9th Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Release, Day 3: A Good Day to Do Good Work

After successfully releasing four orangutans yesterday, today the BOS Foundation at Nyaru Menteng continued the orangutan release activities by sending eight orangutans into Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

Just like yesterday, the Release Team was on standby since 4.30 am at the Quarantine Enclosure – Midway 3. Today we would release eight orangutans, divided into two groups. The first group consisted of Trold, Bonita, Kiki and her beautiful daughter, Hardi. The second group consisted of Mego (Omego), Sella, Cuplis, and Wardah. Vet Arga Saung Kusuma, Vet Agus Fahroni, Vet Fiet, and Vet Lia were ready to sedate the release candidates.

Vet Arga Preparing For Sedation Process

At 5.07 am, the Release Team started the sedation process. Trold was the first, followed by Kiki and Hardi. Bonita, however, did not need to be sedated. She walked with Vet Agus and Technician Ibnu to her travel cage!

Vet Agus Fahroni Sedating Release Candidates

Kiki immediately fell asleep. The beautiful mother with long dark-brown hair was then moved to her travel cage by Vet Arga and Vet Agus. The Medical Team decided to increase the dose for Trold because she was still awake. While waiting for Trold to fall asleep, Hardi started to feel sleepy and was moved to her travel Cage. Finally Trold was asleep! She was, too, moved to her travel cage.

Moving Kiki to Her Travel Cage

Moving the Orangutans to Their Travel Cage

The four cages were then loaded onto the truck and departed to Tjilik Riwut Airport in Palangka Raya, from where they would be flown to Beringin Airport in Muara Teweh. We arrived at the Airport at 6.55 am. The loading-unloading process immediately began. It did not take long before all four orangutans were on board the Twin Otter, ready to go. Vet Agnes Pratamiutami and Technician Firman from the BOS Foundation at Samboja Lestari were also on this flight along with a representative of the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority.

Loading the Orangutans Into the Twin Otter

One Step Closer to Their True Home!

Meanwhile in Muara Teweh, the weather was clear. The team was ready to welcome the eight orangutans from Palangka Raya. The weather in Batikap was also clear and the Release Team there was ready at Drop Point Monnu.

The beautiful weather heightened our spirits, after going through a challenging day yesterday. All hopes and prayers were solely for this release activity to go as planned. Helicopter was on standby since morning at Beringin Airport, waiting for the Twin Otter to arrive.

At 8.10 am, the Twin Otter landed at Beringin Airport in Muara Teweh. The travel cages were unloaded from the plane immediately, and placed onto the sling load.

Unloading the Travel Cages

Photo: Unloading the Travel Cages

Before departing, Vet Meryl conducted a final check on the orangutans to make sure that they were set to embark on their final journey home. Not long after, the helicopter departed, bringing Trold, Bonita, Kiki and her beautiful daughter Hardi one step closer to their true home in Batikap!

Vet Meryl Conducting Final Check of the Four Orangutans

Palangka Raya: Preparation of the Second Group!

Meanwhile at the Quarantine Enclosure – Midway 3 in Nyaru Menteng, the sedation process had already begun for Mego (Omego), Sella, Cuplis, and Wardah. At 7.21 am, Vet Arga sedated Sella and Cuplis, then Vet Agus sedated Mego and Wardah. Once they fell asleep, each of them was moved into their travel cages and loaded onto the truck.

Moving the Orangutans to Their Travel Cages

The Four Orangutans Were Loaded Onto the Truck

At 9.28 am, Mego, Sella, Cuplis and Wardah arrived at Tjilik Riwut Airport. At the same time, the Twin Otter also landed back from Beringin Airport, Muara Teweh. The Team immediately unloaded the travel cages from the truck and, one by one, loaded them onto the Twin Otter, starting with Wardah, followed by Cuplis, Sella, and Mego (Omego).

Unloading the Cages From Truck

Loading Into Twin Otter

The Twin Otter started its engine and finally took off from Tjilik Riwut Airport, Palangka Raya, heading to Beringin Airport in Muara Teweh.

Eight Orangutans were Finally Home!

The Twin Otter was spotted in Muara Teweh sky and finally landed at 10.50 am.  The Team started to unload the four travel cages from the plane and moved them onto the sling load. Mego (Omego), Sella, Cuplis, and Wardah looked calm when the team moved their travel cages onto the sling load.

Moving the Travel Cages onto Sling Load

Finally, the Team in Muara Teweh ended the day by saying goodbye to Mego (Omego), Sella, Cuplis, and Wardah as they were lifted by the B3 helicopter, heading to Batikap. The eight orangutans were finally going to their true home in Batikap. Releasing orangutans is always a very touching moment for us.

Helicopter Departed to Batikap

Enjoy your new home, Trold, Bonita, Kiki, Hardi, Mego (Omego), Sella, Cuplis, and Wardah. After yesterday’s bad weather, this was indeed a good day to do good work. We will update you with stories from the forest once our team in Batikap returns to Palangka Raya. Check this space often for exciting updates!

Release Team in Nyaru Menteng

Release Team in Muara Teweh

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Orangutan release activities are very costly. Help us send more orangutans home by donating at http://donation.orangutan.or.id.

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Text by: Paulina L. Ela

9th Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Release, Day 2: Four Orangutans Return to Their True Home

Today, 19 April 2014, four orangutans finally departed from Nyaru Menteng and started their journey to Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. These four orangutans are Slamet, Kacio, Olympia, and Miss Owen.

Their Journey Home Begins!

It was still dark when the Release Team started their activities today. At 4.30 am, the Medical Team and Technicians arrived at the Quarantine Enclosure – Midway 3. The Medical Team, coordinated by Vet Arga Sawung Kusuma was ready to sedate the orangutans. Vet Meryl Yemima Gerhanauli was also there to help with the preparation along with Vet Agnes Pratamiutami, who is a veterinarian from the Orangutan Reintroduction Program at Samboja Lestari.

Then Vet Arga conducted a short briefing, followed by a praying session so that the activity today could go as planned. At 5.07 am, the team started to sedate the release candidates. Slamet was the first, sedated by Technician Mulyono. It took a while for the active, dominant male to fall asleep, so the vets decided to increase his dose. While waiting for Slamet to fall asleep, Technician Mulyono sedated Miss Owen and Kacio. Unlike Slamet and Miss Owen, who were sedated using a blowpipe, Kacio was sedated by injection.

Both Miss Owen and Kacio quickly fell asleep and moved to their travel cages. Not long after, Slamet finally fell asleep. The handsome orangutan with cheekpads was also transferred into his travel cage. Olympia, however did not need to be sedated. She simply walked with Technician Mulyono and Vet Arga to her travel cage! By 6 am, all four orangutans were loaded onto the truck and the Release Team departed to Tjilik Riwut Airport in Palangka Raya.

Waiting for ‘Green Light’ from the Sky

Rain poured in Muara Teweh since dawn. It was still raining when the Nyaru Menteng Team reported their arrival at Tjilik Riwut Airport at 6.55 am, forcing the team to postpone the loading-unloading process. The Release Team in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest also reported dark clouds, which turned into heavy rain a little while later. Nevertheless, the Team in Batikap was on standby at drop point Monnu, ready to welcome the orangutans.

