Orangutan Release Day-3: Eighteen Orangutans are Free!

What we planned to be a two-day event was extended to the third day because of the weather. That’s how it goes when Mother Nature is the show director. However, as of today, eighteen orangutans are finally free in their rightful home. Fourteen orangutans were released in the first two days and this morning, the last four have also reclaimed their ultimate freedom!

Monmon, Bonet, Tehang and Ubai were scheduled to be released on the first day of our release, on August 16. But due to bad weather, they had to stay two nights in the transit enclosures at the compound of PT Indomuro Kencana (IMK). Their turn finally came today. The last four orangutans joined their 14 friends who were released over the past two days, in the Batikap forest.

Sunny Weather!

Blessed with sunny weather, the release team in Puruk Cahu started the sedation process at 6 am. The team in Batikap reported that the weather there was also bright and sunny. It looked like today would be another perfect day to set our orangutan friends free.

Bright and sunny weather in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest! | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Bright and sunny weather in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest! | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Sedating and transferring orangutans to travel cages began in the morning. | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

Sedating and transferring orangutans to travel cages began in the morning. | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

Among the four remaining orangutans, Tehang was the hardest to sedate. An anesthetic dart was successfully administered, but he simply pulled the dart out. Then he grinned mischievously! Technician Tedison had to get into his enclosure and take the dart from him so he didn’t hurt himself with it.

Tehang was the hardest to sedate. He pulled out the anesthetic dart and grinned! | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

Tehang was the hardest to sedate. He pulled out the anesthetic dart and grinned! | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

Technician Tedison took the anesthetic dart from Tehang. | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

Technician Tedison took the anesthetic dart from Tehang. | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

Several unsuccessful attempts later, vet Barlian was becoming a little frustrated. Finally, Barlian decided to go into his enclosure and casually chat with Tehang and was able to administer the sedation directly. Done! After waiting for a while, Tehang fell asleep and was gently transferred into his travel cage.

Vet Barlian chatted casually with Tehang. | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

Vet Barlian chatted casually with Tehang. | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

Tehang was caught off guard and vet Barlian successfully sedated him! | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

Tehang was caught off guard and vet Barlian successfully sedated him! | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

Now all were ready to go to the helipad where the helicopter was waiting to fly them to the forest of Batikap. And at 8 am, Monmon, Bonet, Ubai and Tehang took to the sky heading to their rightful home, heading towards independence and freedom. A second helicopter followed a little later carrying all of the much needed logistics and supplies needed by our field team in the forest.

Monmon, Bonet, Ubai and Tehang were off to Batikap! | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

Monmon, Bonet, Ubai and Tehang were off to Batikap! | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

A second chopper carrying logistics followed a little later. | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

A second chopper carrying logistics followed a little later. | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

At around 12 pm, the second helicopter dedicated to logistics and passengers very kindly provided by our friends at BHP Billiton, came back to Puruk Cahu. The BOS Foundation Communications Specialist, Paulina Wijanarko, came out of the forest on this flight and brought with her exciting release stories from the second group yesterday.

Batikap forest from the air. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Batikap forest from the air. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Lona, Nielsen, Mongki and Uban

The releases of Lona and her daughter Nielsen, as well as Mongki and Uban, were conducted in a site further than the release site for the previous orangutans. This area needed to be cleared a little bit to facilitate the release process. Therefore, the release team took quite a bit of time to prepare in that sunny afternoon.

Helicopter arriving in Batikap. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Helicopter arriving in Batikap. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Transporting orangutans by ces to the release site. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Transporting orangutans by ces to the release site. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Fortunately, the preparations went smoothly. Once the release site was ready, Lona got the first turn. Her travel cage was opened by technician Johanis. Getting out of her cage, Lona turned around and looked at the team, then she climbed a tree. But not long after, she came down again and tried to approach the team. The release team successfully encouraged Lona to climb again. But apparently she was just waiting for her daughter Nielsen whose travel cage was right next to hers.

Lona waiting for her daughter, Nielsen. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Lona waiting for her daughter, Nielsen. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

So of course Nielsen was the next to be released. Technician Tuwe was the one opening her travel cage. Sure enough, once her travel cage was opened, Nielsen raced to the tree and joined her mother, Lona. Then the both of them moved to a fruiting tree nearby and started eating.

Nielsen climbed a tree to follow Lona. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Nielsen climbed a tree to follow Lona. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Mongki’s travel cage was opened by vet Adhy Maruli. But Mongki didn’t immediately climb a tree. He didn’t seem pleased with the team’s presence and turned around to chase them to the riverside! The team boarded the ces (a small traditional long wooden boat) and moved a bit further but still at a distance where they could see Mongki.

