Progress on Mum’s and Offspring

Astrid and Gadis by the Joloi River

Astrid who was released in February 2012 and Gadis who was released in November 2012, are two orangutan mothers with excellent survival and nurturing abilities.  The monitoring team found Astrid and her son Astro around the Joloi transect and the two have travelled quite far from their usual range.  Meanwhile Gadis and Garu, who are rarely seen by the river, were also found around the banks of Joloi River.

4_Astid_Astro

Astrid and little Astro

Astro is a spry young orangutan, just like Garu who is already adventurous and brave enough to play as far as 10 meters away from her mother.  Vigilant Mum’s Astrid and Garu of course kept a close eye on their children while they played and sometimes Garu would approach her mother to nurse which Gadis always responded positively to.

Garu who is already adventurous and brave enough to play as far as 10 meters away from her mother

Garu is already adventurous and brave enough to play as far as 10 meters away from her mother

The two little families tended to hide among the dense foliage of the tall trees when the Monitoring team was trying to observe them.  Clearly they dislike human presence and they are behaving as wild and independent orangutans should, which is exactly what we had hoped for.

Gadis and Garu

Gadis and Garu

Daisy and Monic

The Monitoring team was observing Daisy when she was seen approaching Monic. Monic, one of our pinoneer orangutans (like Astrid) first reintroduced in February 2012, and her son Messi have travelled quite far from their release point to the headwaters of the Posu River.

Daisy, a female orangutan who was released in November 2013, seemed healthy. She approached Monic which seemed to make Monic nervous and in turn she avoided Daisy and produced a sound like a human cry.  Soon they were observed eating together, even though Monic still kept her distance.  Daisy was clearly interested to see Messi, but Monic continued to avoid her.

1_Daisy

Daisy

Daisy built her nest earlier than Monic and after this, Monic seemed to relax a bit and ate more vigorously until after dark. The Monitoring team couldn’t see her build her night nest because it was too dark, but they could hear her busy constructing a bed for the night for herself and her young son.  We’ll catch up with Monic, Messi and Daisy to see how they are getting on soon.  For now it is great to see these females and their young so healthy and adapted to the forest.

 

Text: Ike N. Naya Silana

Photos: Ike N. Naya Silana

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An Expedition to Radio Track Wider-ranging Orangutans

Orangutans reintroduced into the wild are observed for at least one year by our Post Release Monitoring (PRM) Teams to monitor their successful adaptation.  However, some of the orangutans travel far away from their release point – especially males, meaning that the PRM Team are unable to track their radio signals regularly and locate them for direct observations to occur.  It is then the task of the Monitoring Team to find their whereabouts and record direct observations so we can evaluate their progress and relative health.

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Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest

Patrols and Expeditions

We use several tactics to search for these orangutans including transect patrols across a wide area, river patrols along the rivers in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest, such as Sungai (river) Posu and Joloi, and radio signal tracking from hilltops where we receive a greater range distance.

Radio signal tracking helps the team detect individual signals emitted from radio transmitters for those orangutans who have traveled so far from the release point that it is almost impossible to observe their activities.

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A river in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest

The Expedition

A four member team of Elldy, Apriadi, Tuwe and Culi recently embarked on a 6 day and 5 night expedition to track released orangutans who we believed had traveled extensively.  The team started radio signal tracking from transect TMP and moved towards the hills beyond the transect with altitudes ranging between 429-666 meters above sea level (asl).

The Team radio tracked both along transects and outside of these and successfully recorded signals for two orangutans Max and Heldy, from a location of more than 15 kilometers away from the camp.

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Radio Tracking

Following on from this first expedition, the PRM Team from Camp TotatJalu is planning further expeditions soon and continue in ourendeavors to relocate wider ranging orangutans and ensure their adaptation and well-being.