At Tjilik Riwut Airport, the Team waited for the news from Muara Teweh and Batikap. We kept our spirits high and prayed for the weather to improve. At 10.30 am, we finally received a ‘green light’ from the sky. We could fly! The team was excited and started to unload the travel cages from the truck and loaded them onto the Twin Otter airplane.

Olympia was the first to be loaded, followed by Kacio, Miss Owen, and last but not least, Slamet. The entire process today was also witnessed by the Third Assistant of the City Government of Palangka Raya, Herie Wicaksono. And by noon, the Twin Otter finally took off, heading to Muara Teweh.

Going Back to the Forest!

45 minutes later, the Twin Otter landed safely at Beringin Airport, Muara Teweh. Travel cages were immediately unloaded from the plane and moved onto the slingload. Then the Load Master, assisted by the Release Team in Muara Teweh, secured the slingload. After Vet Meryl conducted a final check, the orangutans were ready to embark on their final journey home!

At 1.30 pm, the helicopter departed, bringing our beloved orangutans back to the forest. Twin Otter then returned to Palangka Raya to prepare tomorrow’s activities. Today, two groups of orangutans were scheduled to return to the forest. But because of the weather, we had to postpone the departure of the second group until tomorrow. It was a challenging day. We are hoping for a much better tomorrow. And we are also waiting for news from the forest about the releases of these four orangutans. Stay tuned!

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Orangutan release activities are very costly. Help us send more orangutans home by donating at http://donation.orangutan.or.id.

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Text by: Paulina L. Ela and Monica Devi Krisnasari

9th Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Release, Day 2: Let’s Start in East Kalimantan!

Orangutan release is never a simple thing. There are many criteria – both national and international – that we have to follow. One of them is ensuring that orangutans are released in areas of their origin, according to their sub-species. It means East Kalimantan orangutans must therefore be released in East Kalimantan. Central Kalimantan orangutans must be released in Central Kalimantan. Similarly, West Kalimantan orangutans must be released in West Kalimantan.

SaswokoFarudzInouNiken and Friska are five orangutans who were rescued and sent to our rehabilitation program at Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan. So they grew up and were rehabilitated in East Kalimantan. However, when the time came for them to be released, DNA tests showed that they were not of East Kalimantan origin (Pongo pygmaeus morio). Instead, we found out that they are Central Kalimantan’s orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii).

Today, in conjunction with the 9th Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Release activity in Central Kalimantan, we also translocated these five orangutans from East Kalimantan to Central Kalimantan. The cross-province translocation could be prevented if rescued orangutans are DNA-tested before deciding to place them in a specific rehabilitation center, which is the responsibility of the Conservation and Natural Resources Authority. However, due to lack of funding and also the unavailability of other rehabilitation centers at the time of their rescue, Saswoko, Farudz, Inou, Niken and Friska were immediately sent to Samboja Lestari. Being one of very few centers available since the 1990s, the BOS Foundation at Samboja Lestari have accepted orangutans rescued in places such as Java, Sumatra and even those returned from other countries. We sincerely hope this will change in the near future as cross-province translocation is costly and takes a lot of time and energy.

 

Samboja Lestari Program Manager Agus Irwanto assists in preparing sedation doses.

Sedating Orangutans

Nevertheless, let’s start today’s activity in East Kalimantan. At 11 am, the Medical Team got ready and went to the quarantine enclosures to start sedation on Saswoko, Farudz, Inou, Niken and Friska. Saswoko was first to be sedated, using a specialized blowpipe, by Vet Putra. While waiting for Saswoko to fall asleep, Niken was also sedated.

Next was Farudz. The big guy was naturally suspicious with what went on around him. He moved around in his enclosure and so was not easy to sedate. Vet Putra and a technician took turn trying to sedate him with the blowpipe, but several attempts failed. They managed to sedate Farudz eventually, though, and moved on to Friska, who was also alerted and kept moving around. Once, she even hid in a barrel, high up in her enclosure. But Friska, too, was finally sedated and soon fell asleep.

 

Saswoko was first sedated by Vet Putra.

 

Next sedated were Niken, Farudz, Friska and Inou.

Last but not least, Inou was sedated. By that time, the other orangutans had fallen asleep and were moved into their travel cages. Inou was last transferred into his travel cage. After ensuring that all travel cages were secured, they were loaded onto a truck. Then at 1 pm local time, the team departed to Balikpapan’s Sepinggan Airport, bringing our five orangutan friends – Saswoko, Farudz, Inou, Niken and Friska.

 

Moving orangutans into travel cages.

 

The five orangutans were loaded onto a truck.

Farewell to Our Five Furry Friends

The Team arrived at Sepinggan Airport in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, at 2.05 pm. The Hevilift Twin Otter airplane was already on standby at the airport. After taking care of administrative requirements, unloading and loading process began. The travel cages were unloaded from the truck and, one by one, the orangutans were loaded onto the airplane, starting with Niken.

 

Unloading travel cages from the truck.

 

Niken was first loaded onto the Twin Otter.

Friska, Inou and Farudz were loaded next. Then the biggest male, Saswoko, was also loaded onto the airplane at last. Vet Agnes and technician Firman boarded the airplane to accompany these five orangutans on their journey to the province of their origin, Central Kalimantan.

 

Loading the rest of the orangutans onto the airplane.

 

Vet Agnes and technician Firman accompanied the orangutans.

The Twin Otter started its engine and not long after it took off from Sepinggan Airport in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, heading to Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan. We waved our final goodbyes to our five furry friends. From now on they will be in the loving care of our team in Nyaru Menteng and will undergo an adjustment period and a final pre-release process in Central Kalimantan. Farewell Saswoko, Farudz, Inou, Niken and Friska!

 

The Twin Otter took off to Central Kalimantan.

Welcome Back in Central Kalimantan!

The Twin Otter carrying the five orangutans from Samboja Lestari landed safely at 4.42 pm at Tjilik Riwut Airport, Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan. The Nyaru Menteng Team had been looking forward to the arrival of Farudz and his friends ever since the Samboja Lestari Team reported that these five had taken off from Balikpapan. Shortly after the airplane landed, we immediately unloaded the travel cages from it.

 

Unloading Saswoko’s Travel Cage From The Twin Otter

 

Followed By Farudz, Inou, Friska, and Niken

Saswoko’s travel cage was the first to be unloaded, followed by the travel cages of his friends, Farudz, Inou, Friska and Niken. While the unloading the travel cages, vet Agnes representing Samboja Lestari also officially handed over the orangutans from Samboja Lestari to Nyaru Menteng, represented by Denny Kurniawan in his capacity as Nyaru Menteng Program Manager.

 

Hand-over of The Orangutans From Samboja Lestari to Nyaru Menteng

All five orangutans were then taken to the Quarantine Enclosure – Midway II, where they will stay before being transferred to Palas 2 Island. At the moment, the team in Nyaru Menteng is planning to build a barrier to isolate Palas 2 Island. After this plan is realized, these orangutans can be moved there and get a chance to adjust to the forest of Central Kalimantan, which is topographically different than forests in East Kalimantan.