Mongki sat at the riverside as if ensuring that no one came back. But the team persevered because they still had to retrieve Mongki’s empty cage and return it to Nyaru Menteng. When Mongki went into the forest to approach Uban’s travel cage that was yet to be opened, the team got a small window of opportunity to quickly grab the empty cage and put it on the ces. Soon enough, Mongki returned and sat again by the river to watch the release team.

Mongki sat by the river to watch the release team. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Mongki sat by the river to watch the release team. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Two technicians managed to avoid Mongki and went to Uban’s travel cage. Technician Hendra Wijaya swiftly opened his cage. The team hoped that Uban would encourage Mongki to move away from the riverside and enter the forest. But just like Mongki, Uban too did not immediately climb a tree. Instead, he grabbed his cage and rolled it around. Maybe like Lulu, Uban also wanted to make a statement that he will never live in a cage again.

Once satisfied rolling his cage around, Uban approached Mongki. The team slowly moved Uban’s empty cage away from him. But Mongki saw them and started to chase again. He also seemed to be bothered by Uban’s presence.

Uban was also on standby at the riverside. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Uban was also on standby at the riverside. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Mongki then sat on top of Uban’s cage while Uban sat on a tree trunk, also by the river. The rest of the technicians could only watch helplessly from the other side of the river while the two remaining technicians were trying to avoid Mongki. But they caught Mongki a little off guard, and finally managed to get the cage, then quickly moved  to the river and jumped in the water. Apparently Mongki doesn’t like the water so he stopped his chase. The technicians immediately put Uban’s cage on the ces and all team returned to camp feeling relieved and happy that all orangutans are now free!

Mongki stopped chasing after the team jumped in the water. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Mongki stopped chasing after the team jumped in the water. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Happy World Orangutan Day!

The orangutan release activities for this month have officially ended. Updates on the last four orangutans who were released today will have to wait for some of the team members to return from Batikap at the end of this month. But judging from the returned empty cages, it is clear that Monmon, Bonet, Ubai and Tehang have been successfully released.

This weekend event also coincided with the Indonesia’s 68th anniversary of freedom and independence. Inadvertently, it also coincided with the World Orangutan Day that will be celebrated worldwide tomorrow on August 19. Happy Independence Day, our beloved orangutans!  And Happy World Orangutan Day!

Text: Media Romadona, Monica Devi Krisnasari, Paulina Wijanarko & Rini Sucahyo

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Orangutan Release Day-2: The Perfect Day for Freedom

Fog enveloped Nyaru Menteng after an overnight rain. Just like on the first day however, the release team still got up early today and began preparations for today’s release activities at 4.30 am sharp. A short message from Puruk Cahu confirming great weather heightened our spirits today, which also happens to be Indonesia’s Independence Day. Today, August 17, 2013, we are celebrating the nation’s 68thanniversary of freedom by sending the remaining nine orangutans to Puruk Cahu and Batikap, the last group of a total of 18 orangutan release candidates, to their freedom.

The Boys

Uban was the first to be sedated. The cheek-padded male had not fully fallen asleep when he was carried out of his quarantine enclosure. His lips and hands were still moving slightly when the technicians touched him. The big 82-kg orangutan needed five people to transfer him from the enclosure to his travel cage.

Transferring Uban into his travel cage. | photo by: Indrayana

Transferring Uban into his travel cage. | photo by: Indrayana

Just like Bonet yesterday, Mongki also had a hard time falling asleep. He woke up during the process of transferring him from the quarantine enclosures to his travel cage. But he, too, soon fell asleep.

While another cheek-padded male, Max, seemed bothered by the presence of technicians and vets around his quarantine enclosure. He pounded the enclosure’s bars and threw chunks of rubber tires at the team. Eventually, the team succeeded in sedating Max and transferred him smoothly to his travel cage.

Transferring Max into his travel cage. | photo by: Indrayana

Transferring Max into his travel cage. | photo by: Indrayana

The Girls

Little Georgina cried when she had to be temporarily separated from her mother, Matilda. Matilda, who was already fast asleep, was immediately transferred into her travel cage by several technicians while Georgina was gently carried away by another technician. Hearing her cries really made us all very sad thinking how many baby orangutans like her had been forcefully parted from their mothers and how they must be crying and screaming in vain to mothers who could no longer hear them. After Georgina took her final deworming medicine, a technician carried her back and put her carefully on Matilda’s tummy. The 2 year-old immediately hugged her mother tightly.

