Great News of Ompong and Kali!

Bukit Batikap, June 23, 2012

Our Post Release Monitoring Coordinator, Anna Marzec, has just reported back from Bukit Batikap with some exciting news. After months of not being able to pick up signals for Ompong and Kali, our team finally detected their signals from around Simon Hill! Ompong was approximately 3-4 kilometers southwest of our monitoring camp and Kali was 3-4 kilometers north of camp. We’re very happy to learn that they’re alive and well!

Ompong (photo taken  by Anna Marzec before the team lost his signals)

Last Sunday, Monic was seen foraging close to camp, while Tarzan was spotted near a transect line, 7.2 kilometers from camp. The team also observed Astrid and Ika. Almost everyday, our team manages to collect samples of fruits eaten by the orangutans. They have obviously eaten well and look very healthy.

And on June 27, our Scientific Advisor, Simon Husson also reported that the team has actually SEEN Kali, and she looks well. So great news!

8 More to be Released on Aug 8-9, 2012!

The Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program at Nyaru Menteng is planning to release eight more orangutans in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest on August 8-9, 2012. Meet the eight release candidates who are definitely excited to finally go home!


In October 2005, the BOS Foundation together with the local authorities in Central Kalimantan conducted a joint rescue operation in the area of Sei Babi in East Kotawaringin Regency, Central Kalimantan. The operation ran for 6 days and Sempung was one of the six orangutans who were rescued on October 17, 2005 from a rubber plantation owned by the local community there. He was then 15 years old. Seven years have passed and Sempung now is 22 years old, a fully-grown, cheek-padded adult male. Weighing 78.7 kilograms, his dark skin combined with beautiful brown hair gives him a debonair look. This July, Sempung is fully fit and ready to return to the forest and join his friends at Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest where he belongs.


Rescued back in March 2004 from an oil palm plantation in Parenggean, Sumbing was then estimated to be approximately 15 years old. He was already a handsome male orangutan with long light brown hair and a distinctive congenital split in his upper right lip; hence the name “Sumbing”, which in Indonesian literally means cleft lip. At 23 years old and weighing 79 kilograms, this gorgeous alpha male is finally ready to return to his homeland – the forest!


A 9 year-old female orangutan was rescued in January 2007 from an oil palm plantation in Sampit, Pangkalan Bun with broken fingers on her left hand. She was very aggressive and temperamental, indicating that she was a true wild orangutan who previously had minimal contact with humans. We named her Jessica and she is listed as one of our next release candidates. This very beautiful female of 14 years of age weighing 43.5 kilograms is ready to dazzle the males at Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest with her thick eyebrows, long dark brown hair and stunning smile. Good luck, Jessica!


Big and proud, Maradona was already an adult male orangutan with distinguishing fully-grown cheek-pads when he was confiscated in November 2006 from villagers who lived around an oil palm plantation. The villagers caught him in the plantation and tied him tightly with ropes, causing severe injuries on Maradona’s arms. The plan to translocate him right away was cancelled because he obviously needed serious treatment first. So we took Maradona back to Nyaru Menteng where he received intensive medical care, as well as a lot of love and encouragement from our team of technicians and paramedics. Maradona has now fully recovered and is finally ready to return home. At 26 years old and at 75.6 kilograms in weight, we will assign him a specific area in the forest of Bukit Batikap to be made his kingdom once again.


A young male orangutan was rescued from an oil palm planation in the sub-district of Antang Kalang in November 2007. He was around 4 – 4.5 years old with badly injured hands. Named Abam, the expressive and curious youngster was brought to Nyaru Menteng to be treated. Sadly, we had to amputate knuckles off his index finger, middle finger and little finger of his left hand, as well as middle finger and ring finger of his right hand. However, Abam did not lose his wild demeanors because of it. He has remained rowdy, thus we put him together with a group of wild orangutans of the same age. Abam is now 10 years old and is entering his teenage years. At 29.4 kilograms in weight, he is excited to be one of our release candidates and will once again roam free!


Onceng has not lived in Nyaru Menteng for long. The young female orangutan was just confiscated in February 2011 from a local community in Palangka Raya. At that time, we learned that the community captured her in their private plantation and had kept her in a wooden cage for 2 months. They claimed that they once tried to let her out, but she instinctively climbed a tree and made a nest. Fearing that she would jeopardize their plantation, she was captured again and had since never been let out of the cage until we arrived. She was then around 7 – 7.5 years old. In her short time in Nyaru Menteng, we have established that Onceng is healthy and still untamed. She also possesses all of the necessary forest skills. So fortunately for Onceng, she does not have to wait too long before being fully released. This year, the 9 year-old youngster weighing 29.6 kilograms will return to the forest.

