This is our video regarding the 2nd release in Bukit Batikap last March 31, 2012.
Monitoring Coordinator, Anna Marzec has been keeping in contact with our Program Manager Anton Nurcahyo with more daily news on our 15 orangutans in Batikap.
The team have collected follow data on Tarzan and Astrid for several days, and both are doing extremely well; looking very healthy and feeding on a abundance of rattan fruits and young shoots, ficus bark and ants. Monic, still friends with Astrid, is also on the scene and looking very well, but gradually appearing to become more independent and is spending periods of time away from Astrid. Tarzan has been spending his days following Astrid and Monic. More romance in store for those guys perhaps!
The monitoring team have also recently recorded signals for Mama Tata, Tata, Jojo, Yaya, Heldy, Komeng and also Tantri! Although the team attempt to obtain direct observations on each individual orangutan to assess relative health, Tantri, Komeng, Jojo and Heldy have not been very happy to see our team – in those cases our team respectfully keep some distance from them.
Bang Jagur and Ompong have clearly moved far away following Tarzan’s return on the scene and his debut of making it quite clear who, for the time being, is “king of the jungle”. Tarzan certainly is living up to his name! The team have been working hard on locating Bang Jagur and Ompong’s position but adult males are well known for ranging extremely widely and over long periods of time. The next months and in fact years of monitoring will be fascinating for us all to follow the lives, trials and tribulations of these amazing orangutans.
Despite problems with the satellite phone (which we hope we have now solved), our team checked in to update us on their monitoring progress. Our teams are in the forest from dawn till dusk tracking the orangutans and what we are finding is that the orangutans do not want to see us! This is a very good thing as we want them to steer clear of humans; so far all the individuals we have seen are doing really well – healthy and happy. Jojo and Ika have formed an intimate relationship, and Tarzan and Astrid have also spent a good deal of time together. Monic stayed a little further away from Tarzan and Astrid during their courtship but joined them in the evening. Ompong, Komeng and Bang Jagur have very sensibly travelled away from the transect system and away from Tarzan. We’ll continue to monitor their movements.
We hope that we have successfully resolved the satphone problems and we’ll have more regular updates but if anyone can donate a satphone which has email and texting facilities (or any other support) that would be wonderful! Full-time monitoring of the orangutans is costly and any support you can send us will be greatly appreciated! If you can donate gifts in kind or funds, please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org – your donation will go a long way in supporting our field costs!
Since our team have been in Batikap we have had a few challenges – all part of the joys of working in the field! During extremely heavy rain the river rose quickly and the area between our camp and the helipad was completely flooded. Here are a few of those pictures of how our team coped with that situation. Even Simon who is 6ft 7inches, was wading in 5 foot of water….
Over the weekend our field team checked in with us to keep us updated on all our orangutans. Monitoring on a daily basis continues and the most recent news is that presently Mama Tata and Tata have gone their separate ways, at least for now. After many years together, Tata is old enough to be on his own and has obviously taken the opportunity to investigate the forest for himself. Our technicians and vets reported that for many years Mama Tata has carefully looked after her son, even cleaning up after him! Apparently Tata is like many teenagers and was very untidy, leaving his food waste in the enclosure – Mama Tata on the other hand would make sure she cleaned up after him and kept their enclosure clean and waste free. Now in the forest, both Mama Tata and Tata don’t have to worry about tidying up!
Tarzan has moved back into the area of his original release and having chased off Ompong (who we think has travelled north), spent most of Friday long-calling every 30 minutes to make sure everyone is clearly aware that he is around and in charge. Most of the males have taken this message on board and travelled further away from their points of release. We’ll keep you updated on Tarzan’s position, but we are delighted he is back after travelling and looking very healthy!
The other good news is that Tantri is back. After a few weeks of travelling, we have picked up her signal again and the team will try to get a visual of her to gauge her physical condition and make sure she too is doing well in the forest.
More news soon!
We have finally received several new photos from the Release Team and the Monitoring Teams. Here they are!