Also staying in the Quarantine Enclosure – Midway II are Cici, Donna Karen, Roma and Marwoko, who were translocated from Samboja Lestari to Nyaru Menteng in November 2013. They, too, will be moved to Palas 2 Island with their five friends who just arrived this afternoon.

Upon arrival at Quarantine Enclosure – Midway II, Farudz was immediately transferred into his enclosure, followed by Friska, Inou, Saswoko and Niken. After living in East Kalimantan for so long, they are finally back in Central Kalimantan where they originally came from. All they have to do now is to wait for the island to be ready as a place for them to learn and explore. Welcome back in Central Kalimantan, Farudz, Saswoko, Inou, Friska and Niken!

All the Orangutans Were Transferred Into Their Enclosures

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Orangutan release activities are very costly. Help us send more orangutans home by donating at http://donation.orangutan.or.id.

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Text By: Rini Sucahyo & Monica Devi Krisnasari

Nyaru Menteng 9th Orangutan Release Candidate Profiles

In the near future, 12 more orangutans will be living in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. They are from Orangutan Reintroduction Center at Nyaru Menteng who will be reintroduced into the forest on April, 19 and 20 2014. Here are their profiles.

REHABILITANT

Rehabilitants are orangutans who were rescued at a very young age and/or had been kept by humans as pets. These orangutans did not have or had lost most of the necessary skills to survive independently in the forest and thus must go through an intensive rehabilitation process (Forest School and the final pre-release stage on an island/halfway forest), which can take up to 7 years on average.

1. SLAMET

Slamet arrived in Wanariset, East Kalimantan on January 23, 1999 after being confiscated from a resident of Palangka Raya who kept him as a pet. In November 1999, the BOS Foundation established an new Orangutan Reintroduction Program in Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan and on December 17, 1999 Slamet entered Nyaru Menteng to continue his rehabilitation. On arrival in Nyaru Menteng, the then three year old male orangutan weighed 12 kilograms.

Having graduated from Forest School, Slamet continued his education on Palas Island for the last phase of the rehabilitation process in 2004. He has grown into an active dominant orangutan who dislikes human presence. He has dark brown long hair, dark skin and growing cheekpads.

Slamet is now 18 years old and weighs 65 kilograms. After 15 years of rehabilitation in Nyaru Menteng soon the dashing Slamet will explore his true home in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

2. KIKI

Kiki arrived in Nyaru Menteng on April 18, 2001 after being confiscated from a resident in Ketapang, West Kalimantan who kept her illegally as a pet. She was six years old and weighed 18.5 kilograms. Asides from being underweight, she also suffered from atrophy due to having spent her life in a narrow cage. She was not able to stand and always seemed scared. Every single day the Medical Team provided massage therapy to help recover her leg muscle function and to teach her how to climb trees.

Kiki graduated from the Forest School and moved to live on Palas Island in 2005. She is known as a friendly orangutan towards other orangutans and loves to explore. On October 24, 2006, she gave birth to her firstborn, a daughter named Hardi. Kiki and little Hardi were amongst the orangutans who starred in the documentary “Orangutan Island”, along with Bonita, Kacio and Mego.

Kiki is now 20 years old and weighs 61 kilograms. The mother with dark brown long hair is now ready to be an independent mother to her daughter. Kiki and Hardi are both ready to live as wild orangutans in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

3. HARDI

Hardi is the firstborn of orangutan Kiki, born on Palas Island on October 24, 2006.  She grew up under her mother’s care to become an independent wild orangutan. Young Hardi and her Mother are two of the stars featured in the documentary “Orangutan Island”.

Due to her wild and very active nature, Hardi’s ability grew fast. She is intelligent in recognising natural foods, building nest and conducts most of her activities in the trees. Just like a normal wild orangutan, Hardi loves forest fruits and dislikes human presence.  On Palas Island Hardi doesn’t socialise much with other orangutans. She only makes friends with female orangutans who have a gentle nature and avoids dominant male orangutans.

Now in her 8th year of age, agile Hardi weighs 26 kilograms and is ready to go home to the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest with her mother to become an independent teenage orangutan.

4. KACIO

Kacio was confiscated from Banjar Baru, South Kalimantan when she was only three years old and weighed seven kilograms. The female orangutan with long, thick hair arrived in Nyaru Menteng on May 13, 2002, having lost her middle toe and little toe on her left foot due to a strike from a sharp tool.

Kacio who is skilled in looking for natural foods such as forest fruits, leaves and bark graduated from Forest School and continued her learning on Palas Island in 2006. With her gentle and friendly nature, she behaves nicely towards almost all other orangutans on the island.  She is a close friends of Kiki, Olympia and Yasmine who are going to be released with her. The independent Kacio rarely comes to the feeding platform and she prefers to explore the forest instead.  She was also one of the stars in the documentary “Orangutan Island”.

Now it has been 12 years since Kacio started her rehabilitation in Nyaru Menteng. Fifteen years old and weighing 56 kilograms, this beautiful orangutan with round eyes will soon go home to the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest to become a true wild orangutan.

5. OLYMPIA

Olympia arrived in Nyaru Menteng on March 27, 2002 after being confiscated from a resident of Tumbang Samba, Katingan Regency. She was two years old, weighed only 7.5 kilograms and still retained her natural behaviour.

Before being prepared as a release candidate, Olympia learnt in Nursery Group and Forest School. She graduated in 2006 and moved to Palas Island. One of her good friends since Forest School, Kacio, will also be released with her this April.

Olympia is a gentle orangutan and friendly to other orangutans. Now she is 15 years old and weighs 53 kilograms. After 12 years of rehabilitation in Nyaru Menteng, the female orangutan who prefers forest fruit and natural foods will finally prove her abilities in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

 

6. TROLD

One year old Trold who weighed 4.8 kilograms arrived in Nyaru Menteng on February 28, 2002 after being confiscated from a resident of Tumbang Talaken, Gunung Mas Regency who was keeping her illegally as a pet. This young wild-born orangutan arrived with some wounds on his fingers and toes.

Graduating from the Forest School in 2006, Trold improved her survival skills on Palas Island. Trold who has thick hair on her neck is also famous for being an expert explorer and skillful in choosing natural foods. She is a friendly orangutan who loves socialising with other orangutans but is not keen on human presence.

Trold has been learning in Nyaru Menteng for 12 years. Now 14 years old and weighing 41 kilograms, pretty Trold is ready to live a new life as a true wild orangutan once again in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

7. BONITA

Bonita arrived in Nyaru Menteng after being confiscated from a resident in Tumbang Samba on January 11, 2003 when she was two years old and weighed 5.1 kilograms. This wild-born orangutan was then placed in our Nursery Group. Bonita learned at the Forest School and was a close friend of Saturnus, who unfortunately passed away from illness in 2011.  Bonita graduated as a smart student and was then placed in Midway (Nyaru Menteng II). On December 9, 2006, Bonita was moved to Palas Island. In the documentary “Orangutan Island”, we can see that Bonita was often being disturbed by “The Bandit Boys”.

While living on the pre-release island, Bonita once went missing for more than two months. A search commenced throughout the island, but to no avail until one day she simply came back, as fit as a fiddle. Her natural abilities improved quickly. She is skillful in choosing natural foods such us young leaves and termites and loves socialising with other orangutans.