Matilda and Georgina. | photo by: Indrayana

Matilda and Georgina. | photo by: Indrayana

While waiting for the sedation effects to work on Astria, who was still wide awake and jumping around in her quarantine enclosure, other orangutans in their travel cages were loaded on the truck and the double-cabin four-wheeler. A vet also took the time to check Nielsen’s and Astria’s teeth. According to Anton Nurcahyo, Nyaru Menteng Program Manager, orangutans born on pre-release islands or in a rehabilitation center usually have healthier teeth compared to wild-born orangutans. Astria does not only have healthy teeth. She is also arguably the prettiest orangutan in Nyaru Menteng with beautiful long eyelashes. She will be a charmer in the forest one day!

A vet checking Nielsen’s teeth. | photo by: Indrayana

A vet checking Nielsen’s teeth. | photo by: Indrayana

Look at Astria’s beautiful enviable eyelashes! She will be a charmer in forest one day. | photo by: Media Romadona

Look at Astria’s beautiful enviable eyelashes! She will be a charmer in forest one day. | photo by: Media Romadona

After everything was ready and the team had eaten a quick breakfast, we departed to Tjilik Riwut Airport in Palangka Raya where a Pelita Air fixed-wing aircraft was already waiting to fly the orangutans to Dirung Airport in Puruk Cahu.

A Perfect Day for Freedom

Upon arrival at the airport, we didn’t immediately load the travel cages onto the plane because the airport staff were attending a flag ceremony to commemorate Indonesia’s anniversary. Furthermore, Dirung Airport was reported foggy. But not long after, around 8.30 am, the loading process began.

Loading process at Tjilik Riwut. | photo by: Indrayana

Loading process at Tjilik Riwut. | photo by: Indrayana

The release team wearing Indonesian flag pins on their shirts to celebrate Indonesia’s anniversary. | photo by: Indrayana

The release team wearing Indonesian flag pins on their shirts to celebrate Indonesia’s anniversary. | photo by: Indrayana

At 9 am, the Pelita Air flight took off taking Uban and friends to Puruk Cahu. Vet Meryl, technician Tedison and a staff member from the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority (BKSDA), Iwan Sujatmiko, accompanied the orangutans on their way to Puruk Cahu.

Vet Meryl, technician Tedison, and a BKSDA staff Iwan Sujatmiko ready to go. | photo by: Anton Nurcahyo

Vet Meryl, technician Tedison, and a BKSDA staff Iwan Sujatmiko ready to go. | photo by: Anton Nurcahyo

Taking off from Tjilik Riwut. | photo by: Indrayana

Taking off from Tjilik Riwut. | photo by: Indrayana

With the weather on our side, it only took around 45 minutes to fly to Puruk Cahu. As soon as the plane landed, all travel cages were unloaded without delay. Four of them consisting of Matilda and Georgina, Astria, Mita, and Max were loaded and secured in the sling load straight away, ready to fly again to Karangan Monnu area in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. Having received a report from Batikap that the weather there was also clear, the helicopter took off at 10.15 am.

The remaining four orangutans waited at the airport accompanied by technicians and vets to look after them. Vet Meryl prepared some milk for them and because Uban seemed to be more anxious than the others, the big male was getting extra milk! Sure enough, Uban calmed down after drinking all his milk (and eating a lot of bananas).

Vet Meryl preparing milk for the orangutans. | photo by: Untung

Vet Meryl preparing milk for the orangutans. | photo by: Untung

When the helicopter returned from Batikap, the pilot reported that Batikap was indeed very sunny. Therefore we didn’t waste any time preparing Lona, Nielsen, Uban and Mongki to go to their new forest home. Shortly after lunch, the helicopter took off again to Batikap.

Helicopter heading to Batikap bringing the second group of orangutans – Lona, Nielsen, Uban, and Mongki. | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

Helicopter heading to Batikap bringing the second group of orangutans – Lona, Nielsen, Uban, and Mongki. | photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari

Freedom in the Forest!

The helicopter came back with a flash-disk containing great news and several photos from our team in Batikap. All orangutans have been successfully released!

In Batikap, Matilda and Georgina’s travel cage was the first to be opened today. Technician Arfan opened the cage and Matilda didn’t even look back. With her daughter Georgina clinging on her tightly, she stormed out and climbed a tree. Matilda oldest daughter Astria was the next to be released. She too immediately got out, grabbed a liana and used it to swing to another tree, catching up with her mother and sister.

Matilda and Georgina was the first of the day to taste the air of freedom. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Matilda and Georgina was the first of the day to taste the air of freedom. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Astria catching up with her mother Matilda and little sister Georgina. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Astria catching up with her mother Matilda and little sister Georgina. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Then Mita’s travel cage was opened by technician Nanggau. Just like Matilda and Astria, Mita climbed a tree straight away. She then moved to a bigger tree.