 

Text by: Ike N. Naya Silana

Two Families Reunite

Sif and Emen’s Families

It has been more than a year since Sif and her daughter Sifa were released into Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. They were last observed in July 2013, and despite the Team’s efforts to locate them, they had not been seen since. Unintentionally, the Monitoring Team found this pair just recently when crossing Joloi River on their way back from gathering phenology data.  In fact they found two families, the first being Emen and her son Embong who were in a tree by the Joloi River.  Delighted, the Team was preparing to take photo’s, when they saw another pair of orangutans in the same tree, Sif and Sifa. Sifa was on the highest branch and  started dropping branches while kiss-squeaking towards the Team.

Sifa

Little Sifa

Emen and Embong didn’t seem to pay any special attention to the Team’s presence and sat idly watching Sifa throwing vegetation at the Team.

The next day, the Team returned to the same location. The orangutans had moved not far away. Sifa behaved like a wild orangutan should and together with Embong they played, pulling each other’s hands, throwing leaves and fruit. Embong is still more attached to his mother and nursed every now and then while playing with Sifa.

The mothers Sif and Emen, meanwhile, sat eating fruit together. Emen appeared to eat Sif’s choice of food and when the group moved on, Emen followed Sif.  It was great to see the two families healthy and spending time together.

Embong and Sifa

Embong and Sifa

Slamet, Miss Owen and the bees

Since his release day back in April 2014, Slamet, who was very enthusiastic once he stepped out of his travel cage, has been seen in the company of Miss Owen and several other female orangutans.

On his first day in Bukit Batikap, Slamet approached Miss Owen and she didn’t seem to avoid his advances.

Slamet

Slamet

Their togetherness went on for some time until they encountered a swarm of bees. Slamet was stung several times on the face while Miss Owen fled to the banks of Joloi River.  Let’s hope we see these two again together soon.

 

Text: Ike N. Naya Silana

News from Kitty and Kate

Kitty and Kate
Kitty and her daughter Kate were the 100th and 101st orangutans to be released into the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest by the BOS Foundation in Nyaru Menteng. After their release in February 2014, they were gone for several days. The Monitoring Team tried to locate their position without luck. A few days later, their weak signal was picked up away from the monitoring transects. The Team decided to follow the signal and try to locate them.

Kitty and Kate were found at 14.56, just four minutes before the transmitters turned off automatically. All our transmitting devices are pre-programmed and this allows us to follow the orangutans for a certain number of hours a day. The weather was not good with heavy rain and strong winds which caused some trees to fall. The Team, however, remained in the location where they found Kitty and Kate to ensure their wellbeing.

Kate and her mum

Kate and her mum

Kitty and Kate sheltered under the leaves from the rain, five meters from each other. They continued eating young leaves despite the weather. When the Team moved to avoid a falling tree, Kitty was made aware of the Team’s presence. She quickly grabbed Kate and threw branches towards the Team and kiss-squeaked.

Kitty quickly moved away from the Team, climbed a tree and hid behind the big tree trunk. When the Team persisted with their data collection efforts, Kitty once again kiss-squeaked and threw branches. Seeing their wild behaviour, and also reviewing the weather situation which was becoming increasingly worse, the Team decided to leave the mother and child pair. They were healthy and really that is the most important factor to establish.

The Intelligent Mego
Orangutans are intelligent creatures who are able to innovate tools. Mego who was released on April 20 2014, was observed measuring the depth of Joloi River using a wooden stick.

Mego used a longbranch to measure the river depth by dipping it into the water.  He plunged into the water trying to cross the river but changed his mind after his stick floated off down stream.

Mego

Mego

Mego has been using this method ever since his time living on Palas Island, one of our pre-release islands close to Nyaru Menteng. This behaviour was also displayed by both Menteng and Danur who lived on Kaja Island. Fascinating behavior which again just shows us how incredibly cognitive these great apes are.

 

Text: Ike N. Nayasilana

Bye Mum! Bye Friends! I’m Off for My Adventure!

Jane and her two sons Jojang and Jiro were released into the  Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest on February 8, 2014. The three of them were released at the same points.  Once her travel cage door was opened, holding Jiro in her arms, Jane waited for her first sons’ cage to be opened.  But once his door was opened, seven year old Jojang, who was born on Kaja Island, dashed into the forest ignoring his mother and baby brother.

