Update from the Forest

The helicopter returned to Mt. Muro Airport, Dirung this morning with a flash-disk and internal memory card containing great news and several photos from our team in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest (Batikap).  All orangutans have been successfully released!

DAY 1

Yesterday, the first eight orangutans were released successfully. Cindy carried her daughter, Riwut, and as soon as her travel cage was opened by Ahmat and Vet Adhi Maruli, she immediately climbed the tree right in front of her.

Cilik’s travel cage was opened by our Post Release Monitoring Coordinator in Batikap, Ike Naya Silana, while Mandra’s travel cage was opened by Technician Kustimbung. A few minutes after their cages were opened, Cilik and Mandra were seen scrambling over something. Despite his small size, Cilik won the scramble.

After the first orangutan group had been successfully released, the team waited patiently for the arrival of Daisy, Zona, Nopi and Nicky.

The afternoon sky was much clearer and helicopter had no problem in flying directly to Batikap. As with the first group, the process of sling loading and setting orangutans down at helipad went smoothly.

Nopi and Nicky were the first orangutans to be released from the second group. Without wasting a single moment, as soon as technician Joy opened their travel cage, Nopi climbed to freedom up a tree into her new home in the  rainforest in the heart of Borneo. Their true home!

Nopi’s eldest daughter, Zona, was the next to be released. Technician Tuwe opened the cage and Zona quickly ran out and climbed the nearest tree as high as she could and immediately constructed a nest. It seemed that the long trip from Nyaru Menteng to Batikap tired Zona out and she needed a nice and comfortable rest in her new home together with her Mum and sister.

Daisy was the last orangutan to be released yesterday. Technician Arfan opened her travel cage. Exiting her cage, Daisy turned around and looked at the team, then she climbed a tree. But not long after, she descended again and tried to approach the team. She was somewhat unhappy with the team’s presence.  The release team successfully encouraged Daisy to climb again.

Enjoy your new home, Daisy! There will be much new experiences waiting for you!

DAY 2

In Batikap, Inung and baby Ina’s travel cage was the first to be opened today. Technician Eldy accompanied by Vet Adhi Maruli opened the cage and Inung didn’t even look back. With her daughter Ina clinging onto her tightly, she stormed out and climbed a tree. Inung’s oldest daughter, Indah, was the next to be released, and technician Owang, opened her travel cage. She too, immediately climbed out, grabbed a liana and used it to swing to another tree to catch up with her mother and sister. They are reunited!

Next, technician Johanis opened Boy’s travel cage. Sure enough, once his travel cage was opened, Boy raced to the nearby tree and started eating. Seemed like the long journey has made him starving. Well, enjoy your meal, buddy!

Bertha’s travel cage was opened by technician Tedison. Bertha was a bit aggressive. She didn’t seem pleased with the team’s presence and turned around to chase them. The team decided to give Bertha some space. After being left alone, Bertha calmed down and soon disappeared into the forest, especially after seeing senior technician’s from Nyaru Menteng, Azis and Tedison approach her.

Daisy and Bertha showed aggressive behavior indicating that they are ready to be true wild orangutans.

The orangutan release activities for this day officially ended. Updates on Komo, Lolin, Shelli and Forest who were released today will have to wait for some of the team members to return from Batikap.

Enjoy your new home, pals! And of course congratulation for all of the Orangutan Release Activity Team for this marvellous achievement!

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Orangutan release activities – especially cross-province activities – are very costly. Help us send more orangutans home by donating at http://orangutan.or.id/donate.

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Text by: Paulina L. Ela (BOSF Communications Specialist) & Feby Musbar (BOSF Communications Admin).

Photos by: Hermansyah and Ike Naya Silana

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Day 3: The Return of 9 Orangutans to Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest and 3 Cross-Province Orangutan Release Candidates

After the successful reintroduction of 8 orangutans yesterday, the BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng team continued the orangutan release activity by sending a further 9 orangutans to Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest (Batikap). The nine orangutans were divided into two groups. Inung, along with her two daughters, Indah and Ina; Boy, Bertha, and Komo were in the Group 1, while Lolin, Shelli and Forest were in Group 2. From Nyaru Menteng, these orangutans would be carried by truck to Tjilik Riwut Airport, Palangka Raya and then continue their journey with a Twin Otter aircraft to Mt. Muro Airport, Dirung. Their cages would then be put into a cargo net to be flown by helicopter to Batikap. Meanwhile, Yayang, Sayang and Diah, the three cross-province release candidates would travel along with Group 2 by road then these three orangutans would also be joining the rest of Group 2 on the Twin Otter aircraft to Mt. Muro, Dirung, and continue their journey with the same aircraft to Sepinggan Airport, Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. After Yayang, Sayang and Diah arrived in Balikpapan, they would continue their journey to Kehje Sewen Forest.

Just like yesterday, the Orangutan Release Team was ready from 4.30 am. drh. Riani and the rest of medical team were already prepared with the sedation and medical equipment needed to ensure the safe transfer of the orangutans from the quarantine facility to their travel cages. Indah, Inung’s first daughter, was successfully sedated by Technician Nono without difficulties. While waiting for Indah to fall asleep, the team started sedating the rest of the orangutans. Bertha, Boy, Inung, and Komo were successfully sedated in that order. The Medical Team had to give a top up dose to Boy as the first sedation was not completely successful. After that, Boy finally fell asleep. Ina, Inung’s second daughter did not need to be sedated since she naturally clung to her Mum, and did not want to let go. After Inung fell asleep, our technicians then carried both of them gently to their travel cage, along with the others. At 6.13 am, all orangutans were safe in their travel cages and ready to be loaded onto the truck that would take them to Tjilik Riwut Airport, Palangka Raya.

Vet Riani preparing sedation.
Little Ina clung to her mum.
Boy given top up dose

After approximately 1 hour travel by road, the team arrived at Tjilik Riwut Airport. Inung and Ina were the first to be loaded onto the Twin Otter aircraft, followed by Bertha, Boy, Indah, and Komo. After a final check, at 07.32 am the Twin Otter departed to Mt. Muro Airport, Dirung, Murung Raya Regency. On their journey, the orangutans were accompanied by drh. Fiet, Technician Rinto, and a representation from Central Kalimantan BKSDA.

Inung and Ina were first loaded onto the plane.
Technical checking.

Although have been through several release processes, the team still found it difficult to express their feelings. It was a mix between sadness, emotion, but also proud. Have a fun journey!

Mt. Muro Airport, Dirung, Murung Raya Regency: A Beautiful Morning

One of the factors that made yesterday’s release activity successful was the beautiful, clear weather.  The team kept hoping that the weather today would be as good as yesterday. Our prayers were granted! The weather was beautiful since morning

.

Dirung was bright this morning.

The team in Dirung waited for the Twin Otter that carried the orangutans from Group 1. The plane arrived safely at 08.18 am. The team immediately started the unloading process and brought Group 1 to the helipad. Thirty minutes later, the helicopter that would fly them to Batikap arrived. The team then started the loading process. After all of the orangutans had been loaded into the helicopter cargo net, the crew and technicians did a final check, making sure everything was safe and ready to go. At 9.16 am, the helicopter departed to Batikap.

Take off to Batikap!

Nyaru Menteng: Group 2 Preparation and Cross-Province Release Candidates

There was something new this time around. This was the first time that the BOS Foundation had conducted a cross-province orangutan release. DNA tests revealed that three orangutans, mother-daughter Yayang and Sayang, along with Diah, were Pongo pygmaeus morio, which originate from East Kalimantan. Therefore, to protect the purity of the sub-species, these three orangutans would have to be released in East Kalimantan, although had lived and learned at Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan.

The truck that transported Group 1 earlier had arrived back at Nyaru Menteng. The process of sedating and transporting the orangutans from Group 2 to their travel cages had been completed. Lolin was the only one who did not need to be sedated before going to her travel cage.  As mentioned before, Group 2 consisted of Lolin, Shelli, Forest, and three candidates who were ready for  cross-province release, Yayang, Sayang, and Diah.

Diah, before taken into her travel cage.
The little Sayang, before taken into her travel cage.

