Orangutan Jungle School

Watch Orangutan Jungle School

  • TV-PG
  • 2018
  • 3 Seasons
  • 9.3  (187)

Orangutan Jungle School is a heartwarming and educational five-part documentary series that takes the viewers on an unforgettable journey into the lush rainforests of Borneo, where a team of dedicated experts runs a unique and groundbreaking rehabilitation program for orphaned orangutans.

Narrated with warmth and enthusiasm by actress Keeley Hawes, the series follows the experiences of young orangutans as they learn valuable survival skills and social behavior in the jungle school, ultimately preparing them for their eventual release into the wild. The series is a collaboration between UK's Channel 4 and Silverback Films, who produced the award-winning nature documentary Planet Earth II.

The program hinges on the work of Rebecca Parr, a British wildlife veterinarian and the founder of the Orangutan Foundation UK. Parr, who has been rescuing and rehabilitating orangutans for over 30 years, supervises the Jungle School and serves as a mentor for the young orangutans, providing them with not only the physical care they need but also emotional support and affection. Her passion for the animals shines throughout the series and creates a compelling central figure for the show.

Throughout the episodes, we follow the progress of the young orangutans under the watchful eye of their dedicated teachers. Viewers will meet the charismatic and curious Beryl, who prefers to play with the enrichment toys rather than figure out how to get fruit; the adventurous Nyaru, who climbs tallest trees to eat the sweetest fruit; and the independent-minded Beni, who would instead spend hours self-grooming than listen to lessons.

Most significantly, we witness the emotional bond that forms between the young primates when they are introduced to each other. Given that orangutans are solitary creatures, this socialization is critical for their successful reintroduction into their natural habitat. We observe heartwarming moments where the young orangutans learn how to share resources and build nests together, replicate each other's behaviors, and form deep and lasting friendships, much like human children in a school yard.

The show's production team captures shots of the orangutans' facial expressions and movements up close, revealing their intelligence and range of emotions. Moreover, the cinematography of the lush jungle habitat is breathtaking, taking the viewers on an immersive experience into the orangutans' world.

Orangutan Jungle School also offers an educational component that aims to raise awareness of deforestation and the effects of human activities on orangutan populations. The series presents the challenges that the orangutan population faces in the wild, such as habitat destruction, poaching, and the effects of palm oil production. However, the show balances the grim reality by emphasizing the importance of conservation efforts and the progress of the orangutan rehabilitation program. Parr and her team's work provides a glimmer of hope for the species' survival in the future.

The series' narrative is bolstered by the light-hearted and humorous commentary of Laura Shavin, whose witty quips and puns add an extra layer of charm to the show. The music choices also add to the show's appeal, with playful, upbeat tunes that reflect the orangutans' liveliness and spirit.

In conclusion, Orangutan Jungle School is an uplifting and informative documentary that will appeal to animal lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. It offers an insightful peek into the world of orangutans and the efforts of a passionate team striving to preserve the species. With lovable and relatable characters, stunning cinematography, and an inspiring message at its core, this series is a must-watch for all ages.

Orangutan Jungle School is a series that is currently running and has 3 seasons (23 episodes). The series first aired on August 15, 2018.

Orangutan Jungle School
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Growing Pains
3. Growing Pains
July 19, 2023
A look at the rollercoaster ride of transformations and transitions orphaned orangutans go through during their years at the jungle school.
A Friend in Need
2. A Friend in Need
July 12, 2023
For the orphaned orangutans at the Nyaru Menteng Rescue Center in Borneo, making friends is a vital step in preparing for a life in the wild.
A Wild Education
1. A Wild Education
July 5, 2023
An inside look at the Nyaru Menteng Rescue Center in Borneo explores how the orangutan school curriculum works, from nursery through graduation.
Where to Watch Orangutan Jungle School
Orangutan Jungle School is available for streaming on the Channel 4 website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Orangutan Jungle School on demand at Paramount+, Amazon Prime, Philo, Amazon, Vudu, FuboTV, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    August 15, 2018
  • IMDB Rating
    9.3  (187)