May 2, 2017 / 2:21 PM / 4 months ago

Indonesian activists rescue albino orangutan

A rare 5 year-old female albino orangutan is seen after it was rescued from captivity by authorities in Kapuas Hulu district, Central Kalimantan province, Indonesia April 29, 2017 in this photo released by the wildlife conservation group Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) . Picture taken April 29, 2017. BOSF/Indrayana via REUTERS

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesian environmentalists have rescued a rare albino orangutan from captivity on the island of Kalimantan, a conservation charity said on Tuesday.

The five-year-old, pale-haired, blue-eyed female orangutan had been held captive by local residents in Central Kalimantan, where rampant deforestation by smallholders and plantation companies has endangered the lives and habitats of dozens of species.

"A preliminary physical examination conducted by our medical team has determined this is an albino orangutan: her hair, eye, and skin color is paler than normal, and she is also sensitive to light," the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation said on its website. It added there was a good chance the primate could be released back into the wild soon.

Orangutans, considered critically endangered by the World Wildlife Fund, usually have brown or orange hair and dark eyes. They are native to Indonesia and Malaysia.

Reporting by Darren Whiteside; Editing by Mark Trevelyan

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