At 8.28 am, Group 2 was transported to Tjilik Riwut Airport, Palangka Raya, and arrived an hour later. The unloading process was conducted immediately. At approximately 10.11 am, the Twin Otter from Mt. Muro, Dirung, arrived, and the team started the loading process right after. At the same time, the three cross-province release candidates were handed over officially from Nyaru Menteng to Samboja Lestari. The Team from Samboja Lestari was represented by drh. Agus Irwanto, the Program Manager of the BOS Foundation East Kalimantan Reintroduction Program Samboja Lestari. The trip to Mt. Muro Airport, Dirung would be accompanied by drh. Agus Irwanto, technician Imam Ghozali, and Media Romadona, BOS Foundation Communications Officer. At exactly 11.08 am, the Twin Otter took off to Mt. Muro Airport, Dirung, Murung Raya Regency.

Media, Agus and Imam.
Hand over to Samboja Lestari Team.
From Nyaru Menteng with Love!
Group 2 and 3 cross-province orangutan release candidates were ready to take off.

Two groups of orangutans had departed. They were halfway through their journey to finally experience the beauty of Batikap, a place where they would finally be set free once again.

Receiving and Sending Off The Last Group

At 11.47 am, the Twin Otter from Tjilik Riwut Airport arrived at Mt. Muro, Dirung.  The unloading process was quick due to the fact that the disembarking passengers were only Lolin, Shelli, and Forest. Just like their friends, they would continue their journey to Bukit Batikap by helicopter, while Yayang, Sayang, and Diah would continue their journey to Sepinggan Airport, Balikpapan, on the same aircraft.

Unloading Lolin.
Group 2 were secured in cargo net.

Komo, Lolin, Shelli, and Forest were safely secured ready in cargo net, waiting for the arrival of the helicopter from Batikap, which did not take too long.

At exactly 12.09 pm, the Twin Otter that carried Yayang, Sayang, and Diah took off, followed by the helicopter 15 minutes later, taking Komo, Lolin, Shelli, and Forest to Batikap.

The Twin Otter took off to Sepinggan Airport.
Group 2 were flying to Batikap!

Today’s task has come to an end. How about Yayang, Sayang and Diah? And also orangutans that were released back into Bukit Batikap today?

Stay tuned for mor stories on our web and blog!

Nyaru Menteng Medical Team took a picture together with Samboja Lestari’s Program Manager.

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Orangutan release activities – especially cross-province activities – are very costly. Help us send more orangutans home by donating at http://orangutan.or.id/donate.

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Text by: Ajeng Ika Nugraheni (RHOI Communications Officer) & Feby Musbar (BOSF Communications Admin).

Photos by: Paulina L. Ela, Media Romadona, Anton Nurcahyo.

 

Day 2: The Journey of 8 Orangutans Reintroduced into Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest

This is the second day of our 2 cross-province transfers and 2 back to back releases and the first day of operations where we reintroduced eight orangutans into the wild in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest (Batikap). These eight orangutans were first transported by truck from Nyaru Menteng to Tjilik Riwut Airport in Palangka Raya, where they continued their journey on a fixed-wing airplane to Mt. Muro Airport in Dirung, Murung Raya Regency. From Dirung, a helicopter transported them to Batikap, where they were finally able to breathe true freedom in natural habitat.

It was only 4.30 in the morning and the day was still dark, but the Orangutan Release team in Nyaru Menteng was already in high spirits to start the first day of the 7th orangutan reintroduction activities. The medical team was on stand by at Midway 2 Quarantine Complex, ready to sedate the orangutan release candidates who were leaving for their true home in Batikap later today. Eight orangutans would be flown to Batikap. Cindy and her children Cilik and Riwut, and Mandra, were on the first flight group.  Nopi and her children Zona and Nicky, and Daisy would be flown on the second flight.

The Team was preparing sedation for Group 1.

The Team was preparing sedation for Group 1.

Cilik, a six year old male orangutan, was the first to be sedated today, followed by Cindy, his mother. Riwut, Cindy’s baby is only one year old and always holds tight to Cindy meaning she did not have to be sedated. While waiting for the sedation to work on both of them, the team checked on Mandra and decided that she also didn’t need any sedation. The technicians walked her into her travel cage without too much trouble.

2. Cilik out of the enclosure

Cilik, taken out of the enclosure.

Sedating Cindy.

Sedating Cindy.

It took longer than expected for the sedation to work on Cilik and Cindy, and both required a slightly topped up dose. After a while, Cilik finally fell asleep. After being given his final de-worming shot, he went into his travel cage and just before the door was closed, he received a sedation reversal. A little while late, super mum Cindy also fell asleep. She was moved into her travel cage with little Riwut clinging tightly onto her belly, looking a bit confused but calm.

Riwut doesn't want to leave her Mum!

Riwut doesn’t want to leave her Mum!

With the first group all ready on the truck, the Team left Nyaru Menteng for Tjilik Riwut Airport in Palangka Raya, where a Twin Otter airplane was waiting for them to transport them to Mt. Muro Airport in Dirung, Murung Raya Regency.

The truck that carry the orangutans to Tjilik Riwut Airport.

The truck that carry the orangutans to Tjilik Riwut Airport.

We arrived at the airport at 6.45 am, and while waiting for loading time, we had our breakfast together. Nothing tastes better than when eating together with your lovely team mates!

Breakfast!

Breakfast!

10 minutes later, we received the cue that we could start loading the orangutans into the Twin Otter.  Cindy and Riwut were loaded first, followed by Mandra and Cilik. The process was smooth and took less than ten minutes to load them all on the plane.

Cindy and Riwut loaded onto the airplane.

Cindy and Riwut loaded onto the airplane.

Cindy, Riwut, Cilik, and Mandra were accompanied to Dirung by Vet Maryos, technician Hendra, and Imam Mustafa, a ranger official from the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority. The airplane finally took off at 7.25 am, after the crew completed all the technical preparations.

Vet Maryos, Imam from BKSDA, Technician Hendri and Nyaru Menteng Program Manager, Anton Nurcahyo.

Vet Maryos, Imam from BKSDA, Technician Hendra and Nyaru Menteng Program Manager, Anton Nurcahyo.

Mt. Muro, Dirung: Halfway Home

Since last night, rain had fallen in Dirung and stopped only when dawn broke.  The sky cleared as if it felt the joy of welcoming the orangutans who were coming back to their true home in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

During, this morning.

Dirung, this morning.

The Orangutan Release Team in Dirung also coordinated with the Batikap Team, and received news that rain was also falling heavily in Batikap and had done so allnight.  As the day became  lighter, the sky in Batikap also cleared and brought us hope that today’s activities would go well.

Last Journey towards their True Home

At 08. 12 am, the Twin Otter airplane arrived at Mt. Muro Airport in Dirung carrying Mandra and Cindy and both her children, Riwut and Cilik who were accompanied by Vet Maryos, technician Hendra, and a representative from Central Kalimantan BKSDA.

The Twin Otter arrived in Mt. Muro, During.

The Twin Otter arrived in Mt. Muro, Dirung.

Cilik was the first to be unloaded from the plane, followed by Mandra, Cindy and Riwut. The orangutans were welcomed by the Murung Raya Regency Head of Forestry Department, Ir. Pahala Budiawan, MM. The four orangutans were immediately brought to the helipad, to wait for the arrival of the B3 helicopter which would take them back to their home in Batikap.

Waiting for the helicopter.

pauline2

Soon, the helicopter arrived and the four orangutans were ready to be flown to Batikap. Cilik looked impatient and shook his travel cage, maybe he just couldn’t wait to be free in the forest!

Palangka Raya: Preparing the Second Group

Meanwhile, the truck was already on the way back to Midway 2 in Nyaru Menteng to pick up Daisy, Nopi, Nicky and Zona. The sedation activities for Group 2 in Midway 2 were already underway. Daisy, however, was the first to get into the travel cage, as just like Mandra, she was willing to walk with the familiar technicians with a little persuasion and without sedation. Zona, was the next to fall asleep and be moved into her travel cage.

Daisy loaded onto the truck.

Daisy loaded onto the truck.

Apparently, Zona and Nopi, Nicky’s mother, couldn’t fall asleep peacefully because Nicky, the playful  three year old little boy kept bothering his mother! At 8.30 am, Nopi was finally asleep and could be moved into her travel cage, while little Nicky was carried by a vet and a technician into his mother’s travel cage.