This beautiful orangutan with dark brown hair is now 14 years old and weighs 53 kilograms. The experience she has gathered during 11 years at the rehabilitation center will help her explore her true home in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

8. SELLA

Sella was confiscated by the Central Kalimantan Conservaton and Natural Resources Authority from a resident in Palangka Raya. She arrived in Nyaru Menteng on April 13, 2002, when she was three years old and weighed 11 kilograms.

She graduated from Forest School in 2005 and was placed on Palas Island. This orangutan with thick hair loves to socialise with other orangutans, but dislikes human presence. Her ability to search for natural foods has improved significantly. Sella is also a respected orangutan on Palas Island and she loves spending timelooking for termites.

Now she has beenthrough the rehabilitation process for 12 years. At the age of 15 and weighing 59 kilograms, this orangutan will soon depart for the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest where she will live her new life as a true wild orangutan.

9. MISS OWEN

Miss Owen was confiscated from a resident in Pontianak, West Kalimantan. On November 29, 1998, this female orangutan arrived in Wanariset in East Kalimantan to undergo the rehabilitation process, because at that time Wanariset was the only orangutan rehabilitation center in Kalimantan. After Nyaru Menteng was established in November 1999, this Central Kalimantan orangutan was then transferred to Nyaru Menteng when she was two years old and weighed 6.5 kilograms on December 17, 1999 to continue her rehabilitation process.

Miss Owen joined the Forest School and is a good friend of Noor, the very first orangutan who arrived in Nyaru Menteng and who is now living in Bukit Batikap. Miss Owen graduated from forest school and entered Palas Island in 2004. On the pre-release island, Miss Owen was a friendly orangutan and easily made friends with other orangutans. The orangutan who sometimes looked like a loner used to be a good friend of Reno until he was released earlier into Bukit Batikap.

She has been undergoing the rehabilitaton process for 15 years and grown into an adult 17 year old orangutan weighing 40 kilograms. With the experience she has gained on Palas Island, Miss Owen is now ready to live in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest as a true wild orangutan.

10. OMEGO (MEGO)

Omego (Mego) was confiscated from Jakarta and arrived in Nyaru Menteng on May 31 2001, when he was three years old and weighed 8 kilograms. By the time he was confiscated, there were dried scabs on his front part of the body, thighs, and arm folds. After going through medical care to completely recover his skin condition, Mego with his brown thick hair was enrolled in the Forest School.

Mego who has round eyes graduated from Forest School and continued to the final pre-release stage in 2005 on Palas Island. Mego has grown into a dominant male orangutan with growing cheekpads.

The experience he has gained after 13 years of living in Nyaru Menteng is sufficient to help him survive in his natural habitat. Now a dashing 17 year old weighing 72 kilograms, he is ready to go home to become a true wild orangutan in his new home, theBukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

SEMI-WILD 

Semi-wilds are orangutans who have still retained their true nature at the time of rescue and have consistently showed that they have learned adequate forest skills.

11. WARDAH

Wardah arrived in Nyaru Menteng on October 21, 2006 after being rescued by the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority and the BOS Foundation Rescue Team.  She was rescued from a remaining small patch of forest in an oil palm plantation in East Kotawaringin Regency when she was three years old and  weighed only 7 kg.  Her mother was nowhere in sight.

Wardah is a semi-wild orangutan and has been prepared as an orangutan release candidate in Nyaru Menteng Quarantine Complex 3.

It has been eight years since she started the rehabilitation process in Nyaru Menteng and she still retains her wild behaviour. She is now 11 years old and weighs 43 kg. Soon she will enjoy her freedom in exploring the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest to live as a true wild orangutan.

12. CUPLIS

Cuplis arrived in Nyaru Menteng on December 29, 2005 after being rescued by the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority and the BOS Foundation Rescue Team from a snake charmer who kept her as a pet in Transmigration Complex 4 in Padas village, Parenggean.  Cuplis with her thick and long hair was two years old weighed only 10 kg. She was skinny and there was a dry wound from the metal chain on her neck.

During her time learning in Forest School, the active Cuplis was famous for being smart and crafty in escaping school and disappear for days. Due to her semi-wild nature, her abilities improved rapidly. She was then prepared as a release candidate and moved to Nyaru Menteng Quarantine Complex 3.

The active and independent Cuplis who loves to explore the Forest School is now 12 years old and weighs 52 kg. After nine years undergoing rehabilitation in Nyaru Menteng, she is now ready to live in the real forest.

In conjunction with this release event, the BOS Foundation is also translocating five orangutans from its rehabilitation center in Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan, to Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan. These five orangutans who were recently DNA-tested and found to be of Central Kalimantan origin (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) will undertake the last stage of rehabilitation process on one the pre-release islands in Nyaru Menteng before finally being released into their natural habitat in Central Kalimantan.

1. FRISKA

Friska was confiscated by the BOS Foundation Wanariset team from a resident who kept her as a pet in Tegal, Central Java, on March 19, 2001. She was only four years old and weighed 17 kilograms.

Friska joined the Forest School in 2001 to 2005 and continued her skill building at the  Halfway House. There she was prepared as a release candidate thanks to her fast learning ability and active behaviour. Friska has now has grown into an adult 17 year old female orangutan weighing 40 kilograms.

Friska is of the subspecies Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii, which naturally inhabits the center of Kalimantan, and thus she needs to be sent back to her natural habitat. She will learn temporarily in the BOS Foundation program at Nyaru Menteng before going home to the forests of Central Kalimantan.

2. FARUDZ

Farudz is a male orangutan who arrived in the BOS Foundation program at Wanariset on October 16, 2002, as a six year old semi-wild weighing 30 kilograms. He was handed over by the Jakarta Conservation and Natural Resources Authority to the BOS Foundation after being confiscated from Tanjung Priok Port.

Farudz was then placed in a socialisation enclosure because he still retained his natural behaviour. He preferred natural foods and disliked milk. Farudz has since grown into an 18 year old adult orangutan and weighs 75 kilograms. This slightly plump, stoutly built orangutan is dominant and dislikes human presence.

He will go to Central Kalimantan with Saswoko, one of his friends in the socialisation enclosure, because he is of the sub-species Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii. After 12 years learning in East Kalimantan, he will temporarily continue his rehabilitation in Nyaru Menteng before being released into the forests of Central Kalimantan.

3. SASWOKO

Saswoko arrived at the BOS Foundation program in Wanariset on August 4, 2002, after being handed over by the Denpasar Conservation and Natural Resources Authority in Bali who confiscated him from a resident keeping him as a pet. When he first arrived in Wanariset, he was only four years old.

Because of his intelligence, Saswoko was prepared as release candidate and placed in the Halfway House between 2002 to 2004. Now he is a sub-adult aged 16 years old and weighs 70 kilograms.  He is skillful in recognising natural foods and building nests.

Together with his best friend Farudz whom he knows well from the socialisation enclosure, he will go home to Central Kalimantan since he is also of the subspecies Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii.  He will continue his learning at the BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng program for a while before being able to explore the real forest of Central Kalimantan with Farudz.