Jojang Moves Far Away from His Mother

Born and raised by his mother on Kaja Island has made Jojang as wild as a wild young orangutan could be.  The Monitoring Team hasbeen observing Jojang and recorded his behaviour. He dislikes human presence which he shows by kiss-squeaking and throwing branches towards the Team.

Jojang has now moved quite far away from his mother.  He has gone deep into the forest, while Jane who is still taking care of little Jiro is ranging by the Joloi River, which was the point of their release.

c Jane dan Jiro

Mothers Unite!

Despite being far separated from her son, Jane continues her activities as usual. Around her release point, she always seems to be together with Jupiter who is also taking care of her young, Julfa.  Both mothers have been observed learning from each other. They move from one place to another and see the foods each otherhas found.  Jane is more active moving around her new environment, while Jupiter is more active in trying new foods she finds.   They seem to spend quite a lot of their time playing.

Manisha Explores the Forest

A few days after her release, Manisha was always together with Jane, Jupiter and two male orangutans Mercury and Reno. The Team observed her spending even more time with Mercury and Reno, even though this didn’t last long. Reno left the “gang” first to explore deeper into the forest, foraging and doing his own activities. Jane also left the group and spends more time with Jupiter. Mercury stayed with Manisha for almost a month until finally she left him to explore the forest. The Team have been recording Manisha as being active from one place to another for one month, looking for her own comfortable home range.

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Teks oleh: Ike Nayasilana dan drh. Fiet Hayu

12 More Orangutans Are Back In Their True Home

Camp Totat Jalu has been hosting a school of bees these past two months, as Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest is in flowering season. Hundreds of bees come in the morning, linger during the daytime, and leave at around six in the evening. Even so, everyone at Camp was in high spirit welcoming 12 new orangutans on April 19-20, 2014.

Final preparation in Batikap had been conducted three days before D-Day, when three groups of technicians pioneered new transects, which will be used to monitor the newly released orangutans. One day before D-Day, the Team went down to the pre-designated release points for final checks. On the same day, the Post-Release Monitoring Team left Totat Jalu in the morning to stay at our temporary camp in Monnu, one of the release points, and get ready for the upcoming monitoring activities.

DAY 1 – April 19

The Team woke up to a cloudy morning. An on our way to Drop Point Monnu, it started to drizzle. Nevertheless, we were ready in Monnu by 9.30 am. By then, we received news that Muara Teweh was also cloudy and had started to rain as well. The Twin Otter airplane from Palangka Raya did not get permission to fly to Muara Teweh. We had no choice but to wait.

It was around lunchtime when we finally received promising news that the first group of orangutans had finally arrived in Muara Teweh and was getting ready to be flown to Batikap. And at 2.30 pm, the helicopter carrying the first group of orangutans on slingload arrived in Monnu. Miss Owen, Slamet, Kacio and Olympia were immediately unloaded and transported by ces (Dayak traditional small boat) to Tajoi Besar, around 500 meters from the drop point.

Helicopter arrived in Batikap

Helicopter arrived in Batikap

Transporting orangutans by ces to the release site | Photo by Media R. Clemm

Transporting orangutans by ces to the release site | Photo by Media R. Clemm

The first to be released was Miss Owen by Dedi, Camp Totat Jalu’s technician who has been working for the BOS Foundation since 2006. Miss Owen climbed a tree right away. Kacio was next. She was released by Yansah, a Nyaru Menteng’s technician. Just like Miss Owen, she also immediately climbed a tree, then moved to a nearby tree and stayed there for a while, enjoying her new home.

Kacio climbed a tree

Kacio climbed a tree | Photo by Media R. Clemm

Next in line was Olympia. The 15 year-old female was released by Purnomo, another Camp Totat Jalu’s technician whose outstanding profile can be read here. Olympia seemed to hesitate a bit. But after carefully observing her new surroundings, she eventually climbed.

