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.


Orangutan release activities – especially cross-province activities – are very costly. Help us send more orangutans home by donating at


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

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


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