For the last 3 weeks our monitoring team has been very busy observing newly arrived individuals as well as other orangutans we have released since February. As already reported this has been an intense and very exciting time welcoming our first rehabilitated orangutans into Bukit Batikap. All of them are doing well and getting used to the forest.
The females have not traveled too far from release sites, but the males have wandered deeper and further into the forest. Few of individuals are still staying close to the river like Emen and Leonora with their infants, as well as Menteng. But so far all of the rehabilitated orangutans are behaving better than we expected and we are all very happy to see them adapting so well to their new home.
The main focus since the beginning of November has naturally been on our rehabilitated orangutans, however we are also making sure our semi-wild orangutans are doing well. The Monitoring Team traveled to Camp Monnu, the site of the semi-wild releases, and found all of the orangutans: Paluy, Iyos, Kopi, Gundul, Giant, Mangkutub, Jamal and Gusti a week after they were released. Three weeks later, Paluy and Mangkutub appeared to have traveled further into the forest. However, we did observe Gusti and Gundul feeding on the same tree. The team also found and followed Iyos who crossed the river. All observed individuals are in very good shape and were not too happy to see people – this is a great sign. Our team also found Abam who was released a few months ago in August. He is also in perfect shape and his hair has grown as you can see on the photo. In addition to visual observations, we also recorded signals of many orangutans which are still in the area. All of them are moving around the forest.
Despite being busy these last few weeks, we have not forgetten our old gang and we tracked and followed Astrid, Monic, Tarzan, Heldy and Ebol. They are all very well and eating a lot as there are now many fruits available. Tarzan is also traveling a lot lately checking out all the newly arrived orangutans to see if there are any potential competitors. Astrid and Monic are both great, getting bigger and bigger. With each month we are more and more certain both females are pregnant. For the final confirmation we will have to wait 2 or 3 months.
Heldy is doing well too and he was seen eating more fruits this month and has put up on a little weight. Ebol spends all her days eating, she can be a bit lazy and sometimes stays on the ground where she finds food rather than take it back up to the tree. The month is not over yet and we are still looking for Ika and Tata to check how they are doing. Other orangutans are being still radio-tracked and we recently picked up the signals of Maradona, Komeng, Mama Tata and Mama Ebol who are now so far that we can only record their presence using radio-tracking equipment.
November was definitely one of the most exciting months so far. We now have 44 orangutans released in Batikap! During the last release as well as 3 weeks of post-release monitoring our team was accompanied in camp and in the field by the BBC film crew. We can’t wait to see the result of their work. We were happy to have them here and this month has been a lot of fun.
Greetings from all members of monitoring team!