Our veterinarian, Meriam, who is currently in the field supporting the monitoring team called in with an update on how the 8 newly released orangutans were getting on. Monitoring team members Tedi, Joy and Pak Sangai had just returned from spending the night at our newly established Camp Monnu and picked up all six radio tracking signals of the orangutans released at point 1.
As mentioned in early postings orangutans are largely solitary in the wild and we therefore need to release them in different parts of the forest to avoid overcrowding and conflict. Point 1 and Camp Monnu is our second release point and as we continue to release and monitor more orangutans, we will establish more release points and small camps to enable our field teams to systematically monitor the orangutans progress.
So of the six signals recorded at point 1, the team saw three of the orangutans, Maradona who is still long-calling, and Onceng and Sempung who have formed a very close “courtship”. These two spent all day together, feeding and resting together in a massive nest. From the radio tracking signal direction it seems that Jessica and Sumbing may have crossed over the hill to the east.
Mama Ebol and Ebol were released close to our main camp so we could keep an watchful eye on Ebol in particular. Mama Ebol hung around for a while, but seems to have taken advantage of her newly found independence in the forest and away from her daughter, and possibly travelled.
The lovely Ebol has only travelled about 50-75m from the release point which is close to our helipad and is getting more confident in the forest. She is now making nests and her nest today was 30 m high. She spent the day eating rattan fruits, rattan pith and young leaves and the team are very happy with her progress. Tarzan came over to check her out and has nested nearby, she was a bit wary of him at first, especially when he long-called, but he hasn’t been too close to her.
We are keeping a careful tabs on all our orangutans movements and will keep you updated.