7 – 8 February 2014 | News From Batikap
100th and 101st Orangutan
At 10.45 am, four transport cages carrying Kitty and Kate, Dita and Halt, Zena and William, and Noor arrived at the drop point, Karangan Uban in Batikap. The day before, the Batikap team had traveled to Karangan Uban and spent the night by the Joloi River ready to receive the orangutans. The team had to ensure they were in place beforehand because the release point was far from Camp Totat Jalu and the receding river levels resulted in a longer travel time..
The seven orangutans were then transported to the pre-designated release points, 150 meters across Karang Uban using a ces, a traditional Dayak boat.
Kitty was the lucky number one. This made her the 100th orangutan to be reintroduced in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest by the BOS Foundation- Nyaru Menteng. Meanwhile her daughter Kate was the 101st. Kitty and Kate were released by Dr. Jamartin Sihite, CEO of the BOS Foundation, assisted by Arfan, a Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) technician from Camp Totat Jalu who is originally from Tumbang Tohan Village, a neighbouring village in Bukit Batikap. Once her transport cage door was opened, Kitty climbed a tree with little Kate holding tight onto her.
The second cage to be opened was of Dita and Halt’s. They were released by Priadi, also a PRM technician from Camp Totat Jalu. Just like Kitty, Dita who is still caring for her child climbed straight up a tree. But Dita climbed down onto the ground not long after, apparently she was being chased away by a swarm of bees! She and Halt were unharmed, fortunately, and Dita went back up in the trees after the bees were gone.
Owang, another PRM technician, opened Zena and William’s travel cage. Zena seemed to hesitate before she stepped out when she saw Dita and Halt run away from the bees. But after Dita climbed the tree again, Zena climbed a tree confidently carrying her son, little William.
Meanwhile Noor, the very first orangutan who was received by Nyaru Menteng, was released by Lone D. Nielsen. This beautiful female stared at the team for a while as if she wanted to remember this last moment with her human friends, before she finally climbed into the trees and her true freedom.
Hamlet: Leave Me Alone
After releasing the first seven orangutans, the Team went back to Karangan Uban to welcome the next group: Judy and Son, Sarita, Joys, and Hamlet. At 14.41, the orangutans finally arrived. This time, the Team carried the orangutans in their transport cages to their release points, 300 meters away from Karangan Uban.
Judy and her son Son were released by Tuek, a PRM technician who is also a local resident from Tumbang Naan village. Judy, carrying Son, climbed a tree right away as soon as the door was opened.
The next orangutan, Sarita, was opened by Monica Devi, Adoption Program Coordinator for the BOS Foundation. The beautiful Sarita, who is well known for her love of exploring the pre-release island she was previously placed on, also climbed a tree straight away.
Joys was released next by a PRM technician of similar name, Joy! Just like Sarita, Joys confidently climbed a tree as soon as the door was opened. She approached Sarita and the two spent some time together. Joys and Sarita have known each other for a long time since they both lived on Hampapak Island together.
Denny Kurniawan, our Program Manager at Nyaru Menteng, released the mighty male Hamlet who couldn’t wait to leave his transport cage. He impatiently stepped out of his transport cage, sitting on top of it with his strong hands grabbing a liana around him. The King of Palas would only move from his position after the Team left him alone.
Finally, Jane and Her Family are Home!
After successfully releasing 12 orangutans on February 7, some of the Team members returned to Camp Totat Jalu to prepare for the next day of releases, while the rest of the Team stayed at the flying camp (temporary camp) by River Joloi to start the post release monitoring on the newly released orangutans.
February 8, at 11.30 am the helicopter arrived at the drop point Karangan Kalaso carrying six transport cages. In those cages were Jupiter and Julfa, Jane and Jiro, Jojang, Mercury, Reno, and Manisha. They all were to be released in Karangan Kalaso.
The first cage to be opened was Jupiter and Julfa’s. After Purnomo, a PRM technician opened their cage door and Jupiter, with little Julfa clinging tightly, climbed a tree straight away. Following were Jane and Jiro who were released by Lone D. Nielsen, and Jojang by Nanggau, a technician.
After having to delay her homecoming for one year because of her pregnancy with Jiro, Jane was finally home, along with her elder son Jojang and baby Jiro who is now eight months old. Once the door was opened, Jane climbed a tree but she stopped halfway. She stared at Jojang’s transport cage as if waiting for Jojang to step out, but when the door was finally opened, the young boy climbed a tree in a flash ignoring his mother and baby brother. What a son you have there, Jane!
But of course Jojang was only behaving like any wild orangutan should. He is very independent and dislikes human’s presence. With the release team in close proximity we expected him to make a sharp exit.. Seeing her son move deep into the forest, Jane and Jiro followed him.
Between Reno and Mercury
Dr. Jamartin Sihite opened the door of Mercury’s travel cage, followed by Reno’s by Tony, a technician from Nyaru Menteng. Both climbed trees right away.
Reno descended back to the ground and picked up a decomposed piece of wood to devour termites. Spotting his best friend, Mercury approached. They played and rolled around on the ground, but apparently Reno soon became bored. He didn’t want to play anymore and the playful wrestle turned into a bit of a fight.
But it didn’t last long and stopped as soon as Manisha’s cage door was opened by Elldy, a PRM technician from Camp Totat Jalu. Manisha climbed a tree right away. This beauty has known Reno since they both lived on the same pre-release island. Reno suddenly stopped his spat with Mercury and approached Manisha. They played together in the trees before finally engaging in a quick copulation. However, it was not only Reno who was delighted by the presence of Manisha; Mercury was happy too and Manisha didn’t mind being surrounded by her fans. After Reno, she copulated with Mercury and then spent time with him in the trees. Let’s hope we will soon have more babies in Bukit Batikap!
The new chapter has started for these three, along with the other 17 orangutans, in Batikap. Manisha has grown into an adult female who is ready to be a mother. The forest survival skills they acquired on the pre-release islands will guide them living their new life as wild orangutans. Enjoy your home! And thank you all for supporting the BOS Foundation to make this happen!
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: Monica Devi Krisnasari (BOSF Adoption Program Coordinator).
Photos by: Monica Devi Krisnasari.