Next, technician Owang opened Max’s travel cage. Max was a bit aggressive. When he got out, he turned around and chased the team away with a stick. The team decided to give Max his space. After being left alone, Max calmed down and soon disappeared into the forest. Lona, Uban and Mongki also showed aggressive display behavior indicating that they are ready to be true wild orangutans.

Transporting orangutans to their release sites at Karangan Monnu. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Transporting orangutans to their release sites at Karangan Monnu. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Max turning around to chase the team away. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Max turning around to chase the team away. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

While yesterday, the first four orangutans were also released successfully. Mama Mozzy carrying her daughter Myzo immediately found a tree in front of her and climbed away. Lulu, Arun, and Bule, just like Max, Lona, Uban and Mongki, were somewhat unhappy with the team’s presence. The team had to back away in order to give them enough space to let them settle down. Lulu even took her time to shake and kick her travel cage around, probably fiercely stating that she will never go back living in a cage ever again. You won’t have to, Lulu…

Mama Mozzy and her daughter Myzo are free! | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Mama Mozzy and her daughter Myzo are free! | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Lulu shook and kicked her travel cage before finally climbing a tree. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Lulu shook and kicked her travel cage before finally climbing a tree. | photo by: Paulina Wijanarko

Four More to Go!

As the day was getting quite late, the four remaining orangutans who didn’t get to fly yesterday because of bad weather have to stay yet another day in the transit enclosures at the compound of PT Indomuro Kencana (IMK). Vet Barlian is on standby to accompany and look after Ubai, Bonet, Tehang and Monmon. Their turn will come tomorrow morning. Let’s hope for another perfect day for freedom!

Text by: Media Romadona & Rini Sucahyo

Orangutan Release Day-1: Fighting the Weather

Finally the joyful moment arrived.  After experiencing several delays due to various logistical issues beyond our control, 18 rehabilitated orangutans from Nyaru Menteng were going to be released.  We are so relieved that today, the 16th of August, arrived uneventfully (or so we thought) and we could start the release process smoothly.  Just one day before the Indonesian Independence Day which takes place  tomorrow on the 17th, we were giving orangutans their freedom and independence, too.  An independence day for orangutans!

Truck cleaned and fitted with banner in preparation of the release activity [photo by: Media Romadona]

Truck cleaned and fitted with banner in preparation of the release activity [photo by: Media Romadona]

Today, the first day of our orangutan release event began with veterinary preparation. At 4.30 AM, the Medical Team and several technicians were already on standby at the Nyaru Menteng clinic. Together they headed to our still very new quarantine enclosures.  It was still dark so they had to use headlamps to prepare the sedation doses and all necessary equipment. Today, nine orangutans were scheduled to be reintroduced in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. Mama Mozzy and her daughter Myzo, Bule, Tehang, Arun, Lulu, Ubai, Bonet and Monmon just had to wait a few more hours to taste a true freedom.

The day gradually got brighter as veterinary preparation was underway [photo by: Indrayana]

The day gradually got brighter as veterinary preparation was underway [photo by: Indrayana]

Sedating Release Candidates

Bule was first to be sedated. The sedation worked very slowly on this 73-kg male orangutan. After more than 10 minutes, Bule finally fell asleep and was able to be transferred into his travel cage.

Technician Nono sedating an orangutan using a blowpipe [photo by: Indrayana]

Technician Nono sedating an orangutan using a blowpipe [photo by: Indrayana]

Meanwhile, we had no problem moving Mama Mozzy into her travel cage although her daughter Myzo was a little scared when she was separated from her sleeping mother. Myzo was gently carried to receive a final deworming medicine and the technicians and vets calmed the 2 year-old before giving her the medication. Once she was returned to her mother who was already fast asleep in the travel cage, Myzo hugged her tightly and settled down at last.

Staying with Lulu until she fell asleep [photo by: Indrayana]

Staying with Lulu until she fell asleep [photo by: Indrayana]

Transferring Lulu into her travel cage [photo by: Indrayana]

Transferring Lulu into her travel cage [photo by: Indrayana]

In the meantime, the other orangutans had also started to feel the effects of sedation. Bonet seemed to be already sleeping when technicians took him out of his quarantine enclosure but apparently he was not! He suddenly woke up startling the technicians who were carrying him. He crawled out of his travel cage, then just sat there in silence for a few moments.

Apparently, Bonet was not asleep yet! [photo by: Indrayana]

Apparently, Bonet was not asleep yet! [photo by: Indrayana]

The vets decided that Bonet did not need more sedation. We just had to be patient and waited until he fell asleep.

