Expressing Love with Freedom: Day-2 | Nyaru Menteng 5th Orangutan Release

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.

Beautiful morning on Valentine's Day in Puruk Cahu (photo by: Jamartin Sihite)

Beautiful morning on Valentine’s Day in Puruk Cahu (photo by: Jamartin Sihite)

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.

Vet Agus and vet Riani prepares sedation doses (photo by: Iwan Pribadi)

Vet Agus and vet Riani prepares sedation doses (photo by: Iwan Pribadi)

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.

Edwan, Klowor, Rachmad and Darsi are off to Batikap! (photo by: Jamartin Sihite)

Edwan, Klowor, Rachmad and Darsi are off to Batikap! (photo by: Jamartin Sihite)

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.

Carrying her daughter Uli, Markisa is guided by technicians to her travel cage (photo by: Iwan Pribadi)

Carrying her daughter Uli, Markisa is guided by technicians to her travel cage (photo by: Iwan Pribadi)

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.

Manggo falls asleep after sedation (photo by: Iwan Pribadi)

Manggo falls asleep after sedation (photo by: Iwan Pribadi)

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!

Sling load setup at IMK helipad (photo by: Jamartin Sihite)

Sling load setup at IMK helipad (photo by: Jamartin Sihite)

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!

Helicopter departs, bringing the second group of orangutans (photo by: Iwan Pribadi)

Helicopter departs, bringing the second group of orangutans (photo by: Iwan Pribadi)

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!

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3 thoughts on “Expressing Love with Freedom: Day-2 | Nyaru Menteng 5th Orangutan Release

  1. For many of us who followed the exploits of Alibaba and Mogok on Animal Planet’s “Orangutan Island” series, it’s a bittersweet time for us. It’s sad to think we won’t see them again as they disappear into the forest, yet it’s also heartwarming to know the sanctuary’s hard work of saving and teaching infant orangutans is paying off. It’s too bad that Chen Chen, Cha Cha, Donald, Saturnus, and Jordan didn’t survive to see this day, but for the likes of Hamlet, Daisy, Jasmine, and the other “stars” of the show, it’s encouraging that their day of freedom is coming soon!

  2. How very well behaved these lucky 10 were!I think they knew they were on the way home-but the trust between the Orangutans and the wonderful team has me in awe.They have been rehabilitated to be wild but still they can share an almost human moment-holding hands as they are guided to the travel cages.What a precious moment.Even though they will soon adapt to life without(hopefully) human intervention I wonder if they will remember the humans that helped them on their relocation back to the forest.Looking forward to tomorrows release & catching up with the wonderful adventures these fantastic Orangutans will have.A new life awaits them-I can’t thank you enough for what you do for my favourite animal.I can go to bed with peace in my heart & a smile on my face.Thank You.xx:o)

    • Thank you, Judy!

      Based on our research with truly wild orangutans, yes they do develop trust towards humans when they see and interact with them for a while. This is why the BOS Foundation has very strict rules about visitors – especially short-term visitors – including the media.

      The more humans they see, the more they become accustomed to situation where they see new and strange faces. The problem is, once they’re released in the wild, the new and strange faces may not always be our guests and may not always visit with the best intentions at heart; hence the strict and stringent rules and regulations.

      It has been very hard for us to explain this to people who feel that they want to visit in order to give us their support and help us with education and awareness program, and that our rules and regulations make it hard for them to do so. I hope you can help spread the words and help us make people understand that supporting orangutans, especially the ones at reintroduction centers, does not necessarily mean visiting them and seeing them in person. 🙂

      Thanks again, Judy!

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