13. Nicky

Nicky was carried by a vet and a technician into his mother’s travel cage.

8.35 am, the Team left Nyaru Menteng with the second and last group of the day. Meanwhile in Tjilik Riwut Airport, the Twin Otter arrived from Dirung at 9.18 am, almost at the same time as the arrival of the Team to the airport. The first to be loaded into the airplane was Zona, followed by Daisy, and the last were Nopi and Nicky. The process, just like the previous group, was also carried out smoothly.

Anton Nurcahyo and Head of BKSDA carried Zona.

Anton Nurcahyo and Head of BKSDA carried Zona.

After the loading was completed, CEO of the BOS Foundation, Jamartin Sihite and the Head of Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority Ir. Hariyadi gave a press conference to the attending reporters.  At 10 am, Nopi, Nicky, Zona, and Daisy were flying on their way to Mt. Muro Airport in Dirung.

14. a Presscon

Second Group Arrival in Mt. Muro, Dirung

At 10. 43 am, the Twin Otter arrived one more time at Mt. Muro Airport carrying Daisy, Nopi, and Nopi’s two children Zona and Nicky. The clear weather also welcomed the group. They were brought to the helipad while the Twin Otter prepared to go back to Tjilik Riwut airport in Palangka Raya.

Daisy and Nopi’s little family were loaded into the cargo net. While waiting for the helicopter to arrive from Batikap, the top of the travel cages was covered by canvas to protect the orangutans from the heat.

terpal

Covered to prevent the heat.

Finally the helicopter arrived! The team made all the final preparations and inspections of Daisy and Nopi’s family to ensure their safety during the journey. Just like Cilik, Zona was very enthusiastic and busy making kiss-squeak sounds.  Soon, Zona, you will enjoy the freedom of your true home in Batikap, along with your mother and sibling, and your other friends!

Take off!

Tomorrow we will update you on the story from Batikap which closes the day, and we will also have nine more orangutans being reintroduced into Batikap, and the cross-province release of Yayang, Sayang, and Diah.

Group photo but incomplete

Team in Palangkaraya.

timdirung

Team in Dirung.

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Orangutan release activities – especially cross-province activities – are very costly. Help us send more orangutans home by donating at http://orangutan.or.id/donate.

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Text by: Paulina L. Ela (BOSF Communications Specialist) & Media Romadona (BOSF Communications Officer).

Photos by: Paulina L. Ela, Media Romadona, Melissa, Indrayana, Anton Nurcahyo, Merryl.

Day 1: Five Orangutans Return to Central Kalimantan

Closing the year 2013, the BOS Foundation is taking on the trickiest challenge yet, tackling multiple activities at once and involving cross-province collaboration of three of our programs – Nyaru Menteng, Samboja Lestari, and Orangutan Habitat Restoration (RHOI). These are our most complicated – not to mention, most costly – activities to date, yet very important in ensuring the survival of this iconic species.

The main activity is the 7th orangutan release from the BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Program, which will start tomorrow on November 29, 2013, reintroducing 17 orangutans into the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. But the BOS Foundation was able to take this opportunity, thanks to the logistical support from BHP Billiton, to translocate a total of eight orangutans across both provinces, from East Kalimantan to Central Kalimantan and vice versa.

Candidate Profiles Cross-Provinces Orangutan Release-1

The Background

These cross-province activities are hoped to highlight some of the many challenges in orangutan conservation and the fact that it is actually easier and cheaper to leave them undisturbed in their natural habitat. Releasing orangutans is not as easy as one may think. It is not about simply taking them to a forest and opening their cages. There are many criteria to follow, both national and international (IUCN).  One of the criteria is to ensure subspecies are released into their appropriate locations.

This means orangutans must be released into their area of their origin, i.e. East Kalimantan orangutans cannot be released in Central Kalimantan or other forests outside East Kalimantan. Central Kalimantan orangutans cannot be released in West Kalimantan, etc. And therefore, it is necessary to conduct DNA testing to determine orangutans’ subspecies soon after they are rescued and/or confiscated, which is the responsibility of the government, in this case the local Conservation and Natural Resources Authorities (BKSDA). The results of DNA checks will help determine which rehabilitation center(s) the orangutans should go to.

However, such compliance to the necessity has never been adhered to. BKSDA usually send orangutans to a specific orangutan rehabilitation center simply based on closest proximity and/or availability of resources, instead of the location of their subspecies. Thus, so far, it becomes the responsibility of each rehabilitation center to ensure that release candidates go through DNA tests to determine subspecies, before releasing them in the forest.

The Switch

Following obligatory DNA testing procedures, the BOS Foundation found that eight of our orangutans are not where they should be. Despite having been rehabilitated over many years at our Orangutan Rehabilitation Center at Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan, DNA test results revealed that five orangutans – Cici, Donna, Karen, Roma, and Marwoto – belong to the subspecies Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii, which naturally inhabits the central part of Kalimantan.

Similarly, three orangutans – mother-child pair Yayang and Sayang, as well as a female adult, Diah – who have been rehabilitated at our Orangutan Rehabilitation Center at Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, turned out to belong to the subspecies Pongo pygmaeus morio, which naturally inhabits the eastern part of Kalimantan. A switch must be made.

Samboja Lestari Team posing together before a busy day ahead

Samboja Lestari Team posing together before a busy day ahead

The Orangutans

Today, the five orangutans from Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan finally embarked on the cross-province journey to Central Kalimantan. Activities at Samboja Lestari started at 10 am. Travel cages were cleaned and filled with comfortable leaves, then the team got ready to sedate orangutans.

Marwoto, the only male in the group

Marwoto, the only male in the group

Marwoto, the only male in the group, was the first to be sedated. He came to Samboja Lestari at the age of 5 years old on October 4, 2001, after being confiscated by BKSDA in South Kalimantan. He is now an adult aged 17 years old and known as a natural forager. He is an expert at finding forest foods such as ficus, wild mangosteen, bamboo shoots and termites.

It didn’t take very long for the sedation to work on Marwoto. He soon fell asleep and was transferred to his travel cage.

Sedating Marwoto

Sedating Marwoto

Karen also didn’t give the any team any trouble. The sedation worked quickly on this 14 year-old female. Karen was confiscated in Jakarta by the local BKSDA when she was 5 years old and arrived at Samboja Lestari on July 14, 2004. Karen has always maintained her ‘wild side’. She is independent and very clever. Karen was the second orangutan of the day sleeping peacefully in her travel cage.

Karen has always kept her 'wild side'

Karen has always kept her ‘wild side’

Karen falling asleep

Karen falling asleep

Donna, on the other hand, is a feisty female. The first sedation attempt was not successful. The 14 year-old kept swinging from one side of the socialization enclosure to the other. Donna used to be someone’s pet in Surabaya, East Java until the local BKSDA office were alerted to her situation and confiscated her at the age of 3. She came to Samboja Lestari on August 1, 2002. Like Karen, Donna has also maintained her wild nature and has grown into a dominant female.

Feisty Donna

Feisty Donna

Her dominance was clearly shown today. She was not about to make it easy for us to sedate her. But the second sedation attempt finally worked. She fell asleep and was safely transferred into her travel cage.

Donna finally asleep and transferred into her travel cage

Donna finally asleep and transferred into her travel cage

Roma was also confiscated in Jakarta. She was only 4 years old back then. Roma arrived at Samboja Lestari on January 25, 2000. Roma has never liked being around humans. She is independent and has developed great forest skills. Roma, now a 17 year-old adult, was the fourth orangutan to be sedated. A few minutes later, she seemed to have fallen asleep. But as she was gently carried out of the socialization enclosure, she woke up! It was clear that she was not fully awake, but just to be safe, vet Agnes gave her an extra dose of sedation.

Roma doesn't like being around humans

Roma doesn’t like being around humans

Vet Agnes gave Roma extra sedation dose

Vet Agnes gave Roma extra sedation dose

Last but not least, Cici, a female orangutan aged 13 years old, was sedated. Cici was confiscated by BKSDA Jakarta and arrived at Samboja Lestari on January 8, 2003. She was only 3 years old at that time. During her years training at Forest School, Cici was known for her ‘disappearing acts’. She was an expert at hiding in bushes or swinging through trees without making a sound, making it hard for her babysitters to monitor her movements and earning her the nickname ‘gibbon’ because she was quick like a gibbon.

