Happy Valentine’s Day, orangutan friends! Today, on February 14, 2013, we have released 10 orangutans in the conservation forest of Bukit Batikap. Here is a little love story from our team on the field.
After staying overnight at the transit enclosure at PT. Indo Muro Kencana (IMK), on this loving day, the second day of Nyaru Menteng orangutan release activity began. Today, Edwan, Klowor, Rachmad, Darsi, Centil & Ross, Markisa & Uli, Manggo and Lupita were on their final homebound journey. While the rest, Lesta & Lewis, Dagoy & Debby, Mogok, Isis, Mexa, James, Alibaba and Danur will get their turn tomorrow on February 15.
Preparing the First Group
Today’s orangutan release candidates were divided into two groups. Edwan, Klowor, Rachmad and Darsi were the first to go. Our Medical Team – vet Agus Fahroni and vet Riani Anggun Mumpuni – started sedation process at 6.30 AM on this first group of orangutans, after which they were moved to their travel cages and taken by truck to the helipad at IMK.
At IMK, sling load net was set up and all the travel cages were loaded and secured. Around 8 AM, the Squirrel helicopter took off, bringing Edwan, Klowor, Rachmad and Darsi to their new home in Bukit Batikap.
We are so grateful that the sky was clear, bright and sunny, both in Puruk Cahu and in the forest of Batikap, allowing our orangutans to fly home on schedule.
Preparing the Second Group
While waiting for the helicopter to return to Puruk Cahu, the Medical Team started sedation process for the second group, consisting of two mother-child pairs Centil and Ross, and Markisa and Uli, as well as two other females Lupita and Manggo. Manggo is also Markisa’s daughter who is now an independent teenager.
Just like yesterday, Markisa did not have to be sedated. She calmly took the technicians’ hands and let them guide her and her daughter Uli to their travel cage. Lupita, too, walked hand-in-hand with technicians to her travel cage, without sedation.
While Centil and Manggo were transferred into their travel cages after they both fell asleep after sedation. Centil of course shared her travel cage with her daughter Ross.
Valentine’s Day Gift
As the team in Puruk Cahu was busy preparing the sling load for the second group, great news came from Batikap via satellite phone. Edwan, Klowor, Rachmad and Darsi had been released. They immediately climbed the trees as soon as their cages were opened and were happily playing high in the forest canopy. Such a heartwarming news on Valentine’s Day!
The second group of orangutans departed from Puruk Cahu at midday, around 11.55 AM, carrying Centil, Ross, Markisa, Uli, Manggo and Lupita. The helicopter landed in Batikap around 45 minutes later. As the team in Batikap took the second group of orangutans to their pre-designated release points, the pilot and co-pilot surveyed tomorrow’s release points to determine the best landing sites. They arrived back in Puruk Cahu at around 2 PM, bringing empty travel cages and news that the rest of the orangutans were successfully released!
So Edwan, Klowor, Rachmad, Darsi, Centil, Ross, Markisa, Uli, Manggo and Lupita are now home where they belong. Today’s successful release of 10 orangutans has been the best Valentine’s Day gift ever – for the orangutans and also for us – the gift of freedom!
Tomorrow, we will continue presenting the gift of freedom to 10 more orangutans: Lesta & Lewis, Dagoy & Debby, Mogok, Isis, Mexa, James, Alibaba and Danur. Log back in tomorrow for the final day of Nyaru Menteng 5th Orangutan Release!