February 8, 2014 | Orangutan Release Day 2
After successfully releasing 12 orangutans yesterday, today the BOS Foundation team at Nyaru Menteng continued the orangutan release event by successfully reintroducing eight more orangutans into Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.
Just like yesterday, the Orangutan Release Team at Nyaru Menteng had been preparing since 4.30 am at the Quarantine Enclosure. Vet Maryos V. Tandang, vet Barlian Purnama Putra, and vet Fiet were ready to sedate the orangutans to be released on this second day.
Today, the BOS Foundation were going to release eight more orangutans into Bukit Batikap. Unlike the first day when the orangutans were divided into two groups, today there was only going to be one group consisting of Mercury, Manisha, Jupiter and her daughter Julfa, Reno, Jane and both her sons Jojang and Jiro.
Mercury was the first to be sedated by vet Barlian and Manisha was the next, sedated by vet Maryos. While waiting for the two orangutans to fall asleep, the Medical Team observed Jupiter. They then decided not to sedate her, who by the way is famous for her habit of holding a leaf between her lips. Technicians and the Medical Team were able to walk Jupiter and her little daughter Julfa into their transport cage. Before going into the cage, Jupiter received a de-worming injection.
Meanwhile, vet Barlian was sedating Reno and not far away, Technician Mulyono was also sedating Jojang. Moving on from Reno, vet Barlian then sedated Jane.
As always, as soon as the orangutans were asleep, they were moved to their respective transport cage.
Manisha started to look a little sleepy and after Medical Team were sure that she was completely asleep, she was moved into her transport cage. The Medical Team had to give Jojang a small top-up dose since the young boy was quite resistant and didn’t fall asleep after the first attempt. In another enclosure, Reno had fallen asleep and the technicians moved him safely to his transport cage.
Mother Jane had also fallen asleep, with her small prince Jiro clinging tight onto her. Jiro was born in the Quarantine Enclosure; his mother Jane and older brother Jojang had previously been selected as release candidates and were more than ready for release, until health checks revealed that Jane was pregnant. To ensure both her and her unborn baby’s health, we decided to delay their reintroduction. Now they are strong and ready to go. Before release, the Medical Team had the chance to insert a tiny identification chip into the young boy. Jiro wasn’t too keen and tried to hide behind her Mother’s back. But he was very brave and the quick procedure was over in no time.
Jojang was finally asleep so he was able to be moved into his transport cage. Just like Jupiter, Jojang was also given a final de-worming shot.
All orangutans were safely in their transport cages, but before they were loaded onto the truck, which would carry them to Tjilik Riwut airport in Palangka Raya, the Medical Team needed to make sure the orangutans had all regained consciousness. Apparently Reno, Jane, and Jojang were still asleep so they were given a reversal to wake them up.
When everyone was awake, the truck was then ready to depart for Tjilik Riwut airport, from where the orangutans would then fly to Beringin airport in Muara Teweh.
The cages were loaded onto a truck
In Muara Teweh, the weather was clear just like yesterday. The nine-strong Muara Teweh team was ready and excited to receive the eight orangutans. For everyone on this team, these orangutans are very dear to their hearts and they have special memories about the orangutans. Technician Suparman who has been with the BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng team for 11 years talked about how Reno, who was known as the pig in Forest School because he simply ate everything; he has always been one of Suparman’s favourites. Technician Heri Setiawan also commented on how Jupiter was one his favourites. The team has seen all these orangutans grow up, some from a very young age, and throughout their learning process in Nyaru Menteng, and know them all individually. Today, they would say farewell; a happy-sad event. Sad knowing that they would not see the orangutans again, but the happiness and joy were even greater knowing these orangutans would live as they should have been from the very beginning, free in their natural habitat.
Clear Weather on Muara Teweh
Back to Palangka Raya, the orangutan truck arrived at the airport at 7.20 in the morning. There was a delay for about one hour before we started the loading process due to foggy weather in Batikap.
Once we received news from Batikap that the weather had cleared up, we started the loading process. Reno was the first to be loaded onto the plane. Next was Jojang, Mercury, Manisha, Jupiter and her beautiful daughter Julfa, and lastly, Jane and little Jiro.
The Cages Were Loaded onto the Twin Otter
The loading process took about 15 minutes. After the final checks, at 08.50 they took off for Beringin airport, Muara Teweh. On this flight, vet Barlian and a representative from the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority (BKSDA), Pak Wachid, accompanied the orangutans.
Beringin Airport Muara Teweh
At 09.30, they arrived at Beringin Airport. Jane and Jiro were the first to be unloaded from the plane, followed by Jupiter and Julfa, Manisha, Mercury, and Reno. The helicopter was already standing by with the cargo net ready. The orangutans in their transport cages were then placed into the cargo net and safely secured.
Before the orangutans left for Bukit Batikap, vet Agus Fahroni performed the final checks on the orangutans, making sure they were all safe and comfortable. Soon after, the team saw their beloved orangutans fly back to their true home. Farewell, our dearest orangutans! We will be keeping a close eye on you in the forest as you adapt to your new home.
Vet Agus Checking on the Orangutans
The second day of this orangutan release event has been successfully completed. The Muara Teweh team are traveling back as we write and the Batikap team is coming back to Palangka Raya on February 10. The Batikap team is bringing us news of the orangutans once released and in the forest, so look forward to reading their story and stay tuned!
Last but not least, these are the excellent teams we have in Nyaru Menteng and Muara Teweh of whom, along with the Batikap team and your support, their hardwork has made this orangutan release event happen safely and successfully. Thank you, Team BOS Foundation!
Nyaru Menteng Team
Muara Teweh Team
The representatives from BHP Billiton (Operations and Aviation Expert)
Orangutan release activities – especially cross-province activities – are very costly. Help us send more orangutans home by donating at http://orangutan.or.id/donate.
Text by: Paulina L. Ela (BOSF Communication Specialist).
Photos by: Paulina L. Ela, Indrayana, Untung.