4. INOU 

Inou arrived at the BOS Foundation program in Wanariset on May 2, 1998 when he was two years old and weighed six kilograms. He was confiscated by Wanariset from a resident in Pontianak, West Kalimantan who was keeping him as a pet.

In Forest School, Inou was good friends with Maduri, a female orangutan who has already been released into the Kehje Sewen forest in East Kalimantan in March 2014. After graduating from the Forest School, he was then prepared as a release candidate at the Halfway House between 2001 to 2006. Inou who was very close to his babysitters in his younger years has now grown into a dominant, active orangutan who dislikes human presence.  He is now 18 years old and weighs 60 kilograms.

Inou will go home to Central Kalimantan, because he was found to belong to the Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii sub-species.  Before enjoying true freedom in the forest of Central Kalimantan, he will continue his rehabilitation in the BOS Foundation program at Nyaru Menteng.

5. NIKEN

Niken arrived in the BOS Foundation Wanariset on July 13, 1999 after being handed over by the Banjarmasin Conservation and Natural Authority. She was only two years old and weighed only eight kilograms.

During her time in the Forest School, Niken was a good friend of Leke who since March 2014, is already living freely in the Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan. Both were playmates and formed a dominant “gang” amongst their peers.

After learning in Forest School between 2000 to 2005, Niken was prepared as a release candidate at our Halfway House from 2005 to 2008. She is a smart, active orangutan and has excellent forest survival skills. She is now 17 years old and weighs 50 kilograms.

Niken will go home to her true home in Central Kalimantan because she belongs to the Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii sub-speciesBefore enjoying true freedom in the forest of Central Kalimantan, she will continue her rehabilitation in the BOS Foundation program at Nyaru Menteng. Even though she has to be parted from her friend Leke, just like Leke, she will also live as a true wild orangutan.

Edwan’s Escapades in Batikap

Just over a year ago on the 14th of February 2013, Edwan was released into Batikap. He first came to Nyaru Menteng at the end of August 2007 when he was already about four and a half years old. Back then he was described by the Nyaru Menteng staff as an active, somewhat aggressive male with short, bushy hair and very dark skin. Although 9 years old, he wasn´t that big when he was released, only a little over 30 kilograms. Just after his cage was opened in the forests of Batikap he was one of those orangutans who climbed into the trees immediately, but he didn´t travel far that day.

In the days that followed the release Edwan travelled a little way up stream of the river that runs in front of our camp and continued to behave aggressively towards anyone who tried to observe him.   This behaviour occurred all throughout February.  During March  he wasn´t directly observed, only his signal was picked up from  Bukit Simon, close to where Edwan was seen last.  No one managed to find him.  At the beginning of June however, Edwan was found upstream along another river, a few kilometres from where he was seen before.  He appeared to be a changed orangutan, for he wasn’t bothered about the presence of the humans and was not aggressive at all.  His only reaction was to kiss-squeak  when his observers tried to take pictures of him, but who wouldn´t kiss-squeek in a situation like that! Luckily he was as energetic as before and kept moving around, moving through the trees and eating a lot of fruit.

DSCN1951 Edwan -by Ike low

Edwan -by Ike

The rest of the month no one saw Edwan, until he made his appearence again at the beginning of July.  Was this going to be a monthly visit that Edwan was granting us?  Nothing had changed since his visit in June; he was still ignoring the people observing him and he was still eating a lot, which is very good.  We left him alone and Edwan decided not to show himself anymore.  Since our job is to regularly observe all of our reintroduced orangutans,  almost two months later at the end of August 2013, we observed Edwan again a little further downstream to the place where he was last seen.  This time he was very busy building a lot of nests. To practice maybe? Who knows…

A few days later, in September, we stumbled upon Edwan by accident when observing Ebol, a female released on the 4th of August 2012.  She´s about the same age as Edwan,  but came to Nyaru Menteng when she was just two years old together with her mother (Mama Ebol).  Many people here describe here as “Wah, cantik sekali!”, meaning that wow she´s very beautiful… in an orangutan kind of way of course.  She has long hair and a very bright face with protruding lips and a round nose.  I guess they would call a woman with the same characteristics cantik as well. Obviously Edwan was thinking the same thing, for he kept following Ebol around and if she was lagging behind he was looking back, making sure that she stayed with him.  They were seen together a couple of more times that month, until the beginning of October, when Edwan was seen alone.  He acted a bit grumpy; kiss-squeeking towards his observers.  Who wouldn´t after losing a beautiful female like Ebol!

Beautiful Ebol -by Ike

Beautiful Ebol -by Ike

Luckily, Edwan and Ebol found each other again a few weeks later, on the 20th of October.  They were peacefully eating together and following each other around, but in the weeks that followed Edwan was seen just a couple of times only by himself and being grumpy again.

As with every good soap-opera Edwan turned up on the 19th of November.  This time he was close to Emen!  Did he get tired of the pretty Ebol?  We couldn´t know, because in the three months that followed we couldn´t pick up Edwan´s signal, nor Ebol´s.  Then we got lucky at the beginning of February this year and recorded Ebol´s signal on one of the hills around Batikap.

In the days that followed, we tried looking for Ebol without any success, but on the 25th of February we suddenly picked up a close signal in a very swamp-like piece of forest near the crosspoint of the two earlier described rivers.  We left the transect and stumbled through mud, all the while  tripping over roots.  Finally we found Ebol in a tree, eating some orange-like fruits with five pips in the middle that are unbelievably sour. She seemed to like them though and was happily dropping the left-overs around us, where they fell like tiny bombs on the ground. In the same tree we found another orangutan and of course it was Edwan… he had again found his pretty lady!

Text by: Anna van der Kaaden, Batikap Volunteer
Photos by: Ike Naya Silana

Hi, Kopi!

Matilda’s Family in Karangan Uban

This past February, Matilda and her little daughter Georgina were seen around the Karangan Uban area, when the Post-release Monitoring (PRM) and Orangutan Release team were setting up a temporary camp to support our most recent orangutan release event.  Carrying Georgina, Matilda was seen sitting on abranch of a big tree facing the Joloi River and they completely ignored the team’s presence.  They were released in August last year and after 6 months,  both looked healthy and active.

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Photo By Lone D Nielsen

Meanwhile Markisa and her two daughters Uli and Manggo who were released in February last year were seen in a Sangkuang tree by the Joloi River when the Orangutan Release team passed by on their way to check the designated orangutan drop point for the planned releases.  A year on from their release and Markisa was holding Uli tight in her arms, while Manggo played not far away.

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Photo By Monica

Finding Kopi’s Signal

Kopi who was released in November 2012, has been quite a challenge for the PRM team to observe.  This beautiful female orangutan travelled quickly into the forest right after she was released, almost never to be seen again.  A member of Totat Jalu Camp PRM team, Apriadi, picked up her signal recently.  He followed the signal and finally saw orangutan movements and caught a glimpse of her arm.  She was gone again in no time though and was so fast that Apriadi wasn’t able to follow her.  The team however is delighted to know that she is doing well and very active.