 

Still not asleep yet... [photo by: Indrayana]

Still not asleep yet… [photo by: Indrayana]

At long last, Bonet leaned on his travel cage and went to sleep [photo by: Indrayana]

At long last, Bonet leaned on his travel cage and went to sleep [photo by: Indrayana]

Heavy Rain in Puruk Cahu & Batikap

By 6.45 AM, all nine orangutans were ready in their travel cages. Using a big truck and a double-cabin four-wheeler, they were transported to the Tjilik Riwut Airport in Palangka Raya to be flown on a Pelita Air fixed-wing aircraft to Dirung Airport in Puruk Cahu. From there, they would be transferred onto a sling load and flown again by a helicopter to their release sites in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

But what we thought was going to be a smooth and uneventful day didn’t go exactly as planned. Rain poured down heavily on both Puruk Cahu and Bukit Batikap.

Loading orangutans onto a double-cabin four-wheeled drive [photo by: Indrayana]

Loading orangutans onto a double-cabin four-wheeled drive [photo by: Indrayana]

On the truck on the way to Tjilik Riwut Airport [photo by: Indrayana]

On the truck on the way to Tjilik Riwut Airport [photo by: Indrayana]

Loading onto the airplane [photo by: Indrayana]

Loading onto the airplane [photo by: Indrayana]

After loading the travel cages onto the airplane, we received news that the plane could not take off due to the heavy rain in Puruk Cahu.  The rain had been pouring down since 4 am and had not shown any sign of easing up. Although we had prepared a plan for exactly this condition, which of course would result in another delay, we still waited anxiously praying for the rain to stop. Finally, one hour behind the schedule, the plane was cleared to take off.

More Bad Weather

Fortunately the rain in Puruk Cahu finally stopped.  The Pelita Air flight carrying nine release candidates landed safely at Dirung Airport around 10 AM. Travel cages were unloaded, and four of them belonging to Mama Mozzy and Myzo, Bule, Arun and Lulu were immediately loaded onto the helicopter sling load. While Ubai Bonet, Tehang and Monmon were scheduled to get on the second flight.

Unloading from the airplane and loading onto the sling load [photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari]

Unloading from the airplane and loading onto the sling load [photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari]

But the ‘fight’ with the weather was not over.  Even though the sky in Puruk Cahu had cleared up, in Batikap rain had not stopped! Our patience was really tested today as the satellite phone in Batikap was very difficult to contact. The satellite phone connection was the only way we could find out about the weather condition in Batikap.  So while waiting to get through, the pilot and HLO rechecked the net and the sling load. Vet Barlian monitored the orangutans closely and regularly. And technicians took turns looking after the orangutans, giving them food and drinks as needed. After two hours of not being able to contact Batikap, the Release Team and helicopter pilots started to discuss the worst case scenario; delaying the release until tomorrow in which case the orangutans must stay overnight in Puruk Cahu.

Vet Barlian checking the orangutans [photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari]

Vet Barlian checking the orangutans [photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari]

Technician Wawan guarding the travel cages and looking after the orangutans while waiting for news from Batikap [photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari]

Technician Wawan guarding the travel cages and looking after the orangutans while waiting for news from Batikap [photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari]

Good news finally arrived from Batikap! The weather began to clear in Batikap and the helicopter could fly! At 1 PM, the first group of orangutans departed, heading to Batikap.

Helicopter heading to Batikap bringing the first group of orangutans [photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari]

Helicopter heading to Batikap bringing the first group of orangutans [photo by: Monica Devi Krisnasari]

Second Flight Delayed

However, by the time the helicopter returned to Puruk Cahu, the pilot reported that the weather in Batikap had worsened again.  We had no choice but to postpone the second flight. Ubai, Bonet, Tehang and Monmon must to spend the night in Puruk Cahu.  Let’s hope tomorrow is a better day and the weather is on our side so the orangutans may soon feel the air of freedom in the forest. Wish us luck!

Text by: Media Romadona & Rini Sucahyo

Press Release | Happy Independence Day, Orangutans!

After releasing 20 Central Kalimantan orangutans on Valentine’s Day last February, the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation releases 18 more orangutans from Nyaru Menteng as a dedication to the conservation effort and the pride in Indonesian wildlife in conjuction with the Indonesian 68th Independence Day 2013.

candidates

Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, 16 August, 2013. On August 16 and 17, 2013, 18 rehabilitated orangutans depart from Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program at Nyaru Menteng and travel to pre-designated release points in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. They consist of 12 female and 6 male orangutans whose details are provided in the attached Orangutan Release Candidate Profiles.

These orangutans are flown from Tjilik Riwut Airport in Palangka Raya, to Dirung Airport in Puruk Cahu, Central Kalimantan. From Puruk Cahu, they are directly flown by helicopter to Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. Due to the large number of orangutan release candidates, they are divided into two groups. Nine orangutans are flown on the first day and 9 orangutans are flown on the second day.