Olympia travel cage was opened by Purnomo | Photo by Media R. Clemm

Olympia travel cage was opened by Purnomo | Photo by Media R. Clemm

The last one was Slamet, an 18 year-old dominant male orangutan. He was released by Wachid, a representative of the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority. Slamet stepped out of his travel cage. But instead of climbing a tree, he turned around and flipped his travel cage. The Team took a few steps back to give him space, but he didn’t really proceed into the forest until all the team members were on the ces.

Slamet was standby at the riverside | Photo by Media R. Clemm

Slamet was standby at the riverside | Photo by Media R. Clemm

It was late afternoon. Time was running out. And sure enough, the Team in Muara Teweh reported that departure of the second group of orangutans was cancelled and rescheduled for tomorrow. We returned to Camp and prayed for a better weather tomorrow.

DAY 2 – April 20

Our prayers were answered with bright and sunny sky this morning! The Team got ready at Drop Point Monnu and at around 9.30 am, Trold, Bonita, Kiki and Hardi – Kiki’s eight year old daughter – finally arrived. Once unloaded from the slingload, they were transported to their release point, around 600 meters downriver.

Moving the travel cages onto css | Photo by Media R. Clemm

Moving the travel cages onto ces | Photo by Media R. Clemm

Pretty Trold was released first. Camp Totat Jalu’s technician, Arfan, opened her travel cage and she climbed high a tree right in front of her travel cage. Then Tuwe, also Camp Totat Jalu’s technician, opened Bonita’s travel cage. Bonita, too, immediately climbed a tree. Kiki was next. Her travel cage was opened by Ahmat, Batikap Release Team Coordinator.

Trold climbed high a tree right in front of her travel cage | Photo by Media R. Clemm

Trold climbed high a tree right in front of her travel cage | Photo by Media R. Clemm

Last but not least was Hardi, Kiki’s eight year-old daughter. Camp Totat Jalu’s Monitoring Coordinator Ike Nayasilana and vet Adhy Maruli prepared to open this last travel cage of the group under Kiki’s watchful eyes. Kiki seemed quite concerned about her daughter that she decided to approach the travel cage before Ike had a chance to open it. Kiki guarded the door, making it difficult for the Team to open it. Eventually, the technicians managed to steer Kiki away. Hardi’s travel cage was immediately opened and the agile youngster dashed and climbed a tree in front of her, leaving her mother who quickly followed her.

Last Group of Orangutans

The Team returned to Monnu to welcome the last group of orangutans. Omego, Sella, Cuplis, and Wardah arrived at around 1 pm and were transported one kilometer from the drop point to their release points. Cuplis, a 12 year-old semiwild female orangutan, was released first. Cuplis ran out of her travel cage fast and climbed a tree really fast. She finally stopped after she was really high up in the canopy to observe her new home.

A senior technician from Nyaru Menteng, Kayoh, opened the next cage, which is the travel cage of Sella. Unlike her other friends who quickly took to the trees, Sella decided to play with her cage’s door and hangout by the river. So we turned our attention to Wardah and opened her travel cage. She immediately ran out of her cage and climbed a tree.

Sella on a tree | Photo by Media R. Clemm

Sella on a tree | Photo by Media R. Clemm

Lastly, Omego got his turn. This dominant male was so heavy that it took six people to carry his travel cage to his release point. Elldy, Camp Totat Jalu’s technician, opened Omego’s travel cage. Just like Slamet yesterday, Omego also took his time. He observed the Team and still looked a little bit confused. He then found a corn cob in his travel cage and started enjoying it, before he finally spotted Sella and decided to hangout with her.

Omego took his time | Photo by Media R. Clemm

Omego took his time | Photo by Media R. Clemm

The Team left Omego’s release point right in time when heavy rain started to pour down on us. We were soaking wet on the ces going back to the camp, but our hearts were light with the joy knowing 12 more orangutans are now living free in their true habitat. We are looking forward to getting more and more orangutans here in the forest of Batikap.

Release Team in Batikap | Photo by Media R. Clemm

Release Team in Batikap

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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 and Photos by: Media Romadona Clemm, Communications Officer.

 

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.