Cici is nicknamed 'gibbon'

Cici is nicknamed ‘gibbon’

Waiting for Cici to fall asleep

Waiting for Cici to fall asleep

The Flight to Central Kalimantan

By 1 pm, all five orangutans were safely in their travel cages and had been loaded onto a truck. The team departed to Sepinggan Airport, Balikpapan and arrived there at around 2.30 pm. The Hevilift aircraft was already there, waiting for us.

After sorting out the necessary paperwork, we started unloading the travel cages from the truck and loading them onto the airplane. Cici went in first, followed by Roma, Donna, Karen, and Marwoto. Samboja Lestari Program ManagerAgus Irwanto, and a Senior TechnicianImam Gozali, also boarded the airplane to accompany the five orangutans on their journey back to their homeland in Central Kalimantan.

Loading process, starting with Cici

Loading process, starting with Cici

Rain suddenly poured down on us during the loading process. Fortunately, it stopped just before the airplane was about to take off.  The sun came out, the sky was bright and decorated with a beautiful rainbow as the airplane took to the sky at 3.45 pm.

Beautiful rainbow at the end of the runway

Beautiful rainbow at the end of the runway

The Welcome at Nyaru Menteng

Meanwhile at Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, the day began with final technical preparations for orangutan release activities. All travel cages were cleaned and taken to the quarantine enclosure. The team also made extra holes on the travel cage for Yayang and Sayang for extra ventilation, safety and comfort, as the mother-child pair will share the same cage and will have to endure a long journey to the Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kalimantan.

Shortly after lunch, at around 1 pm, the Nyaru Menteng Team departed to Tjilik Riwut Airport, Palangka Raya, to pick up Marwoto, Cici, Donna, Karen and Roma. Although these five orangutans were accompanied by Agus and Imam, Nyaru Menteng also dispatched a backup team of vet, technicians and a security guard led by vet Anggun MumpuniNyaru Menteng Program ManagerAnton Nurcahyo, the BOS Foundation’s CEOJamartin Sihite, and the Communication Team from Nyaru Menteng and the Headquarters also accompanied the team.

Nyaru Menteng Team waiting for the airplane

Nyaru Menteng Team waiting for the airplane

At 4.10 pm local time (Palangka Raya is one hour behind Balikpapan), the Hevilift Twin Otter aircraft bringing Cici, Donna, Karen, Roma and Marwoto arrived in Central Kalimantan! The unloading process went quickly and smoothly starting with Marwoto. The last unloaded from the airplane and loaded unto the truck was Cici. The whole process took less than 10 minutes.

By 5 pm, we reached Nyaru Menteng 2 enclosure complex, where Karen, Cici, Roma, Donna, and Marwoto will stay temporarily before being moved to one of the pre-release islands in Nyaru Menteng. The orangutans were calm and patient despite the journey and they were willing to cooperate and enter their enclosure. We called it a day without any incident at just around 5.30 pm.

CEO Jamartin Sihite unloading Cici

CEO Jamartin Sihite unloading Cici

However, Marwoto, Cici and the gang were not the only ones affectionately welcomed back in their homeland. Agus Irwanto was also very happy to be back in Nyaru Menteng where he spent the first few years of his veterinary career at the BOS Foundation. He received a warm welcome by many of his old friends at Nyaru Menteng. Welcome back in Central Kalimantan, guys!

Today and the next three days are exceptional and incredibly challenging for our teams.  We are conducting two orangutan cross province transfers and two back-to-back orangutan reintroductions into Central and East Kalimantan. This is a huge logistical operation with numerous staff members involved. Much will depend on the weather.

Keep watching this space for a lot more orangutan release and cross-province release activities in the next few days!

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Orangutan release activities – especially cross-province activities – are very costly. Help us send more orangutans home by donating at http://orangutan.or.id/donate.

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Text by: Rini Sucahyo (BOSF Communications Advisor for the CEO) & Media Romadona (BOSF Communications Officer).

Photos by: Rini Sucahyo, Media Romadona, Suwardy, Wiwik Astutik.

[PRESS RELEASE] The BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng Program Releases 17 Orangutans

Kandidat

The BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng Program Releases 17 Orangutans

On October 13, 2013, and with the release of nine orangutans from the East Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Center in Samboja Lestari, the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation reached a significant milestone of releasing 100 orangutans into safe natural habitat. The release event was part of a series of orangutan release events which recommenced in Kalimantan in early 2012, following 11 years of being unable to release any orangutans due to the difficulties in finding safe and suitable forests as release locations. Now, through further efforts to achieve the targets stated in the Indonesian Orangutan Conservation Strategy and Action Plan 2007-2017, the BOS Foundation’s Program at Nyaru Menteng releases another 17 orangutans.  This brings our total number of released orangutans into Central Kalimantan alone, to 99 and our overall total to 117.

 

Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, 29 November 2013. On 29 and 30 November 2013, another 17 rehabilitant orangutans depart from the Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program in Nyaru Menteng to pre-designated release points in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. These orangutans consist of 13 female and four male orangutans, whose biographies can be reviewed in the attached ‘Orangutan Release Candidates’ document.

These orangutans are flown from Tjilik Riwut Airport, Palangka Raya to Dirung Airport in Puruk Cahu. From Puruk Cahu they will continue the journey by helicopter to the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. Due to the number of release candidates, they will be divided into four separated flight groups. The first day sees eight orangutans flying to Bukit Batikap, and the rest will be flown on the second day.

This release event is still part of the effort to achieve the target stated in the Indonesian Orangutan Conservation Strategy and Action Plan 2007-2017.  The Action Plan was launched by the President of the Republic of Indonesia during the Climate Change Conference in Bali, 2007. It states that all eligible orangutans in rehabilitation centers should be released by 2015, and this has been validated by all levels of government, including the provincial and regency levels. During 2012, the BOS Foundation successfully released 44 orangutans in Central Kalimantan, and is planning to release a further 80-100 orangutans in 2013 and 2014 to meet the target.  Since the beginning of 2013 to date, the BOS Foundation released a further 20 orangutans on Valentine’s day and 18 orangutans on the 68th Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia, within Central Kalimantan.

Anton Nurcahyo, Program Manager of the BOS Foundation Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program in Nyaru Menteng said, “We are having to increase the intensity of our orangutan conservation efforts due to the tragic events happening especially of late, specifically orangutan killings and new forest clearance by the business sector.  Since August, in less than three months Nyaru Menteng has received eight orphaned young orangutans. These young orangutans have lost their mothers and now need at least seven years of rehabilitation in order to be returned successfully to the wild.  We expect that many more orangutans have been illegally killed during this period, though we were never given the chance to rescue and help these individuals.   Meanwhile the government has set the target for the release of all the orangutans currently in rehabilitation centers by 2015 at the latest.  If the government cannot enforce the law to protect orangutans and their habitat, the target in the Orangutan Conservation Action Plan will be impossible to meet. We are also facing the urgent need to find a new suitable forest location in order to ensure orangutan releases can continue well in the future.”

While  the Head of Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority, Ir. Hariyadi, stated “Companies concession areas in which orangutans and High Conservation Value Forests exist, are supposed to work together with the Conservation and Natural Resources Authority (BKSDA) to establish a conservation and environmentally oriented plantation management plan.  Companies must contribute to orangutan conservation efforts by establishing an Orangutan Rescue Task Force. The purpose is to prevent conflict between humans and wildlife, in this case conflict with orangutans within plantation areas.  In establishing this plan they comply with the regulations set by the Minister of Forestry regarding Guidelines of Conflict Management between Humans and Wildlife.  BKSDA will respond positively to every effort to cooperate in orangutan conservation issues within company’s concession areas to conserve all protected species.  In the future, the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority will invite companies to cooperate in conservation and environmentally oriented forest and plantation management plans through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).”