Jamiat Explores Monnu

Jamiat was also released in November 2012, along with Sif, Gadis, and Menteng at Transect 30. Now, the 19 year old male orangutan has navigated his way through  the forest  and reached the Monnu area.  When observed by the PRM team, Jamiat was resting in his nest.  He seemed oblivious to the team’s presence at first, but after two hours in his nest, he may well have felt somewhat disturbed by his human observers and hid.

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Photo By Owang

Sempung Tries Out His Long Call

Sempung is doing very well and healthy.  This adult male orangutan was released in August 2012, and spends most of his time in the trees, including resting. The large cheekpadded male also doesn’t appreciate the PRM team’s presence. Upon seeing the team, Sempung made pig-like vocalisation, kiss-squeaked and broke branches.  He stopped eating and seemed extremely annoyed.  Suddenly, Sempung made a long call. Despite being captivated by the majestic vocalisation which shows a male orangutan’s domination over an area, the team was made aware that this was a sign that Sempung was really unhappy and left him at once.

We couldn’t be happier with these observations.  These orangutans are doing well and appear to be thriving in their new environment.  Well done to the Post-release Monitoring team and keep up the fantastic work!

Text by: Ike Naya Silana

Tarzan: Two Years Exploring Batikap

Last August 2013, the Bukit Batikap Monitoring Team found Tarzan and Edwan across the Joloi River. The mighty  Tarzan was very healthy and when the Team located him, he was enjoying one of his favourite foods, rattan shoots.

Two months later, on October 30 2013, Tarzan was seen along one of our orangutan monitoring transects and the Team were able to observe him for an hour. He was very healthy and also very active.  Whilst eating, he kiss-squeaked three times and delivered a longcall in the Teams general direction. His vocalizations were to make the Team aware that he was displeased with their presence and also to give a clear indication of his territory, which shows his natural wild behaviour.  However, he then seemed distracted by a new food source he located.  Apparently the food was so good that he decided to ignore the Team for once.

tarzan-resize-1

The next time he was seen was on November 4, 2013 across the headwaters of the Posu River. This dominant male who was reintroduced to Bukit Batikap on February 28, 2012, spends most of his time in the trees. That day, Tarzan built his nest early at 14.35.  Most probably he was so full from the abundance of fruits he had consumed that day that he felt like resting. Tarzan built his nest 10 m above the ground very quickly and expertly, and soon he was resting comfortably.

The next day on November 5, 2013, the Monitoring Team observed Tarzan nest-to-nest to make sure that he was well and also that sufficient data were recorded.  When the Team reached the bottom of the tree in which he had nested, Tarzan was still in the nest and looked healthy. He emerged out of the nest and started eating rattan shoots as his breakfast. That day, the Team lost his whereabouts for a short while. Apparently the agile Tarzan had crossed Joloi River through the interconnecting canopy across the river!

tarzan

After almost two years of living in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest, Tarzan is thriving in natural habitat.  He is the dominant male orangutan in the Camp Posu area.  From two females who were released together with him two years ago Astrid and Monic, we believe that Tarzan has fathered two young orangutans Astro and Messi. Astro, Astrid’s first child was born in late 2012, while Monic gave birth to Messi in September 2013.  During the gestation period for both of these females, Tarzan acted as a very protective guard, and now his two sons have become the most welcomed additions in Bukit Batikap.

Text by: Monterado Fridman, Coordinator of Communication and Education Division Nyaru Menteng

Photos by: Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest Monitoring Team

20 More Orangutans from Nyaru Menteng are Going Back Home! (Part 3)

7 – 8 February 2014 | News From Batikap

100th and 101st Orangutan

At 10.45 am, four transport cages carrying Kitty and Kate, Dita and Halt, Zena and William, and Noor arrived at the drop point, Karangan Uban in Batikap. The day before, the Batikap team had traveled to Karangan Uban and spent the night by the Joloi River ready to receive the orangutans. The team had to ensure they were in place beforehand because the release point was far from Camp Totat Jalu and the receding river levels resulted in a longer travel time..

The seven orangutans were then transported to the pre-designated release points, 150 meters across Karang Uban using a ces, a traditional Dayak boat.

Kitty was the lucky number one. This made her the 100th orangutan to be reintroduced in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest by the BOS Foundation- Nyaru Menteng. Meanwhile her daughter Kate was the 101st. Kitty and Kate were released by Dr. Jamartin Sihite, CEO of the BOS Foundation, assisted by Arfan, a Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) technician from Camp Totat Jalu who is originally from Tumbang Tohan Village, a neighbouring village in Bukit Batikap. Once her transport cage door was opened, Kitty climbed a tree with little Kate holding tight onto her.

The second cage to be opened was of Dita and Halt’s.  They were released by Priadi, also a PRM technician from Camp Totat Jalu.  Just like Kitty, Dita who is still caring for her child climbed straight up a tree.  But Dita climbed down onto the ground not long after, apparently she was being chased away by a swarm of bees!  She and Halt were unharmed, fortunately, and Dita went back up in the trees after the bees were gone.

Owang, another PRM technician, opened Zena and William’s travel cage.  Zena seemed to hesitate before she stepped out when she saw Dita and Halt run away from the bees. But after Dita climbed the tree again, Zena climbed a tree confidently carrying her son, little William.

Meanwhile Noor, the very first orangutan who was received by Nyaru Menteng, was released by Lone D. Nielsen.  This beautiful female stared at the team for a while as if she wanted to remember this last moment with her human friends, before she finally climbed into the trees and her true freedom.

Hamlet: Leave Me Alone

After releasing the first seven orangutans, the Team went back to Karangan Uban to welcome the next group: Judy and Son, Sarita, Joys, and Hamlet.  At 14.41, the orangutans finally arrived.  This time, the Team carried the orangutans in their transport cages to their release points, 300 meters away from Karangan Uban.

Judy and her son Son were released by Tuek, a PRM technician who is also a local resident from Tumbang Naan village.  Judy, carrying Son, climbed a tree right away as soon as the door was opened.

The next orangutan, Sarita, was opened by Monica Devi, Adoption Program Coordinator for the BOS Foundation.  The beautiful Sarita, who is well known for her love of exploring the pre-release island she was previously placed on, also climbed a tree straight away.

Joys was released next by a PRM technician of similar name, Joy!  Just like Sarita, Joys confidently climbed a tree as soon as the door was opened.  She approached Sarita and the two spent some time together.  Joys and Sarita have known each other for a long time since they both lived on Hampapak Island together.

Denny Kurniawan, our Program Manager at Nyaru Menteng, released the mighty male Hamlet who couldn’t wait to leave his transport cage.  He impatiently stepped out of his transport cage, sitting on top of it with his strong hands grabbing a liana around him.  The King of Palas would only move from his position  after the Team left him alone.

Finally, Jane and Her Family are Home!

After successfully releasing 12 orangutans on February 7, some of the Team members returned to Camp Totat Jalu to prepare for the next day of  releases, while the rest of the Team stayed at the flying camp (temporary camp) by River Joloi to start the post release monitoring on the newly released orangutans.

February 8, at 11.30 am the helicopter arrived at the drop point Karangan Kalaso carrying six transport cages. In those cages were Jupiter and Julfa, Jane and Jiro, Jojang, Mercury, Reno, and Manisha. They all were to be released in Karangan Kalaso.

