The Batikap Couple – Tarzan and Monic

The Post Release Monitoring Team at Bukit Batikap seems to keep running into Tarzan and Monic. The two have sort of become an inseparable couple. Well, for now at least. They travel close together, doing everything they’re supposed to be doing as wild orangutans – which are swinging merrily in the trees and… eating!

Tarzan is living up to his name as king of the jungle.

In a healthy forest, there are over 400 types of food that an orangutan can eat. And insect foraging (termites, ants, crickets, etc.) comprises 4-14% of orangutan’s typical activities in the forest, including Monic’s. She obviously thinks termites are delicious!

Monic, enjoying delicious termites.

Primarily frugivorous, orangutan’s diet consists mainly of fruits. But they also eat barks and leaves (and insects, just like Monic demonstrates above). Fresh young leaves are Tarzan’s favorites.

Fresh young leaves for Tarzan’s lunch.

Another typical type of orangutan food is called umbut in Indonesian. Umbut is the base of palm shoots on the tip of a palm that is still young and tender. Tarzan loves eating umbut, too.

Tarzan also loves nibbling on umbut.

Tarzan and Monic send their warmest greetings to all of you. And the Post Release Monitoring Team is back at work monitoring Tarzan, Monic and the rest of their friends. We shall wait for their next update from Batikap!


More Adventures in April and May!

Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest, April – May 2012

Latest update from our Post Release Monitoring (PRM) Team at Bukit Batikap revealed that Tarzan, Astrid and Monic were busy ‘inspecting’ the Jacqui Transect, around 1.5 km northeast of the Monitoring Camp.

Tarzan looks very healthy!

Tarzan seems to love being close to Monic. But the three of them (Tarzan, Monic and also Astrid) still play together quite often. The Team also observed that the three ‘musketeers’ had been eating really well. Their diet includes various types of young leaves, as well as a type of fruit, locally named Ubah (we’re still trying to find the common name and scientific name for this fruit).

Lately, Monic is always found not far from Tarzan.

There were times when the PRM Team did not pick up any signal at all. On May 1, for example, the Team walked up to 6 km to the north, but could not hear any signal nor encounter any orangutan. But on May 2, they picked up signals for Tarzan, Astrid and Monic. On May 3, they found Yaya, Heldy, Ika and Tantri. And the next day, they met with Mama Tata, Jojo, Yaya, Ika and Tantri.

After ‘missing in action’ for a while, the Team met Ompong again!

The PRM Team only managed to receive continuous signals for Bang Jagur, Bunga and Kali on the first three days after they were released. After which, the three orangutans seemed to travel far beyond reach of our radio telemetry system. However, on April 1, their signals were picked up around Anna Hill and Simon Hill, approximately 2 km southeast of our Monitoring Camp.

Heldy, trying to hide from the camera.

We will continue to update you as soon as we receive new information from our PRM Team on the field. For now, we hope you enjoy our latest monitoring stories and photos of our beloved orangutans!


The Monitoring Team has sent us a lovely photograph of Bunga, spotted earlier this month while playing high up in the canopy. Enjoy! 🙂