for up to a month.
It has been fitted with a radio collar to make tracking easier as officials will watch it adjust to the new environment and food supply.
“The incredibly rare footage below shows this beautiful creature taking his first steps to freedom, high in the treetops of the lush Indonesian rainforest,” the rescue group said. “His new life in the forest is a world away from the horrors of the illegal pet trade that he was once a victim of.”
Karmele Llano Sanchez, the program director with International Animal Rescue Indonesia, applauded the release.
“If it wasn’t for the incredible work of the authorities to combat illegal wildlife trade, this loris could have died in the hands of wildlife traffickers,” Sanchez said in a statement. “Thankfully, we are able to give this animal another chance to survive in the wild where it belongs.”