Mama Ebol

In March 2006, a 15 year-old female orangutan was rescued from an oil palm plantation in Sampit, Pangkalan Bun. She was carrying a 2 year-old female baby. The two of them were taken to Nyaru Menteng for health checks and observation. Determining that they were both healthy, they were put in the same individual enclosure and have never been apart since. We named the mother “Mama Ebol” and the baby “Ebol”. This year, Mama Ebol is 21 years old and has grown into a lovely adult female weighing 33.5 kilograms. Together with her daughter Ebol, they finally have their chance to be released. Mama Ebol and her daughter will once again roam the forest!


Rescued together with her mother, Ebol was only 2 years old at that time. Originating from Sampit, Pangkalan Bun, she was found clinging tightly to her mother at an oil palm plantation back in March 2006. So we rescued them both. At Nyaru Menteng, Ebol and her mother (Mama Ebol) were put in the same individual enclosure. They were both very healthy and thus did not have to be separated. They have been together ever since and finally, after over 6 years living in Nyaru Menteng, Ebol and Mama Ebol will once again taste the freedom of the forest where they belong. Now at 8 years old weighing 27.5 kilograms, Ebol is the youngest release candidate from Nyaru Menteng. But we are sure that she will cope just fine as her mom will be close by to watch over her and we will be keeping a watchful eye on all of them!

Bang Jagur and Komeng are Back in Range!

Bukit Batikap, June 14, 2012

Adul and Pak Sangai radio-tracking the orangutans

Anna Marzec called in last night from our camp in Bukit Batikap with a few updates we wanted to share with you. Monitoring continues on a daily basis despite the elements!

On the 8th and 9th June, Ika was directly observed, long calls from Tarzan were logged and signals from Monic recorded on the 8th and for Astrid on the 9th. On the 10th June the team gathered observation data on Tarzan, Astrid and Mama Tata.

Mama Tata is slowly beginning to accept observers and the team is very respectful of her wanting to maintain her privacy.

Monic found some delicious forest fruits

Yesterday was a great day with signals recorded for Tantri, Heldy, Monic and also, very excitingly, Bang Jagur and Komeng! We haven’t recorded signals for them, especially Bang Jagur, for a few weeks. So we are very excited that he is back in range. Although we regret that we don’t have Bang Jagur’s and Komeng’s photos to share with you yet. Hopefully Anna will bring some next time she returns to our office in Nyaru Menteng.

Heldy, taking a rest under the shades

The team will try to obtain direct observations of the two boys (Bang Jagur and Komeng) but are also focusing on obtaining observational data on Mama Tata. Look forward to updating you soon!

Yaya, Heldy, Tarzan and the Gang

Bukit Batikap, June 7, 2012

Good news from Pau and the field team! Although our fulltime monitoring team have been able to pick up daily signals for our released orangutans when in range, most of the released orangutans clearly do not want to see or been seen by our monitoring team, and they have excellent tactics to avoid observations. This is good news as we want the orangutans to avoid humans, however it makes monitoring challenging as we have to see them in order to gauge their relative physical health and adaptation. Yaya is one of our orangutans who is particularly good at avoiding humans and after quite some time, we finally had news of two short observations and Yaya looks great!

Other orangutan news!

Heldy has also been followed for 5 days and we have managed to collect some rigorous data on his feeding behaviour – he too is doing really well. Ika was seen yesterday and followed  around transects Lone and Martin.

Obviously, Heldy is doing really well and having a good time!

Monic and Tarzan are still near camp and signals from Tantri and Komeng were picked up from Bukit Simon although Komeng seems to be on the other side of Gunung Ahmat. If Komeng has any sense he will stay out of Tarzan’s way!

After neatly constructing a roof over his nest for a rainy night, Tarzan is turning in for a good night sleep.

Everyone at camp is healthy and happy and waiting for new supplies to arrive. Also we have begun to receive the materials to construct our main camp so it’s an exciting time for all.  We hope in the next few months our team will be much more comfy with the new facilities we are developing.

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