Then, here is Komeng and Ika’s first taste of freedom. Komeng very slowly and graciously exited his travel cage completely relaxed and unrushed. He headed for the first tree, slowly climbed up and spent a few minutes staring at us as if he had never been out of the forest, before heading up higher in the canopy and off into the forest.
Ika shot out of her cage like a bullet and immediately climbed a tree and started throwing small leaves and twigs at us in a very half hearted manner – but clearly she was delighted to finally be out of a cage and finally back in the forest.
Heldy, on the other hand, was not so sure that he was free. After the cage was opened, he just sat in his cage for a few seconds, carefully stuck his head out to see where he was, then finally got out and ran to a tree.
We also managed to capture Yaya – our sweet 9½ year-old female orangutan – before she got out of her cage! As the photo shows, our cameraman James was in the right place at the right time. We will have video updates from James very soon.
Jojo’s turn now. Jojo is one of the youngest orangutans in this group. He is now 8-9 years old. But he did not hesitate at all. As soon as the cage door was opened, he grabbed a liana and swung away.
Bang Jagur also enjoyed his first day of freedom. Just like Ika, Bang Jagur was very quick. Door opened and he was gone! Playing among the trees, this is the best shot we got.
It truly is amazing to witness and be part of taking these orangutans back to the forest. Our staff have known and cared for these orangutans for years so to see them finally back where they should be is such a gift to us all. Thank you to everyone who has made this possible!
PAU BRUGUÉS SINTES
Post-Release Monitoring at the BOS Foundation Reintroduction Centre at Nyaru Menteng
Pau Brugues Sintes, was born in Barcelona, Spain and obtained his Degree in Biology at the University of Barcelona in 2011. Pau joins us with hands on experience with primates first volunteering at the MONA Foundation (Primate Rescue Center in Girona), where he worked with chimpanzees, then working with OUTROP (The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project) in the Sebangau Forest (Kalimantan Tengah) developing biodiversity studies in 2009
Pau has recently joined the BOS Foundation family, specifically to work with our post-release monitoring team. He is looking forward to working in the pristine, undisturbed forest of Bukit Batikap and observing our reintroduced orangutans in their daily life, carefully monitoring their progress in their new home back where they should be – the primary rainforest.
Communications Officer BOSF-Nyaru Menteng
Hermansyah was born in Tangkiling in 1990 and was once a member of BOS Friends, an association formed by the BOS Foundation Communications Division for the youth as an early introduction and education to the orangutan and environmental conservation.
In February 2009, he joined BOS Foundation as a staff member with our Communication and Education Division. Having gained so much experience and information during his activities within BOS Friends, Herman is able to explain and share various information regarding orangutan conservation to our visitors and school groups. We hope Herman goes from strength to strength in spreading the importance of orangutan and habitat conservation in Indonesia to secure their long-term protection for future generations.
In the second release operation that will be conducted on March 31st, Herman and Indrayana are responsible for taking photos and video of the whole release process, from the preparation to the ‘d’ day. He hopes that the preservation of orangutan and its habitat can be achieved and that peoples awareness to environmental issues increases.
The latest update from Bukit Batikap reported that on the first day of monitoring – on April 1, 2012 – we picked up signals for 10 of the 11 newly released orangutans. And also, we picked up signals for Tarzan! Tarzan seemed to be heading back to his original release point after wandering the forest up to >3.5 km in the last one month.
The Monitoring Teams also recorded direct observations on Mama Tata, Bunga, Yaya and Komeng. None of the orangutans was very happy to see us, which is a good sign! So our teams left them in peace. We want the orangutans to concentrate on feeding and adjusting to their life back in the forest.
Yesterday on April 2, 2012, the teams reported in to Program Manager Anton, that they had picked up tracking signals for all of the 11 orangutans, which is great news. The teams will carefully track all over the coming days and weeks.
Right now, after several boat and car journeys, one of our Monitoring Teams is on their way back to Nyaru Menteng for a well deserved break! Only another 10 hours by road before they will be back in Nyaru Menteng to update you with the awesome adventures of the orangutans and, of course, the adventures of our Monitoring Teams as well. Keep reading!