Our 11 Orangutans Are Home!

31 March 2012

Bukit Batikap 10.00 am. The first helicopter Bell that carried Tata landed safely at Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest!

Bukit Batikap 10.00 am. Tata was carried out of the helicopter and taken into the forest by our on-site technicians.

Bukit Batikap 10.20 am. The second helicopter Squirrel arrived not long after the Helicopter Bell. Squirrel carried Bang Jagur, Kali, Bunga and Mama Tata on a sling.

Bukit Batikap 10.25 am. Bang Jagur, Kali, Bunga and Mama Tata were taken off the sling.

Bukit Batikap 10.30 am. Bunga was loaded onto a kelotok – a traditional wooden boat of Kalimantan – to be taken upriver into her release site.

Bukit Batikap 10.35 am. Bang Jagur was dropped off at his release site at the Bungaran Transect Route, while Tata, Mama Tata, Kali and Bunga were taken a little bit further upriver to the Lone Transect Route.

Bukit Batikap 10.50 am. For Bang Jagur, we chose a release point right under a banyan tree with the cage’s door facing the tree. Orangutans love banyan trees because they can eat the fruits, the leaves and also the barks. Bang Jagur was the first to be released at around 10.55 am, but we couldn’t get a clear photo of him because he was so quick! When our Program Manager Anton Nurcahyo opened his cage, Bang Jagur bursted out of the cage and quickly climbed the banyan tree in lightning speed!

Bukit Batikap 11.00 pm. The first 5 orangutans were successfully released by noon. The following is our transect system map, showing all the routes that we will take to monitor the orangutans.

Bukit Batikap 12.26 pm. The Bell 212 helicopter carrying Jojo and Ika landed safely. This was the second trip today.

Bukit Batikap 12.30 pm. We took a team photo in front of the Bell 212 helicopter before it returned to Puruk Cahu.

The Headquarters, Bogor 16.30 pm. We received a call via satellite phone from Jacqui Sunderland-Groves, our Senior Advisor who is now in the forest, and we are happy to inform you that ALL 11 orangutans have been released successfully. As the cages were opened, each of them came out and headed straight to a nearest tree and started to climb without any hesitation. Ompong and Komeng, the two adult males, looked very happy and very at home in the trees.

“All releases were completed by 15.30 pm,” Jacqui reported. Jacqui has promised to call from time to time with monitoring updates and will be back sometime next week with photos and new video footages. We wish our beloved orangutans – Bang Jagur, Kali, Bunga, Mama Tata, Tata, Ompong, Komeng, Ika, Jojo, Yaya and Heldy – the best of luck and a long happy lives in their new home!


The Journey Continues!

31 March 2012

Puruk Cahu 05.00 am. After settling the orangutans into their overnight accommodation in Puruk Cahu, the team worked late last night to ensure all the necessary logistics for the new schedule were in place. Hopefully today we’ll have good weather!

Nyaru Menteng 7.00 am. At Nyaru Menteng, the remaining 5 orangutans are getting ready to be transported to the airport, then to Puruk Cahu. Sedation process starts smoothly. Jojo is the first to be sedated by Vet Meryl.

At Nyaru Menteng, Vet Meryl is sedating and preparing Jojo for the long trip home

Nyaru Menteng 07.05 am. Next, it is Heldi’s turn to be sedated.

Heldi's turn to be sedated

Nyaru Menteng 07.10 am. The second “cheek-pad” male orangutan, Komeng, gets his turn.

Komeng is our 2nd male orangutan that has already developed a cheek-pad

Puruk Cahu 07.20 am. While in Puruk Cahu, Bunga and Kali already sedated and ready to go!

Puruk Cahu 07.30 am. Bang Jagur ready to go!

Nyaru Menteng 07.30 am. Back in Nyaru Menteng, all 5 orangutans are also ready to go and are loaded into the truck.

Nyaru Menteng 08.00 am. The 5 orangutans and the second team departs from Nyaru Menteng, heading to Tjilik Riwut Airport in Palangka Raya.

Puruk Cahu 08.00 am. And then there were five! The first five going to Batikap by helicopter are ready for pick up at the IMK compound. Good luck Bang Jagur, Bunga, Kali, Mama Tata and Tata. Ompong will wait for his friends and go in on the second helicopter trip.

Puruk Cahu 08.20 am. Program Manager Anton Nurcahyo and the team load Mama Tata on to the truck at IMK for transfer to the helicopter landing site.

Puruk Cahu 08.25 am. Vet Maryos checks Bang Jagur before he is transferred to the helicopter landing site.

Puruk Cahu 08.30 am. Helicopter on its way ETA 08.50. Bunga is already awake and obviously anticipating her new life as is making a nest in her travel cage with the vegetation we used for her bedding! Good for you Bunga – not long now! And as soon as the Squirrel lands, followed by the Bell Helicopter, we secured Mama Tata, Bang Jagur, Bunga and Kali safely in the sling load while Tata was loaded inside the Bell.

Puruk Cahu 09.00 am. Loading and securing the slingload.