In addition to commemorating the 68th Indonesian Independence Day, this event is still part of an effort to meet the target stated on the Indonesian Orangutan Action Plan and Conservation Strategy 2007- 2017, launched by the president of the Republic of Indonesia during the Climate Change Conference in Bali, 2007. The Action Plan states that all eligible orangutans in rehabilitation centers should be released by 2015. Throughout 2012, the BOS Foundation has released 44 orangutans in Central Kalimantan, and plans to release 80-100 orangutans in Bukit Batikap by the end of 2013 to meet this target. So far in 2013, the BOS Foundation has released 20 orangutans on Valentine’s Day last February.

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Anton Nurcahyo, Program Manager of Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program at Nyaru Menteng said, “Our target is to release 150 to 200 orangutans in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. After which however, the carrying capacity of Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest will reach  an optimum point. Therefore, together with the Central Kalimantan Provincial Government and the Murung Raya Regency Government, we are in the process of finding a new suitable location for release events in upcoming years. If we are not able to find such location, it will be difficult to meet the Action Plan’s target.”

The success of orangutan conservation heavily relies on support from various parties, including the government, communities, and the private sector. Therefore the BOS Foundation works closely with the government of Indonesia at all levels in the conservation of orangutans and their habitat. At the provincial level, the BOS Foundation collaborates with the Provincial Government of Central Kalimantan as outlined on the Cooperation Agreement, effective since December 31, 2009, on orangutan and habitat conservation in Central Kalimantan.

According to the Head of the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority, Ir. Hariyadi, “ At the core of all long term solutions towards orangutan conservation efforts is the implementation of cooperation and support from various parties. Orangutan habitat is not only located within conservation areas, but also in areas of production forests, protected forests, and plantations, therefore the cooperation between the government and the private sector is always required. We thank the Central Kalimantan Provincial Government and the Murung Raya Regency Government for their support in this orangutan release event in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.  Since the orangutan is an endangered and protected species, the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority is commited to increasing our efforts in orangutan conservation, as mandated by the Director General of Forest Protection and Nature in Decree No. 173/IV-Set/2013.”

The CEO of the BOS Foundation, Dr. Jamartin Sihite stated, ”The private sector, especially those who have enjoyed profits from natural resources and thus have caused orangutans to be evicted from their forest home, must play a more active role in carrying out their responsibilities. Most businesses in Indonesia tend to undervalue the process of sustainable natural resources management or Best Management Practices, and impose environmental costs to other parties. While the logical fact is that externality of negative impact of a business should be the sole responsibility of the business itself. This has to change very soon and the changes must be encouraged and obligated by the government through strict and unyielding regulations.”

This release event is also supported by the Ministry of Forestry, Central Kalimantan Provincial Government, Murung Raya Regency Government, and the people of Murung Raya. The BOS Foundation would also like to convey their gratitude for the moral, financial and logistical supports from private sectors such as BHP Billiton and PT. Indo Muro Kencana, as well as individual donors, partner organizations and other conservation organizations across the globe who are concerned with orangutan conservation in Indonesia.

Contact:

Paulina L. Ela
Communications Specialist
Email: pauline@orangutan.or.id
Mobile: +62 813 4733 7003

Monterado Fridman (Agung)
Communication and Education Coordinator – Nyaru Menteng
Email: agungm@orangutan.or.id
Mobile: +62 812 509 4722

Editor’s Note:

About BOS Foundation

The Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation is an Indonesian non-­profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the Bornean orangutan and its habitat, in cooperation with local communities, the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and international partner organizations.

Founded in 1991, BOS Foundation is currently taking care of more than 800 orangutans with the support of 420 highly devoted staff, as well as experts in primatology, biodiversity, ecology, forest rehabilitation, agroforestry, community empowerment, education, and orangutan healthcare. For more information, please visit http://www.orangutan.or.id.

Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Release Candidate Profiles | August 16-17, 2013

Arun

Arun was only 3 years old when he was confiscated from a resident of Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan on December 21, 2002. A rescue team from the BOS Foundation and the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority delivered this orangutan to Nyaru Menteng to receive proper treatment and rehabilitation.

After 10 years in Nyaru Menteng, Arun is now 13 years old and weighs 55 kg. His cheekpads have started grow. He is handsome and active and his behaviour indicates his potential to become a dominant male.