Dr. Jamartin Sihite, CEO of the BOS Foundation said, “The negative impact of the business sector should become the responsibility of the business actors themselves. The private sector, especially those which have gained profit from natural resources and caused orangutans to be displaced from their forest habitat must play a more active role in carrying out their responsibilities. Companies should run sustainable natural resource management and incorporate Best Management Practices to protect the orangutans living in their concession area. They must also be responsible of the many orphaned orangutans entering rehabilitation centers. They must carry the costs of the rehabilitation process until these orangutans can be released back into the forest. They cannot put the burden of environmental damage costs upon other parties.”

The success of orangutan conservation efforts heavily relies on the support from the concerned parties, including the government, community, and private sector. The BOS Foundation in its effort to conserve the orangutans and their habitat works together with the Indonesian Government of all levels, including the Ministry of Forestry, Central Kalimantan Provincial Government, Murung Raya Regency Government, and Central Kalimantan Natural Resources and Conservation Authority (BKSDA). On December 31, 2009, the BOS Foundation and Central Kalimantan Provincial Government signed a cooperation agreement on orangutan conservation and its habitat in Central Kalimantan.

In addition to the support of the government, this release event is also supported by the whole community of Murung Raya as well as the individual donors, partner organisations, and conservation organisations across the globe who are concerned with orangutan conservation in Indonesia. The BOS Foundation would like to convey its gratitude for the moral, financial, and logistical support from the private sector, such as PT. Indo Muro Kencana.  We reach out to the business community and ask that they follow the example of those organizations which do support conservation, and seek to live up to their environmental responsibilities to ensure conservation targets in Indonesia are achieved.

 

Media Contact:

Paulina L. Ela

Communication Specialist

Email: pauline@orangutan.or.id

Mobile: +62 813 4733 7003

 

Monterado Fridman (Agung)

Nyaru Menteng Communications and Education Coordinator

Email: agungm@orangutan.or.id

Mobile: +62 812 509 4722

 

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Editor’s Note:

ABOUT  BOS FOUNDATION

Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) is an Indonesian non-profit organization based in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, which is committed to rescue, rehabilitate, and reintroduce Borneo orangutans to their natural habitat, as well as educating local communities and increasing public awareness about the conservation of orangutans.

Established since 1991, BOSF has partnered closely with the Ministry of Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia and are supported by international donors, as well as other organizations. BOSF is currently headed by Prof. Dr. Bungaran Saragih as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. For more information, visit www.orangutan.or.id.

[PRESS RELEASE] The First Cross-Province Orangutan Reintroduction

Foto Yayang_Sayang_Diah

THE FIRST CROSS-PROVINCE ORANGUTAN REINTRODUCTION

from the BOS Foundation Orangutan Reintroduction Center, Nyaru Menteng in Central Kalimantan

 to the RHOI Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kalimantan

As a part of the 7th orangutan reintroduction event from the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation program in Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan a mother-infant orangutan unit and one further individual are released in the BOS Foundation/ RHOI Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan. Along with this release event, five orangutans from the BOS Foundation orangutan program at Samboja Lestari in East Kalimantan are being translocated to Nyaru Menteng. These five orangutans who are of sub-species Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii will undertake the last stage of rehabilitation process on one the pre-release islands which are managed by the BOS Foundation in Nyaru Menteng before finally being released into their natural habitat in Central Kalimantan.

 

Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, 1 December 2013. A mother and her infant, and one other individual are released into the BOS Foundation / RHOI Ecosystem Restoration Concession, Kehje Sewen forest in Kutai Timur and Kutai Kartanegara Regencies, East Kalimantan. This orangutan reintroduction is an exceptional release event given it encompasses the first cross-province orangutan reintroductions from the BOS Foundation Central Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program at Nyaru Menteng to the BOSF / RHOI Ecosystem Restoration Concession, Kehje Sewen forest in Kutai Timur and Kutai Kertanegara Regency, East Kalimantan. Despite having been rehabilitated over many years at our Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, Nyaru Menteng in Central Kalimantan, Yayang and Sayang and Diah are released in East Kalimantan.

Mother-infant pair, Yayang and Sayang will be released in East Kalimantan following obligatory DNA testing procedures prior to any orangutan reintroduction. The test results revealed that Yayang belongs to the sub-species Pongo pygmaeus morio which naturally inhabits the eastern part of Kalimantan.  In compliance with welfare practices, Yayang’s dependant infant, Sayang, will be released with her mother to ensure her welfare.

Diah, a 17 year old orangutan is released in East Kalimantan because her sub-species is also Pongo pygmaeus morio which naturally inhabits the eastern part of Kalimantan. Confiscated from Sebulu, East Kalimantan, Diah underwent the first part of her rehabilitation process in the BOS Foundation Reintroduction Centre, Samboja Lestari – East Kalimantan. However, Samboja Lestari experienced over capacity issues following a massive influx of rescued orangutans due to large deliberate forest fire set in 1998. Diah, who had only been in Samboja Lestari for one year had to be translocated to the newly established Nyaru Menteng in Central Kalimantan.

Thus following the standard national and international guidelines from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Yayang, Sayang, and Diah will be released into the Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan, instead of the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest, Central Kalimantan like other rehabilitated orangutans from Nyaru Menteng. The Kehje Sewen Forest is an Ecosystem Restoration Concession (ERC) managed by PT Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia (RHOI), a company that was established by the BOS Foundation on April 21, 2009, solely to acquire the right to use and manage a forest which was desperately needed to release rehabilitated orangutans from the BOS Foundation Orangutan Reintroduction Center at Samboja Lestari.

This release event involves the collaboration of all the stakeholders, including the Central and East Kalimantan Provincial Governments, Kutai Timur and Kutai Kartanegara Regencies Government, Central and East Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority, and the whole community of Kutai Timur and Kutai Kartanegara.

The BOS Foundation strives to meet the targets of the Indonesian Orangutan Action Plan and Conservation Strategy 2007-2017. The Action Plan was launched by the President of the Republic of Indonesia during the Climate Change Conference in Bali, 2007. It states that all eligible orangutans currently in rehabilitation centers should be released by 2015, and it has been endorsed by all levels of government, including the provincial and regency levels.

“The reason why Yayang, Sayang, and Diah have to be released in another province is because as orangutans originally from east of Kalimantan, they have different genetic traits compared to those from other parts of Kalimantan. We are committed to preserving the genetic purity of each released orangutan as this is very important. And with the many orangutans waiting to be released we have currently under our care and rehabilitation, there is a probability that we will have to do more cross-province releases in the future.” Dr. Jamartin Sihite, the CEO of the BOS Foundation said in his statement.

Director of Biodiversity Conservation, Ministry of Forestry, Dr. Ir. Novianto Bambang W., MSi states, “Orangutans are protected by the government and their status is Endangered. Based on this and Yayang-Sayang’s case, the government will commence orangutan population monitoring, which includes orangutan sub-species identification by DNA test. Hence the orangutans living beyond their natural habitat, especially those who have been kept by humans and were sent to rehabilitation centers, will be able to be released back into their natural habitat according to their sub-species.”

Anton Nurcahyo, Program Manager of the BOS Foundation Reintroduction Centre at Nyaru Menteng says, “At the moment in Nyaru Menteng there are more than 500 orangutans eligible to be released. Most of them still need to undergo DNA testing to determine their sub-species origin, which will ultimately determine where they will be released. Unfortunately, DNA testing is expensive. By conducting the test prior the orangutan’s admission to a rehabilititation center, the government will help lessen the costs borne by orangutan rehabilitation centers and enable orangutans to complete the rehabilitation process within the appropriate locality.”

The BOS Foundation also conveys its gratitude for all the supporting parties, donors, and sister organisations, such as BOS Australia.

Contact:

Paulina L. Ela

Communications Specialist

Yayasan Penyelamatan Orangutan Borneo

Email: pauline@orangutan.or.id

Mobile: 081347337003

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Editor’s Note:

ABOUT BOS FOUNDATION

Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) is an Indonesian non-profit organization based in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia, which is committed to rescue, rehabilitate, and reintroduce Borneo orangutans to their natural habitat, as well as educating local communities and increasing public awareness about the conservation of orangutans.

Established since 1991, BOSF has partnered closely with the Ministry of Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia and are supported by international donors, as well as other organizations. BOSF is currently headed by Prof. Dr. Bungaran Saragih as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. For more information, visit www.orangutan.or.id.