Puruk Cahu 09.15 am. And they are off! Bell leaves at 09.15 and the Squirrel a few minutes after. It will take the Bell around 40-50 minutes to reach our camp in Batikap and the Squirrel around an hour. The Squirrel will go slower to ensure the orangutans safety. Program Manager Anton, vet Rosalie and technician Ade are accompanying Tata on the Bell.

The Headquarters, Bogor 10.30 am. The team at the Headquarters received a Twitter message from our Vet Meryl (@MerylYemima) that the five orangutans who left from Nyaru Menteng this morning have arrived safely at IMK Airport, Puruk Cahu. They are now waiting for the helicopters to return from Batikap. And they will soon rejoin their friends in the forest!


The Journey’s Started!

It’s started!

6.30 am and the team are preparing to transport the orangutan travel cages from Nyaru Menteng to the quarantine area!  With 11 orangutans to transport we need a bigger truck than used for the first releases!

8.15 am. Vet team and Technicians on their way from Nyaru Menteng to our quarantine facility to prepare and sedate the orangutans for the first leg of their long journey.
9.00 am. Vet team preparing to move the orangutans into transport cages.
9.00 am. Bang Jagur is the first to be sedated and moved to his travel cage.
9.20 am. Ompong is the last to be sedated of the first 6 orangutans flying to Puruk Cahu. The last 5 will be moved later today.
9.30 – 9.40 am. The team loaded the first 6 orangutans on to the truck and we have started the journey to the airport.  Our vets staying at Nyaru Menteng will remain on site to sedate the next 5 orangutans who will fly later today.
10.40 am. The orangutans and team arrive at Tjilik Riwut airport in Palangka Raya and wait in a cool shady part of the airport until the plane arrives.  The vet team continues to pay close attention to each orangutan and carefully monitor their condition.
13.20. Loading orangutans on to the 1st plane. This delay, which is due to bad weather conditions, means we will not be able to sedate the next 5 today. Instead they will be sedated early tomorrow morning then fly to Puruk Cahu. Weather permitting they will also be able to fly by helicopter to Batikap tomorrow. We’ll keep you updated on their progress.
13.50. We are back on the plane!  Seems like only yesterday we were taking Tarzan, Astrid, Monic and Tantri home.  Now safely on board with Ompong, Mama Tata, Tata, Bunga, Kali and Bang Jagur and on our way to Puruk Cahu.
14.40. And just now, the first flight safely arrived in Puruk Cahu!
The first six orangutans have settled into their transit enclosures in Puruk Cahu. Tomorrow morning, they will make their final journey home to Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. While the remaining five orangutans will be transported to Puruk Cahu on a plane tomorrow morning and hopefully will rejoin their six friends later tomorrow afternoon.

From left to right: Kali, Bang Jagur, Ompong

[Press Release] BOS Foundation Releases 11 Orangutans

In cooperation with the Ministry of Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, the Government of Central Kalimantan Province, the Government of Murung Raya Regency, and the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority, BOS Foundation is reintroducing eleven orangutans in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest on March 30-31, 2012. These eleven orangutans will join the four orangutans that were successfully released last month on February 28, 2012 and are part of the 40 orangutans planned to be released by BOS Foundation throughout the year 2012.

Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, March 29, 2012. After a successful release of four orangutans on February 28 in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest, eleven orangutans are now in the final preparation stage to be released in the same region. This release will be conducted on March 30-31, 2012 by The Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Project (Nyaru Menteng) of The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF).

“On March 30, 2012, eleven individuals accompanied by the BOSF Release Team will depart from Tjilik Riwut Airport, Palangka Raya to Puruk Cahu. After spending a night in transitory enclosures located in an area belonging to PT Indo Muro Kencana-Straits, the orangutans will be transported from Puruk Cahu to be released in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest on March 31, 2012,” said Anton Nurcahyo, Nyaru Menteng Program Manager.

The eleven orangutans are healthy and ready to be reintroduced in their natural habitat. They have been in quarantine at the BOSF animal health facility in Nyaru Menteng for the necessary period.

In addition to the above-mentioned government institutions as well as the global and local partners who have supported BOSF over the years, the private sector has also cooperated and assisted in the release of orangutans. “We are grateful that the private sector has also helped us release the orangutans, such as BHP Billiton – IndoMet Coal, PT. Indo Muro Kencana-Straits, PT. Adaro Energy, Tbk and PT. Citra Borneo Indah,” added Anton.

Release activites will continue for the next 3 – 5 years in the effort to support the fulfillment of the government’s promise stated in the Indonesian Orangutan Conservation Action Plan 2007 – 2017, which was proclaimed by the President of the Republic of Indonesia during the Climate Change Conference in Bali in 2007. On the Action Plan, it was also asserted that all orangutans currently residing in rehabilitation centers must be returned to their natural habitat no later than 2015.

There are still more than 600 orangutans who are waiting for release from Nyaru Menteng. If more suitable land that meet the criteria are made available, then the government’s promise on the Action Plan can be realized.