After 10 years in Nyaru Menteng, Arun is now a strong and active orangutan

After 10 years in Nyaru Menteng, Arun is now a strong and active orangutan

Lulu

Lulu is a female orangutan who was sent back to Central Kalimantan after being confiscated from her keeper in Jakarta. She arrived at Nyaru Menteng on June 12 2002 in healthy condition and was estimated to be 4 – 4,5 years old, weighing 17 kg.

Lulu is now 15 years old, weighing 37 kg. On Bangamat Island, one of Nyaru Menteng’s pre-release islands, she loves to explore and prefers to be alone. Lulu once ran away and crossed a shallow part of the riverusing a floating log. After an eight-daysearch, Lulu was finally found.

Now 15 years old and weighs 37 kg, Lulu will soon be going back home to her natural habitat.

Now 15 years old and weighs 37 kg, Lulu will soon be going back home to her natural habitat.

Ubai

June 12 2002, Ubai was also confiscated from a resident in Jakarta who was suspected to have acquired her from an illegal pet market. She was then transferred to Nyaru Menteng. She was approxi­mately 4 – 4,5 years old and weighed 17 kg.

Now at 15 years old, weighing 45.5 kg, Ubai is a tomboy who looks like a male with her long beard, dark facial skin and tough expression. At first glance, she appears to be quiet but she is actually a dominant female on Kaja Island, the pre-release island where she lived.

Now after 10 years living in Nyaru Menteng, Ubai currently is undergoing quarantine as a release candidate.

Now after 10 years living in Nyaru Menteng, Ubai currently is undergoing quarantine as a release candidate.

Bonet

Bonet was estimated to be only 2,5 – 3 years old when he was confiscated from a resident of Pontianak, West Kalimantan. He was then transferred to Nyaru Menteng on May 21 2002.

Bonet who is now 13 years old and weighs 46.6 kg really loves exploring. The handsome orangutan with slightly slanted eyes and light brown hair has also started trying to catch female orangutans’ attention on Kaja Island.

Soon, Bonet will enjoy his new home in the lush canopy of Bukit Batikap.

Soon, Bonet will enjoy his new home in the lush canopy of Bukit Batikap.

Mama Mozzy and Myzo

Lone Drøscher Nielsen received a call from a local zoo in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, that a female orangutan and her infant of Central Kalimantan origin, Mama Mozzy and Mozzy, needed immediate intensive care. With the West Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority, Lone took them to Nyaru Menteng. Unfortunately little Mozzy passed away two months later due to a heart defect.

Fortunately, on April 3, 2010 Mama Mozzy was blessed with another baby, born on the pre-release island of Kaja. The female orangutan baby was named Myzo. Myzo is now 2 years old.

Now 22 years old and weighs 33,7 kg, Mama Mozzy is an active and dominant orangutan compared to other females. The orangutan with a bump on her forehead also loves to explore. In dry season she was often seen strolling along the sandy riverbank. Mama Mozzy loves her daughter Myzo very dearly. She hugs her tightly to protect her when she feels threatened.

During her time in Kaja Island, Mama Mozzy is an active and dominant orangutan compared to other females

During her time in Kaja Island, Mama Mozzy is an active and dominant orangutan compared to other females

On April 3 2012, Mama Mozzy was blessed with another baby in pre-release island of Kaja. The male orangutan baby was named Myzo.

On April 3 2012, Mama Mozzy was blessed with another baby in pre-release island of Kaja. The male orangutan baby was named Myzo.

Bule

Confiscated from a villager in Petak Bahandang, Katingan Regency, on December 1, 2002, a young male orangutan of approximately 6 – 6,5 years old arrived at Nyaru Menteng. He was named “Bule”, which means foreigner or person from overseas, for his light-coloured hair.

Bule is now 17 years old, weighing 73 kg. As he grew older, Bule’s hair turned dark brown, long, and thick making him a very handsome young man. Despite his adorable always-curious expression, Bule is a dominant adult male orangutan.

Now at the age of 17, weighing 73 kg, Bule will finally return to his new home in the forest of Bukit Batikap.

Now at the age of 17, weighing 73 kg, Bule will finally return to his new home in the forest of Bukit Batikap.

Max

A male orangutan named Max was estimated to be 3 – 3,5 years old. He was sent from Jakarta to Central Kalimantan to be rehabilitated in Nyaru Menteng where he joined the Forest School to learn his forest skills.

Now Max is 15 years old and weighs 55,6 kg. His handsome face is framed with thin brownish red hair on his temple, beard and growing cheekpads. He an active teenager who no longer likes being approached by humans.

After 12 years living in the rehabilitation center, Max has grown into an active teenage male orangutan.

After 12 years living in the rehabilitation center, Max has grown into an active teenage male orangutan.

Uban

A male orangutan was confiscated in Palangka Raya by the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority and sent to Nyaru Menteng. Uban, the orangutan, was estimated to be 3 – 3,5 years of age and weighed 10.5 kg.