 

ABOUT RHOI

PT Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia (RHOI) is a company founded by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) on April 21, 2009, for a specific purpose, namely to get the forest concession for Ecosystem Restoration (HPH-RE) to release the orangutans.

As an NGO, BOSF could not legally obtain an HPH-RE permit. That’s why BOSF built a private company, namely RHOI, as a vehicle to get it. HPH-RE provides RHOI with the authority to use and manage a concession area – in this case, a forest – which is required to release rehabilitated orangutans from the two rehabilitation centers owned by BOSF, located in East Kalimantan (Samboja Lestari) and in Central Kalimantan (Nyaru Menteng).

On August 18, 2010, RHOI was granted the HPH-RE from the Ministry of Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, for a forest area of 86,450 hectares in the Regencies of Kutai Kartanegara and East Kutai, East Kalimantan Province. This concession provides a viable, protected and sustainable habitat for orangutans, for 60 years, with renewal option for 35 more years. Funds to pay for the license, amounting to around 1.4 million U.S. dollars, were obtained from BOSF donors in Europe and Australia.

RHOI calls this concession “Kehje Sewen Forest”, adopting a local Dayak Wehea language in which ‘kehje sewen‘ means orangutan. So Kehje Sewen is a forest for the orangutans. For more information, visit www.theforestforever.com.

 

Yayang-Sayang and Diah: Cross-Province Orangutan Release

Yayang and Sayang

Yayang arrived at Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Center on January 3, 2004 after being confiscated by the South Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority (BKSDA) from a resident of Banjar Baru. At that time, she was estimated to be 6.5-7 years of age.

When she arrived at the rehabilitation center, it was clearly visible that she had been tied around her neck with a rope. Yayang immediately received intensive care at Nyaru Menteng Clinic and soon joined Forest School.

Today, the female orangutan with slightly slanted eyes and dark brown hair is one of the inhabitants of Kaja Island, a BOS Foundation orangutan pre-release island. Yayang is now 15 years old and weighs 36.8 kg. She is very active, loves to explore and does not like to be approached by humans.

yayang 3

Yayang

In April 2009, Yayang gave birth to her first child, Sayang, on Kaja Island. Sayang is now 3 years old and weighs a healthy 9.3 kg.  Sayang has already started to learn to look for her own food and is no longer constantly in her mother’s arms.

Sayang anak yayang 1

Sayang

Now that Yayang and Sayang are ready for release, they recently underwent a DNA testing to confirm their sub-species status; a process that all release candidates must go through. However, unlike other orangutans in Nyaru Menteng, the results showed that Yayang and Sayang are  Pongo pygmaeus morio, a sub-species  inhabiting the eastern part of Kalimantan, instead of Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii which inhabits Central Kalimantan.

Thus following the standard national and international regulations from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Yayang and Sayang will be released in Kehje Sewen, East Kalimantan, instead of in Bukit Batikap like the other rehabilitated orangutans from Nyaru Menteng.

For Yayang, 8 years living and learning at the rehabilitation center and pre-release islands at Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan has provided her with sufficient knowledge on how to survive in the forest together with her daughter Sayang.

The story of Yayang and Sayang also shows how important it is for authorized government officials to arrange for DNA testing before allocating a rescued orangutan to a specific rehabilitation center, thus ensuring that the orangutan will be rehabilitated and reintroduced in its natural environment according to its sub-species. Furthermore, placement of an orangutan in accordance of its sub-species will save on future release costs because the orangutan will not have to be moved and transported cross-provinces like Yayang and Sayang.

Diah

Confiscated from Sebulu, East Kalimantan, Diah underwent the rehabilitation process in Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan. In 1999, Samboja Lestari experienced over capacity problems following a massive influx of rescued orangutans due to large forest fire. Diah, who had only been in Samboja Lestari for one year had to be translocated to the newly established Nyaru Menteng in Central Kalimantan.

When Diah arrived at Nyaru Menteng on November 20, 2000, this female orangutan was only four years old and weighed 15.5 kg. She joined the Forest School to regain her natural abilities. Diah is friendly towards other orangutans and in Nyaru Menteng, she has made friends with some other females. After the Forest School, Diah continued to join the pre-release stage on Palas Island. The loner Diah is really fond of exploring the island and highly skilled in choosing her natural foods.

Diah is now 17 years old and weighs 43 kg. A beautiful female orangutan, she has long dark brown hair. Soon Diah will be in her true home in East Kalimantan and enjoy the freedom of the Kehje Sewen Forest.

Diah

Diah

Along with this release event, five orangutans from the BOS Foundation in Samboja Lestari in East Kalimantan will be translocated to Nyaru Menteng. They are four female orangutans: Cici, Karen, Roma and Donna, and one male Marwoto. These five orangutans are of sub-species Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii which naturally inhabits the central part of Kalimantan, hence in the future they will have to be released in Central Kalimantan. The orangutans who have been living for quite a long time in East Kalimantan will undertake the last stage of rehabilitation process on one of pre-release islands managed by the BOS Foundation in Nyaru Menteng, before finally being released back into their natural habitat in Central Kalimantan.

Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Release Candidate Profiles

In the near future, the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest will welcome 17 rehabilitated orangutans from Orangutan Reintroduction Center at Nyaru Menteng, as they will finally be reintroduced into their true home, the forest.

SHELLI

Illegally held in captivity in Jakarta, Shelli was confiscated by the local authorities and sent back to Central Kalimantan on May 30, 2001. At that time, this female orangutan was only eight years old. Because she had been kept for quite a long time by humans, Shelli had lost most of her natural skills and was very dependent on her babysitters in Nyaru Menteng.

1 Shelli

Shelli

Shelli joined the Forest School along with her peers to regain her survival skills to live in the wild. She continued her education on Kaja Island after graduating from the Forest School on May 19, 2003. Shelli loves to explore the island and has made many friends there. Our technicians often see her playing in the trees with male orangutans.

Now this dark red haired orangutan has reached 20 years of age and weighs 30.6 kg. Shelli has grown into an independent adult orangutan. She has given birth to two children and taken care of them both on Kaja Island. Soon, Shelli and her  youngest daughter Forest will enjoy their true freedom in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

FOREST (SHELLI’S SECOND CHILD)

Forest is Shelli’s second infant who was born on Kaja Island on June 11, 2010.

2 Forest

Forest

Born and raised on the island and Forest has received life-long lessons from her mother and is fast growing into a wild and independent orangutan with the skills needed to survive in the forest. This young orangutan is now three years old and weighs 5.4 kg. Despite still being under the care of her mother, little Forest has started to show her agility in playing between the branches. Soon, Forest will live with her mother and play in the real forest of Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

INUNG

Inung was confiscated by the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority (BKSDA) in the Kapuas Regency. This female orangutan arrived in Nyaru Menteng on April 3, 2000. She was only two years old and weighed 13 kg.

Inung

Inung

The beautiful Inung has long curly and thick hair, and soft attitude. In November 2002, together with some other teenage orangutans, Inung was moved to live on Kaja Island to undergo the last stage of the rehabilitation process. Inung adapted quickly to her new life on the Island and grew fond of exploring to forage for food. She also made many friends on the Island. She is a good friend of dominant male orangutans Didik and Pedro.

During her 13 years in Nyaru Menteng, Inung has given birth to two babies who are both females. Now 15 years of age and weighing 31.2 kg, Inung and her daughters Indah and Ina will soon enjoy her new forever home in the  Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

INA (INUNG’S SECOND CHILD)

3 Inung Ina

Inung and Ina

Ina is Inung’s second child who was born on July 13, 2012 on Kaja Island. The one year old little girl is still always holding tight to her mother and is safe under her care. Born and raised on the Island, Ina receives life-long lessons directly from her mother, which enables Ina to live and behave as a wild young orangutan.

In addition to learning from her mother, Ina also learns from her elder sister Indah, who is now six years old. Ina has the ability to quickly adapt to her new environment and dislikes the presence of humans.

Soon Ina and her mother and sister will enjoy beautiful days living freely in their true home in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

INDAH (INUNG’S FIRST CHILD) 

Indah, Ina’ elder sister, was born on Kaja Island on June 2, 2007. Inung’s first born behaves and lives as a wild orangutan, thanks to her mother’s direct  guidance. Indah is skilled in surviving in the forest with her excellent abilities in building nests, choosing natural foods, and recognising predators.