Dr. Jamartin Sihite, the CEO of BOSF said, “These first two releases have been carefully planned, coordinated with all stakeholders and in line with IUCN standards and the national guidelines. This detailed and thorough planning will be a strong foundation for subsequent releases, which will continue to be conducted for several years into the future.”

In relation to land requirements to release orangutans, the Forestry Minister, Zulkifli Hasan stated during the first release, “Looking ahead, the Ministry of Forestry will stick with our commitment, which is to provide and allocate more ecosystem restoration concessions that meet the conditions as orangutan habitat, to release orangutans. To that end, we also need the support and the same commitment from the Regency Government and the Provincial Government.”

In line with the Forestry Minister’s statement, Dr. Willy M Yoseph, the Regent of Murung Raya also said, “Hopefully, this activity will be a positive trigger for other regencies in Central Kalimantan to also support such activities and allocate some of their areas for orangutans, so that we can find many orangutan release sites in Central Kalimantan.”

“Additionally, if orangutan releases can be conducted in conservation areas allocated by companies with licenses to operate in Murung Raya, then these companies should openly seek cooperation with the Regency Government, the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority and also with NGOs,” he added.

By law, orangutans that have been reintroduced are the responsibility of the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority. In practice, the Chief of the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority is expecting the continous support and cooperation between the Government of Murung Raya Regency and BOSF.



  • Monterado Fridman

Education and Communication Coordinator

Email: agungmonthe@gmail.com

Cell phone: 08125094722

  • Hermansyah

Education and Communication Officer

Email: herman@orangutan.or.id

Cell phone: 085249362416

Meet the 2nd Release Candidate: Ika

Ika is a female orangutan rescued from an oil plantation in 2006 and actually on the same day we rescued Bunga.   Ika was around 4 ½ years old when she came to Nyaru Menteng with scratches around the ears, skinny and underweight, weighing just 8.5 kg.

Ika is still wild but not particularly aggressive and weighing 31.4 kg, she is healthy and ready for return back to the forest.

Meet the 2nd Release Candidate: Bang Jagur

Bang Jagur was rescued from an oil palm plantation around Sampit in 2006.  He arrived in a healthy condition and we estimated he was between 7-8 years old weighing 18 kg.  Bang Jagur is a wild orangutan who seriously does not like to be around people.  Now he is approximately 15 years old, though not yet developed his cheek-pads, weighs 40.2 kg, is healthy and ready to go back to the forest.

Meet the 2nd Release Candidate: Komeng

Komeng is one of two fully flanged (cheek-pads already developed) wild male orangutans which we will be releasing in March.  Komeng arrived at Nyaru Menteng in July 2006, in good health and fully flanged – we estimated his age at approximately 15.

Now Komeng is > 20 years, 82.5 kg, completely healthy and ready to go back to the forest.  We will be observing both Komeng’s (and our other flanged male, Ompong) behavior in the forest.

Meet the 2nd Release Candidate: Yaya

Yaya was rescued by the Nyaru Menteng Rescue Team from an oil palm plantation in Sampit in September 2006.   At the time she was 3 ½ years old and healthy.

After almost 6 years in Nyaru Menteng, Yaya still does not like contact with humans and this 40.5 kg, 9 ½ year old female orangutan is now ready to return to the forest.  Yaya will be released with other females including Mama Tata (and her son) and Kali.  We’ll be watching over you Yaya!

Meet the 2nd Release Candidate: Ompong

Back in July 2004, an adult male orangutan was rescued from one of the local plantation in Palantaran.  He was 20 years old at the time with fully developed cheek-pads.  During his rescue and transport, this male was very unhappy and tried biting his way out of the transport cage, as such he damaged some of his teeth.  We named him Ompong.

Luckily Ompong’s teeth cause him no difficulties and he can still eat hard food items and has never been sick!  After almost 8 years at Nyaru Menteng, Ompong is now waiting for his turn to be released to the forest. On March 31 2012, this healthy male (58.3 kg) will be enjoying wild fruits and living in freedom. 

Meet the 2nd Release Candidate: Mama Tata and Tata


Mama Tata

Mama Tata

This mother and baby orangutan were rescued in 2006, around oil palm plantation in Sampit, Central Kalimantan.  At that time, Mama Tata was 15 years old and her baby, Tata was only 4 years old.  During their original rescue, our team was not involved and the people attempting to rescue had no knowledge of orangutans and no proper equipment to safely rescue these two, hence both mother and baby arrived at Nyaru Menteng in a very poor condition.  Following months of care both orangutans were restored to perfect health.  These are wild orangutans who do not like humans, and having arrived with us in such sorry conditions, this is unsurprising.

Mama Tata is now 21 years old (and 47 kg) while her baby, Tata is now a strapping teenager around 10 years old (20.2 kg).  Both Mama Tata and Tata have been living together full time, except during the period of quarantine which every orangutan must complete to ensure their good health, and we will be releasing them together.  We hope this mother and son stay together in the forest, at least for a short time so Tata can be reminded of all the wild foods he used to eat!

Both of them will be released back to the forest on March 31st, 2012 and we’ll be carefully observing their progress.