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

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