4 Indah

Indah

Every day as dusk approaches, Indah builds her own nest and sleeps separately from her mother. Indah has also grown into an independent orangutan and dislikes the presence of humans.

She is now six years old and weighs 11.6 kg, and is ready to go home to the real forest with her mother and baby sister to prove her ability as a true wild orangutan.

CINDY

Cindy arrived in Nyaru Menteng on May 6, 2000, when she was around five years old, after being confiscated from resident in Palangka Raya. She still retained her wild behaviour so after completing a standard quarantine phase, Cindy was placed on Kaja Island. She is a great island explorer and very skilled in choosing her natural foods.

Living for 13 years in Nyaru Menteng, Cindy has delivered two children, Cilik and Riwut, both on Kaja Island. She is now 18 years old and weighs 42 kg, and soon, Cindy and her children will enjoy the happy moments when they are finally back in their true home in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

Cindy

 Cindy and Riwut

RIWUT (CINDY’S SECOND CHILD)

Riwut, Cindy’s second child was born on November 12, 2012 on Kaja Island. At the moment, this tiny young orangutan is still tightly holding on to her mother. Born and raised on the island, receiving guidance from her mother and also learning from her elder sibling Cilik, Riwut will be an independent wild orangutan in the future.

Riwut

Riwut

Riwut is now one year old and weighs 2 kg. She is counting the days until together with her small family she will be back in their true home in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest and continue learning.

CILIK (CINDY’S FIRST CHILD)

Cilik

Cilik

Cilik, is Riwut’s elder brother, who was born on Kaja Island on January 22, 2007. This young male orangutan has already learned skills in recognising natural foods and building nests. Cilik goes about doing his activities by himself but generally  stays not too far from his mother. He is very active and his agility in the trees is admirable.

Now six years old and weighing 25.3 kg, Cilik who has thin bright red hair will soon enjoy his true freedom in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest with his mother and sister.

MANDRA

Mandra was confiscated by the Central Kalimantan BKSDA from a resident in Kasongan, Katingan Regency, who illegally kept her as a pet. On March 8, 2000, Mandra arrived at Nyaru Menteng at the age of around two years old and weighing 5 kg. After a quarantine phase, little Mandra joined her peer orangutans in Nursery Group. That was when she first met her best friend Komo.

Mandra 2 copy resize

Mandra

Having graduated from the Forest School, Mandra continued his learning process on Palas Island. Despite not being a dominant female orangutan, Mandra is active, independent, and highly curious. Together with her best friend Komo, Mandra loves exploring Palas Island and foraging.

Mandra is now 15 years old, weighs 41.7 kg and has been living in Nyaru Menteng for 13 years. Soon Mandra and Komo will enjoy their days together in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest, their true home.

NOPI

Nopi was kept illegally as a pet by a resident of Jakarta. He was confiscated by BKSDA and arrived at Nyaru Menteng on May 30, 2001. She was eight years old and weighed 30 kg.

While living on Kaja Island, Nopi was a quiet orangutan but she could easily make friends with other orangutans. Her skills to survive in the wild have flourished after 12 years living in Nyaru Menteng.

She is now 20 years old and weighs 56.8 kg. This beauty who has an oval face and dark red hair has given birth to two children, Zona and Nicky. Soon Nopi and both her children will go home to their true home in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

Nopi Zona

Nopi and Nicky

NICKY (NOPI’S SECOND CHILD)

Little Nicky is Nopi’s second child who was born on Kaja Island in March 2010. Now only three years old, he is still under the care of his mother.

Born and raised on the island by his own mother enables him to grow into a young wild orangutan. Nicky also learns alot from his elder sister, Zona, who now at the age of nine is living independently on the island.

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Nicky

Nicky is very agile in the trees and dislikes the presence of humans. His independence will keep growing and developing after he starts his new life in his true home in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest, together with his mother and sister.

 ZONA (NOPI’S FIRST CHILD)

In October 2004, Zona was born on Kaja Island. Nopi, her mother, took care of her with so much love and taught her all the survival skills needed to live in the wild. Unsurprisingly, Zona has grown into an independent wild orangutan and can conveniently explore the island.  Zona is very skilled in building nest and choosing natural foods. She also doesn’t enjoy the presence of humans and will kiss-squeak to show her displeasure.

Zona

Zona

Now nine years old and weighing 22.4 kg, this beautiful orangutan with thick hair will soon go to her true home in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. We’re sure she will confidently conquer the canopy!

DAISY

The beauty with thick light brown hair was the main star of the Animal Planet documentary series Orangutan Island, together with Hamlet, Chacha, Cantik, Bonita, and Komo. She was confiscated by the East Java BKSDA authorities from a resident in Surabaya who kept her as a pet. Arriving in Nyaru Menteng on November 27, 2002, Daisy was only one year old and weighed 10.5 kg.

Daisy

Daisy

December 13, 2006, she started the pre-release stage on Palas Island. A skilled island explorer, she is also an expert in foraging for natural foods. Daisy is also great in building nests, in which she has a unique habit. She will leave her nest and build a new one whenever she is woken up at night, maybe because she feels her nest is not comfortable enough.

Daisy is now 14 years old and weighs 52.4 kg. Looking at her outstanding survival skills, she now receives the chance to prove her independence in her true home in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.  We look forward to updating those who have watched the Animal Planet series with all Daisy’s progress!

BERTHA

Bertha arrived in Nyaru Menteng on September 26, 2002 when she was only five years old and weighed 17 kg. The female orangutan was confiscated by BKSDA from a resident of Palangka Raya. There was a visible wound on her neck from the chain that used to bind her and she had also lost the nails on both her big toes.

Graduated from the Forest School, this female orangutan with thick and long bright brown hair continued her learning process into the pre-release stage on Palas Island. Bertha is very active and skilled in looking for natural foods on the island such as fruit and termites. She is also very friendly with other orangutans but dislikes the presence of humans. She will kiss-squeak and throw branches from the tree to show her displeasure.

Bertha

Bertha

Assessing her independence skills, Bertha who is now 16 years and weighs 48.5 kg is ready to go back to her true home in Central Kalimantan, in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

LOLIN

This female orangutan was confiscated by BKSDA in Jakarta and arrived at Nyaru Menteng on May 30, 2001. She was only 7 years old. There was a wound circling her neck from a long period of being chained or tied by a rope. She suffered from severe diarrhea and also refused to eat and drink which caused dehydration.

Lolin

Lolin

Lolin was placed on Bangamat Island in 2004, and subsequently moved to Hampapak Island.  In 2012, on Hampapak Island, Lolin once floated away on big wood logs in the Rungan River.   Fortunately, she was rescued by technicians Azis and Nabri who were bringing fruit for the orangutans on Hampapak Island and coincidentally saw her.

On the Island, Lolin is an active and independent orangutan. She is skilled in making nests and choosing natural foods. Now at 19 years old and weighing 26 kg, Lolin is ready to go home to the lush Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

KOMO

Komo arrived at Nyaru Menteng on April 3, 2000, when he was only two years old. He was handed over by a resident of the Kapuas Regency. Komo was highly dependent on humans because he was kept by humans as a pet. Therefore, he joined the Forest School to regain his natural abilities. And just like Daisy, Komo was also a major star of the Orangutan Island documentary series.

Komo has been best friends with Mandra since Nursery Group and Forest School. Even until their pre-release stage on Palas Island, these two best friends are always together.

Komo

Komo

Despite not being a dominant male orangutan, Komo is a brave one. Komo would not hesitate to compete with other orangutans to grab the fruit which fall and float by the river.

Komo is now an independent orangutan. He no longer enjoys the presence of humans. He is 15 years old and weighs 38.5 kg. His short dark brown hair and dark face make him look dashing. Soon, Komo will be able to enjoy and explore Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest with his best friend Mandra.

BOY

Boy was confiscated by the Central Kalimantan BKSDA from a resident in Pagatan village, Katingan Regency, who kept him illegally as a pet. He arrived at Nyaru Menteng on October 31, 2002 when he was only six years old and weighed only 13 kg.