At 16 years old, Uban is a big adult male orangutan weighing a staggering 83 kg. Uban is dominant, active and prefers to be alone. With growing cheekpads, he is dashingly handsome.

Now 16 years old, Uban has grown into a big adult male orangutan.

Now 16 years old, Uban has grown into a big adult male orangutan.

Tehang

Tehang is a female orangutan who was confiscated from the community in Tehang village, Katingan Regency on May 9, 2003. When she arrived at Nyaru Menteng, she was only 4 – 4,5 years old.

14 year-old Tehang is now a charming orangutan with an oval face, black skin and thick red brownish hair. She is independent and great explorer.

Since living in Kaja Island, Tehang has shown her independency.

Since living in Kaja Island, Tehang has shown her independency.

Matilda and Georgina

Matilda was confiscated from Palangka Raya at 3.5 – 4 years old, weighing 12 kg.

On March 22, 2007 Matilda delivered her first daughter, named Astria. Matilda’s second daughter was born on January 19, 2012 and named Georgina.

Matilda has brownish red hair and she is very active. She loves to explore and is so sociable. No wonder many male orangutans are attracted to her. Matilda’s tiny female baby Georgina of course is still always in her arms.

Soon, Matilda and her daughters will be back at their true home in Bukit Batikap.

Soon, Matilda and her daughters will be back at their true home in Bukit Batikap.

Astria

Little Astria is an agile orangutan. With the skills she learns from her own mother, Matilda, she never hesitates to explore the forest all by herself. No wonder Astria looks like any other wild orangutan.

Now at 5 years old weighing 6,7 kg, the elegant female with brownish red hair is an active orangutan and doesn’t like being approached by humans. Despite her young age, her knowledge and skills such as nest-building are sufficient to live in a real forest.

Learns from her own mother, Astria never hesitates to explore the forest all by herself.

Learns from her own mother, Astria never hesitates to explore the forest all by herself.

Mita

When Mita was confiscated from a resident of Palangka Raya, she was only around 3,5 – 4 years old and weighed 12 kg.

Now at 17 years old weighing 28,9 kg, Mita has grown into an elegant and active female orangutan who loves to explore and is friendly towards other orangutans.

Now 17 years old and weighs 28.9 kg, Mita has grown into an elegant female orangutan, active and loves to explore.

Now 17 years old and weighs 28.9 kg, Mita has grown into an elegant female orangutan, active and loves to explore.

Mongki

Also confiscated from a Palangka Raya resident, Mongki was only 4 – 4,5 years old and weighed 17,5 kg, he then joined his peers in the Forest School.

After he graduated from the Forest School, Mongki was moved to Palas Island. This sturdy male is now an active and dominant orangutan. At 16 years old and 39,8 kg, his cheekpads have started to grow, framing his handsome face.

Soon valiantly Mongki will return home to the lush forest of Bukit Batikap.

Soon valiantly Mongki will return home to the lush forest of Bukit Batikap.

Lona and Nielsen

Confiscated in Jakarta, this female orangutan arrived in Nyaru Menteng at the age of 6 – 6,5 years old and weighed 18 kg. Nyaru Menteng’s founder, Lone Drøscher Nielsen named this beautiful orangutan with thick dark brown hair, Lona. Living on Kaja Island since 2004, Lona socializes easily with other orangutans and loves to explore.

On November 4, 2005, after one year on Kaja Island, Lona gave birth to a female baby named Nielsen, whom she loves and protects with all her heart.

Lona is now 18 years old and weighs 35 kg. She is ready to return to her true home in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.
Nielsen is now 7 years old and weighs 18,1 kg. Nielsen is a very active orangutan and does not like to be around humans. She has long and bright brown hair. Entering her teenage years, Nielsen is also ready to join her mother and her friends in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

After one year on Kaja Island, Lona gave birth to a female baby named Nielsen.

After one year on Kaja Island, Lona gave birth to a female baby named Nielsen.

Nielsen is a very active young orangutan and does not like humans to be around her.

Nielsen is a very active young orangutan and does not like humans to be around her.

Monmon

Confiscated from a resident of Jakarta, Monmon was 4,5 – 5 years weighing 19 kg when she arrived at Nyaru Menteng. After finishing her study at Forest School, Monmon was placed on Bangamat Island, and later moved to Kaja Island.

Monmon is now 13 years old and weighs 30.3 kg. The beautiful orangutan is ready to go home to the forest.

Prepared with her skills, Monmon is ready to go home to Bukit Batikap forest.

Prepared with her skills, Monmon is ready to go home to Bukit Batikap forest.