The first cage to be opened was Jupiter and Julfa’s. After Purnomo, a PRM technician opened their cage door and Jupiter, with little Julfa clinging tightly, climbed a tree straight away.  Following were  Jane and Jiro who were released by Lone D. Nielsen, and Jojang by Nanggau, a technician.

After having to delay her homecoming for one year because of her pregnancy with Jiro, Jane was finally home, along with her elder son Jojang and baby Jiro who is now eight months old.  Once the door was opened, Jane climbed a tree but she stopped halfway.  She stared at Jojang’s transport cage as if waiting for Jojang to step out, but when the door was finally opened, the young boy climbed a tree in a flash ignoring his mother and baby brother.  What a son you have there, Jane!

But of course Jojang was only behaving like any wild orangutan should.  He is very independent and dislikes human’s presence.  With the release team in close proximity we expected him to make a sharp exit.. Seeing her son move deep into the forest, Jane and Jiro followed him.

Between Reno and Mercury

Dr. Jamartin Sihite opened the door of Mercury’s travel cage, followed by Reno’s by Tony, a technician from Nyaru Menteng.  Both climbed trees right away.

Reno descended back to the ground and picked up a decomposed piece of wood to devour termites.  Spotting his best friend, Mercury approached. They played and rolled around on the ground, but apparently Reno soon became bored.  He didn’t want to play anymore and the playful wrestle turned into a bit of a fight.

But it didn’t last long and stopped as soon as Manisha’s cage door was opened by Elldy, a PRM technician from Camp Totat Jalu.  Manisha climbed a tree right away.  This beauty has known Reno since they both lived on the same pre-release island.  Reno suddenly stopped his spat with Mercury and approached Manisha.  They played together in the trees before finally engaging in a quick copulation. However, it was not only Reno who was delighted by the presence of Manisha; Mercury was happy too and Manisha didn’t mind being surrounded by her fans.  After Reno, she copulated with Mercury and then spent time with him in the trees. Let’s hope we will soon have more babies in Bukit Batikap!

The new chapter has started for these three, along with the other 17 orangutans, in Batikap.  Manisha has grown into an adult female who is ready to be a mother.  The forest survival skills they acquired on the pre-release islands will guide them living their new life as wild orangutans. Enjoy your home! And thank you all for supporting the BOS Foundation to make this happen!

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Orangutan release activities – especially cross-province activities – are very costly. Help us send more orangutans home by donating at http://orangutan.or.id/donate.

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Text by: Monica Devi Krisnasari (BOSF Adoption Program Coordinator).

Photos by: Monica Devi Krisnasari.

20 More Orangutans from Nyaru Menteng are Going Back Home (Part 2)

February 8, 2014 | Orangutan Release Day 2

After successfully releasing 12 orangutans yesterday, today the BOS Foundation team at Nyaru Menteng continued the orangutan release event by successfully reintroducing eight more orangutans into Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

Just like yesterday, the Orangutan Release Team at Nyaru Menteng had been preparing since 4.30 am at the Quarantine Enclosure. Vet Maryos V. Tandang, vet Barlian Purnama Putra, and vet Fiet were ready to sedate the orangutans to be released on this second day.

Preparation

Today, the BOS Foundation were going to release eight more orangutans into Bukit Batikap. Unlike the first day when the orangutans were divided into two groups, today there was only going to be one group consisting of Mercury, Manisha, Jupiter and her daughter Julfa, Reno, Jane and both her sons Jojang and Jiro.

Mercury was the first to be sedated by vet Barlian and Manisha was the next, sedated by vet Maryos. While waiting for the two orangutans to fall asleep, the Medical Team observed Jupiter. They then decided not to sedate her, who by the way is famous for her habit of holding a leaf between her lips. Technicians and the Medical Team were able to walk Jupiter and her little daughter Julfa into their transport cage. Before going into the cage, Jupiter received a de-worming injection.

Jupiter

Meanwhile, vet Barlian was sedating Reno and not far away, Technician Mulyono was also sedating Jojang. Moving on from Reno, vet Barlian then sedated Jane.

Sedation Process

As always, as soon as the orangutans were asleep, they were moved to their respective transport cage.

Mercury

Manisha started to look a little sleepy and after Medical Team were sure that she was completely asleep, she was moved into her transport cage. The Medical Team had to give Jojang a small top-up dose since the young boy was quite resistant and didn’t fall asleep after the first attempt. In another enclosure, Reno had fallen asleep and the technicians moved him safely to his transport cage.

Reno

Mother Jane had also fallen asleep, with her small prince Jiro clinging tight onto her. Jiro was born in the Quarantine Enclosure; his mother Jane and older brother Jojang had previously been selected as release candidates and were more than ready for release, until health checks revealed that Jane was pregnant. To ensure both her and her unborn baby’s health, we decided to delay their reintroduction. Now they are strong and ready to go. Before release, the Medical Team had the chance to insert a tiny identification chip into the young boy. Jiro wasn’t too keen and tried to hide behind her Mother’s back. But he was very brave and the quick procedure was over in no time.

Jane

Jiro

Jojang was finally asleep so he was able to be moved into his transport cage. Just like Jupiter, Jojang was also given a final de-worming shot.

Jojang

All orangutans were safely in their transport cages, but before they were loaded onto the truck, which would carry them to Tjilik Riwut airport in Palangka Raya, the Medical Team needed to make sure the orangutans had all regained consciousness. Apparently Reno, Jane, and Jojang were still asleep so they were given a reversal to wake them up.

When everyone was awake, the truck was then ready to depart for Tjilik Riwut airport, from where the orangutans would then fly to Beringin airport in Muara Teweh.

The cages were loaded onto a truck

In Muara Teweh, the weather was clear just like yesterday. The nine-strong Muara Teweh team was ready and excited to receive the eight orangutans. For everyone on this team, these orangutans are very dear to their hearts and they have special memories about the orangutans. Technician Suparman who has been with the BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng team for 11 years talked about how Reno, who was known as the pig in Forest School because he simply ate everything; he has always been one of Suparman’s favourites. Technician Heri Setiawan also commented on how Jupiter was one his favourites. The team has seen all these orangutans grow up, some from a very young age, and throughout their learning process in Nyaru Menteng, and know them all individually. Today, they would say farewell; a happy-sad event. Sad knowing that they would not see the orangutans again, but the happiness and joy were even greater knowing these orangutans would live as they should have been from the very beginning, free in their natural habitat.

Clear Weather on Muara Teweh

Back to Palangka Raya, the orangutan truck arrived at the airport at 7.20 in the morning. There was a delay for about one hour before we started the loading process due to foggy weather in Batikap.

Once we received news from Batikap that the weather had cleared up, we started the loading process. Reno was the first to be loaded onto the plane. Next was Jojang, Mercury, Manisha, Jupiter and her beautiful daughter Julfa, and lastly, Jane and little Jiro.

The Cages Were Loaded onto the Twin Otter

The loading process took about 15 minutes. After the final checks, at 08.50 they took off for Beringin airport, Muara Teweh. On this flight, vet Barlian and a representative from the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority (BKSDA), Pak Wachid, accompanied the orangutans.