Graduated from the Forest School, Boy then continued his rehabilitation process on Palas Island in 2004. Boy is an expert island explorer and highly skilled in finding natural foods. He can also easily befriend other orangutans. He is good friends with two male orangutans Mego and Samba.

Boy

Boy

Now, Boy is 17 years old and weighs 55.2 kg. His cheekpads have started growing and with his long dark brown hair, he looks very handsome. After 11 years in Nyaru Menteng and having regained his natural abilities, Boy is ready to explore the lush Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

Family Life in Batikap

Life in Batikap has become even more colorful. New Mum Monic is protecting and showering her baby with much love all day, every day. Meanwhile, Markisa, who has two beautiful daughters just saw her eldest daughter, Manggo move on to live on her own independently. Matilda, another Mummy, is busy teaching her eldest daughter, Astria, to build a nest. How about Lesta’s family after 8 months roaming the marvelous Batikap?

Monic and her Baby Son, Messi

Since her labor, the monitoring team has been supervising and checking Monic’s condition for three to four hours every day. This is done to ensure that Mum and baby are continuing to progress nicely. Intensive observations on Monic and Messi is undertaken really carefully so that the Mum and baby do not become stressed at seeing so many people around them.

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Monic and her son Messi

Monic seems to love her baby son so dearly. She frequently cleans Messi’s hair by licking it. When she is eating, Monic will cover him with some leaves or sit behind a big tree trunk as if she is protecting her one month old baby.

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When she is eating, Monic will cover him with some leaves or sit behind a big tree trunk as if she is protecting Messi

Manggo Met her Mum and Sister

Manggo who is now 8 years old, is growing up and becoming independent. In August and early September, this young female orangutan seems to enjoy carrying out her activities on her own, without her Mum (Markisa) and her baby sister (Uli). She is no longer the little girl who always wanted to be with her Mum. She has grown up!

One day, whilst she was eating sangkuang by the River Joloi, Manggo met Markisa and Uli who happened to be feeding and travelling in the same area. Seeing her first daughter eating, Markisa tried to approach her. The family got back together but each of them were still busy focusing on their own activities.

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Manggo who is now 8 years old, is growing up and becoming independent

The Patient Mum Matilda

While Markisa had already seen her daughter, Manggo, progress and live and forage on her own, Matilda is still teaching and nurturing Astria, her daughter.

Astria is Matilda’s first daughter. She still needs helps from her Mum to find food and build nests. Astria still needs to learn a lot from her Mum to be an independent orangutan.

Astria

Astria

From observations, the monitoring team inform us that Astria is still using her old nest to sleep. Sometimes, Matilda helps her daughter by repairing her old nest so that her daughter can sleep comfortably. Matilda usually builds her nest close to her daughter’s. She teaches her daughter to build a nest patiently. In addition to learning from her mother, Astria also loves to play with her baby sister, Georgina. Astria is always happy to be around her family. She doesn’t seem to want to be far from her Mum and baby sister.

Sometimes Matilda goes to the ground to find food. In moments like these, Astria is still up high in the trees; she doesn’t like to play on the ground and is afraid of human presence.

Finding Lesta’s Family

Lesta and hes son, Lewis have been untrackable for 8 months since last February, on the day they were reintroduced to the forest. The monitoring team has been continually searching for their signal up to the highest points in the release area, but unfortunately, there was still no result.

The wait is finally over. On October 2, 2013, Lesta and Lewis were found along the Joloi heading to the Monnu area. They looked healthy and were actively looking for food. The monitoring team saw Lesta eat young suli (Zingiber sp.) leaves, rattan and seluwoi. Lesta descended to the ground several times to find more food. When she went to the ground, Lewis was always in his mother’s arms. But when they were up high in the trees, Lewis was confident enough to play by himself. Lewis was actively swinging among tree branches and is now very active in choosing and learning about natural foods from his Mum. He copies everything that his Mum does, including trying every food eaten by his mom.

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Lesta and her son Lewis

Lewis who was born on Kaja Island in March 2011, seems to be cleverly adapting to his new environment. One example, is that when it is hot, he will put some leaves on his head. He shows it to his Mum and as if to make him happy, Lesta will imitate it. Lesta loves her son so much. Although she lets Lewis play by himself, Lesta is always watching him from close by when he is playing.

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When it is hot, Lewis will put some leaves on his head

Text and photos by: Ike Naya Silana

Exploring the New Home

Last August, 16 orangutans made their final journey to their true home. Batikap seems to be a perfect new home, but challenging at the same time. Testing the survival skills which they developed during their lengthy rehabilitation process at Nyaru Menteng, some of the orangutans have shown remarkable adaptation skills.

Mama Mozzy and Myzo

Since their release in August, Mama Mozzy has exhibited her independence. Mama Mozzy and her daughter Myzo only stayed around their release point for a few days. Afterwhich, they have been travelling to forage for food, showing all the right signs of being active and healthy like wild orangutans should.

Under the care of her mother who is a true explorer, little Myzo is growing up to be a real wild orangutan. The Monitoring Team once observed Myzo feeding by herself on a tree about five meters away from her mother. She was obvioulsy busy devouring some delicious forest fruit, but upon noticing the appereance of Monitoring Team, Myzo became a little nervous and rushed to find her mother. Watching the team closely, she held tight to Mama Mozzy who didn’t seem to too be concerned about the team’s presence.

The Team then decided to give some space and watch the pair from a hiding place, so as not to disturb their activities. Soon, Myzo released herself from her mother, still wanting to play by herself. She moved slowly and cautiously with her eyes looking to the ground making sure that the Team had gone. This is exactly how we want our orangutans to behave, cautious of humans and independent.

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Myzo moved slowly and cautiously with her eyes looking to the ground -Photo by Joy

Lulu

Just like Mama Mozzy, Lulu left the release point not long after her reintroduction and soon started to explore Batikap. Ever since the day of her release, her independence has been apparent. She immediately chose a tall tree, climbed up and started eating forest fruits. Lulu’s signal was detected pretty far from her release point. She seems to have moved around quite a large area further afield from her release point compared to other orangutans, showing her true nature as a lone explorer.

Partying and Learning with Friends

Monitoring team found Bonet and Ubai together in the forest. The pair seem to have a special connection; swinging very close to each other and enjoying forest fruits from the same food sources.

After spending quite a long time together, Ubai and Bonet separated and continued their activities independently. Not long after leaving Ubai, Bonet met up with another female orangutan Tehang. They stayed together for only a short time before Bonet left Tehang and went about his own activities.

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Bonet and Ubai together in the forest -Photo by Ike

Tehang spends more time with her best friend Mon Mon. Tehang is an independent female orangutan who has a great ability in choosing the right natural foods. Her best friend Mon Mon on the other hand, appeared a little daunted by the forest during her early days after her release. She often went to the river bank and stood there, as if she was still living on the pre-release island and waiting for technicians to come and feed her. Fortunately Tehang often joins up with her to feed together, and her habit of hanging out by the river has lessened. Mon Mon now enjoys her time in the forest and her fruit parties with Tehang.

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Tehang has a great ability in choosing the right natural foods -Photo by Ike

Mita and the Bees of Batikap

Mita looks healthy and active after being released back into the wild. She has adapted well to her new environment. The Monitoring Team observation results show Mita eats many kinds of food, from shoots, young leaves, and honey.

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Mita has adapted well to her new environment. -Photo by Ike

However, the sweet nectar doesn’t come cheap. She needs to face the bees to get it. Once, a group of bees chased her to the ground and stung her, but Mita expertly defended herself.  She took some leaves to cover her head and face and swung the leaves to shoo the angry bees away.

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Matilda and little Georgina -Photo by Ike

Beautiful Astria -Photo by Ike

Beautiful Astria -Photo by Ike

Even though she spends more time by herself, sometimes she meets her best friend Matilda. The two have been best friends since they were in Nyaru Menteng. The Monitoring Team watched Mita spend time with Matilda and her two daughters Astria and Georgina. For some reason, Mita loves to grab Astria’s food, but even so, Matilda is always patient towards Mita. Maybe because Mita only likes to grab food and is never agressive towards the young ones. Mita even likes to play together with Astria and little Georgina.

Text by: Ike Naya Silana