[RELEASE CANDIDATES!] Forest School Graduates: Gadis, Garu, Leonora, Lamar

Last but certainly not least, here are the last FOUR orangutan release candidates for this coming November, mom-child pairs GADIS and GARU, and LEONORA and LAMAR!

18 | 19. Gadis & Garu


When she first arrived at Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Center on April 29, 2000, Gadis was approximately 2.5 – 3 years old. She had just been confiscated by the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority in Palangka Raya and was a healthy and active young female orangutan. She had been held captive by a local businessman for approximately 2 years.

Despite having a slightly asymmetrical face and one lazy eye, Gadis – now 15 years old and 36.1 kg – is still a very attractive orangutan. She has curved cheeks and temples, and also striking dark red hair. The Forest School graduate is very solitary and independent. She loves exploring Kaja Island where she now lives, foraging for various forest foods, and rarely comes to the feeding platforms. Although not particularly sociable with other orangutans, a few years ago, Gadis met Omega, a gorgeous male with huge cheek-pads. The two quickly bonded and courted for a while. Omega sadly passed away, but from him Gadis was blessed with a baby girl, named Garu.


Garu is Gadis’ daughter who was born on Kaja Island on December 15, 2009. Don’t be fooled by her melancholy face because Garu is actually very active and loves to play! The 3 year-old youngster of course still depends very much on her mother and follows her everywhere. But being born and raised on the island means Garu has developed all the wild behaviors an orangutan should possess. She is feisty and smart. She even has started to learn how to make her own nest.

Just like a normal wild orangutan, Garu instinctively avoids humans. Whenever she sees a human, she makes kiss-squeak sounds produced by pursing her lips. Weiging 5.5 kg, this adorable youngster with black spots on her mouth and long thick hair will soon return to a real forest with her mother, Gadis – their real home, at last!

20 | 21. Leonora & Lamar


This dark-haired female orangutan was confiscated by the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Center on August 8, 2000 in cooperation with the Conservation and Natural Resources Authority of Central Kalimantan in Palangka Raya. Leonora was then 3 – 3.5 years old and although had been well cared for by a nice family, she had grown too big and was subsequently kept in a small cage outside of their house. In the early days since arriving in Nyaru Menteng, Leonora liked to clap her hands when she wanted food or drink. But after she graduated from Forest School and advanced to the pre-release stage on Kaja Island, that habit slowly disappeared.

Sixteen year-old Leonora has now grown into a beautiful individual, weighing 41.3 kg. Her face is rather distinctive with a large mouth area and thin hair on her head. Although she is generally a friendly orangutan, she can be dominant among other females. Leonora has a baby boy, named Lamar, who will very soon be released with her in their real home in the forest!


Born in Kaja Island on November 7, 2009, Leonora’s son, Lamar is an active and playful orangutan. With dark red hair, Lamar is sweet and loveable with his mother. He is now 3 years old, weighs 6.9 kg and still prefers to stay in the safe and warm protection of his mother’s loving arms. However, Lamar loves to play and explore the island, as long as his mother is near. At the sight of humans he will kiss-squeak and throw branches and clearly displays second-generation wild orangutan behavior. Very soon, Lamar will have a bigger, greener playground to explore when he joins his mother on their final homecoming trip to the forest in Batikap.


That concludes our stories of all 21 Orangutan Release Candidates scheduled to be released this coming November. You can also read their complete profiles on our website.

And… these profiles are also available in PDF format, as well as the photos (in ZIP file), all of which you can download here!



One thought on “[RELEASE CANDIDATES!] Forest School Graduates: Gadis, Garu, Leonora, Lamar

  1. I can’t believe the day is almost here for these beautiful Orangutans to return to their rightful home~Their Forest! What a lovely finale you have given us.Gadis is such a beautiful lady,I think her lopsided face & lazy eye make her look even more appealing!She will have so much fun exploring & searching for forest foods.I’m sad that her beau Omega has passed away,a shame he could not have lived to experience true freedom.But he has a lovely legacy with beautiful Garu!A pretty 3 year old who loves to play but still needs to stay close to Mum.Its good she has wild behaviour,this will help her to avoid conflict with humans-although I hope she will not encounter any ‘unfriendly’ people.She seems very clever,already learning to build a nest!She will be just fine in the forest with her mum close by!Leonora makes me smile-but her story also mad me sad.Even though she was well cared for she was locked in a cage when she grew to big,also the hand clapping for food-does that mean she was taught to beg for food?So sad.:( Another reason why I am so opposed to captivity of these wild animals-they do not perform for human pleasure!!What a lovely baby Lama is-very playful & active but so close to her Mummy.I love that she kiss squeaks & throws branches when humans are around!That’s so good!Good Luck to all the Lucky Orangutans who will shortly be making their very special journey home!Can’t wait to see it!!Thank you for these fantastic release stories!Many more to come I hope!:D

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