Takeoff

Beringin Airport Muara Teweh

At 09.30, they arrived at Beringin Airport. Jane and Jiro were the first to be unloaded from the plane, followed by Jupiter and Julfa, Manisha, Mercury, and Reno. The helicopter was already standing by with the cargo net ready. The orangutans in their transport cages were then placed into the cargo net and safely secured.

Before the orangutans left for Bukit Batikap, vet Agus Fahroni performed the final checks on the orangutans, making sure they were all safe and comfortable. Soon after, the team saw their beloved orangutans fly back to their true home. Farewell, our dearest orangutans! We will be keeping a close eye on you in the forest as you adapt to your new home.

Vet Agus Checking on the Orangutans

The second day of this orangutan release event has been successfully completed. The Muara Teweh team are traveling back as we write and the Batikap team is coming back to Palangka Raya on February 10. The Batikap team is bringing us news of the orangutans once released and in the forest, so look forward to reading their story and stay tuned!

Last but not least, these are the excellent teams we have in Nyaru Menteng and Muara Teweh of whom, along with the Batikap team and your support, their hardwork has made this orangutan release event happen safely and successfully. Thank you, Team BOS Foundation!

Nyaru Menteng Team

Muara Teweh Team

The representatives from BHP Billiton (Operations and Aviation Expert)

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Orangutan release activities – especially cross-province activities – are very costly. Help us send more orangutans home by donating at http://orangutan.or.id/donate.

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Text by: Paulina L. Ela (BOSF Communication Specialist).

Photos by: Paulina L. Ela, Indrayana, Untung.

20 MORE ORANGUTANS FROM NYARU MENTENG ARE GOING BACK HOME!

February 7, 2014| Orangutan Release Day 1

What a lovely morning in Nyaru Menteng!  Kicking off 2014, today 12 rehabilitant orangutans from Nyaru Menteng started the journey to their real home in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest

Despite heavy rainfall in the area surrounding the Quarantine Enclosure in Nyaru Menteng, the orangutan release team was high in spirits, excited to start 2014 the way they ended 2013; releasing more orangutans! The first day of the orangutan releases started with the medical team’s preparation.  At 4.15 in the morning the medical team and technicians gathered their equipment from the Nyaru Menteng Clinic and proceeded to the Quarantine Enclosure. It was dark and the rain was still drizzling so preparations for the tranquiliser gun and sedation doses took place under torch light.  Vet Agus Fahroni coordinated the vet team who were ready to sedate the orangutans.  Before starting the process, the team gathered for the final briefing and group prayer for today’s success.

Today, we were going to release 12 orangutans to Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.  They were divided into two groups; the first group consisted of Zena and her son William, Kitty and her daughter Kate, Dita and her daughter Halt, and Noor.  While the second group comprised Judy and her son named Son, Hamlet, Joys, and Sarita.

Zena, William’s lovely Mother, was the first to be sedated, followed by Dita, Noor, and Kitty; the young ones William, Kate, and Halt didn’t need sedation.

Sucessfully sedated, they were carefully carried to their transport cages which had been labeled based on their passengers.  Zena finally fell asleep and together with William they were the first to be moved to their transport cage.  Meanwhile the effects of sedation started kicking in on Noor and she was immediately moved to her transport cage.  Dita had also already fallen asleep by then and was ready to be moved.  Her little daughter Halt however, was a little bit nervous when her Mother was about to be moved and ran away from her screaming.  The vets and technicians tried to calm the tiny two year old. Dita was moved and tailing closely behind was technician Mulyono who was carrying Halt.  The sedation worked a bit slower on Kitty. The Medical Team decided to add to the initial dose.  After a while she too was finally asleep and moved to her transport cage with her daughter Kate.  Just a moment before the cage door was closed, Kitty was given the anti-sedation (reversal) to wake her up.

Halt

All transport cages were delivered by truck to Tjilik Riwut airport in Palangka Raya to be flown to Beringin airport in Muara Teweh.

Meanwhile in Muara Teweh, the weather was reported clear.  The team in Muara Teweh was ready to welcome the 12 orangutans from Palangka Raya.  The helicopter was also ready to travel to Beringin airport to meet the orangutans as soon as they arrived.

The aircraft which would transport the orangutans had been on standby at Tjilik Riwut airport in Palangka Raya since yesterday.  The truck arrived at the airport at 7 in the morning.  Soon after, we received the signal to start the loading process.

This process took around ten minutes.

Then they were ready to fly!

Beringin Airport Muara Teweh

09.10, the Twin Otter airplane arrived in Beringin airport in Muara Teweh bringing its passengers Kitty and Kate, Zena and William, Dita and Halt, Noor, a representative from Cnetral Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority, BOSF Advisor Jacqui Sunderland-Groves, Vet Agus Fahroni, and Technician and HLO Abdul Azis.  The process of unloading was immediately completed, and the orangutans were checked by Vet Agus and each given milk.  The cargo net was ready and the transport cages were positioned and safely wrapped in it.  And off to Batikap!

Palangka Raya: Second Group Preparation

Back at the Quarantine Enclosure in Nyaru Menteng, the sedation process had commenced again, and the lucky number one was Hamlet. Sleeping Hamlet was moved to his transport cage immediately.  The next one was Judy.  Soon she was asleep and moved to her transport cage with her son who is conveniently called Son, holding tightly onto her belly.  Handsome little Son looked a bit confused but kept his calm.

Son

Next, Sarita was sedated and was soon sleeping peacefully.  The team successfully moved her into her transport cage.  Joys was the last one.  She was a tough cookie and the Medical Team had to add to her sedation dose.  After a long while, finally, she fell asleep and was moved into her transport cage.

After all the travel cages were loaded onto the truck, the team once again drove to the airport, this time with the second group.  They arrived at Tjilik Riwut airport at 10.45 am, and coincided with the arrival of Twin Otter aircraft from Muara Teweh. The loading process took only a short time and soon all the orangutans were safely onboard.

They arrived at Beringin airport in Muara Teweh at 11.35 am.  The weather was still excellent and the orangutans were unloaded as soon as the aircraft came to a standstill.  The orangutans in their transport cages then waited patiently in a shady area next to the waiting room of the airport while waiting for the helicopter.  All were given food and milk and continuously checked by Vet Agus and the rest of the team.

Soon the B3 helicopter arrived from Batikap. The team did a final check to ensure the safety and comfort of the orangutans during their travel, before loading the cages into the cargo net.  It didn’t take long to make sure they were safely secured in the net, and the helicopter once again took off, this time carrying 5 of our beloved orangutans back to freedom.

And that’s a wrap for today.  We will post a detailed update from Batikap after February 10 when the team in Batikap are back in Palangka Raya.  Tomorrow we we have another exciting day of release activities planned so please make sure you follow the amazing journey of our orangutans and our team!

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Orangutan release activities – especially cross-province activities – are very costly. Help us send more orangutans home by donating at http://orangutan.or.id/donate.

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Text by: Paulina L. ELa (BOSF Communication Specialist).

Photos by: Paulina L. Ela, Indrayana, Untung, Meryl Yemima.