9th Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Release, Day 3: A Good Day to Do Good Work

After successfully releasing four orangutans yesterday, today the BOS Foundation at Nyaru Menteng continued the orangutan release activities by sending eight orangutans into Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

Just like yesterday, the Release Team was on standby since 4.30 am at the Quarantine Enclosure – Midway 3. Today we would release eight orangutans, divided into two groups. The first group consisted of Trold, Bonita, Kiki and her beautiful daughter, Hardi. The second group consisted of Mego (Omego), Sella, Cuplis, and Wardah. Vet Arga Saung Kusuma, Vet Agus Fahroni, Vet Fiet, and Vet Lia were ready to sedate the release candidates.

Vet Arga Preparing For Sedation Process

At 5.07 am, the Release Team started the sedation process. Trold was the first, followed by Kiki and Hardi. Bonita, however, did not need to be sedated. She walked with Vet Agus and Technician Ibnu to her travel cage!

Vet Agus Fahroni Sedating Release Candidates

Kiki immediately fell asleep. The beautiful mother with long dark-brown hair was then moved to her travel cage by Vet Arga and Vet Agus. The Medical Team decided to increase the dose for Trold because she was still awake. While waiting for Trold to fall asleep, Hardi started to feel sleepy and was moved to her travel Cage. Finally Trold was asleep! She was, too, moved to her travel cage.

Moving Kiki to Her Travel Cage

Moving the Orangutans to Their Travel Cage

The four cages were then loaded onto the truck and departed to Tjilik Riwut Airport in Palangka Raya, from where they would be flown to Beringin Airport in Muara Teweh. We arrived at the Airport at 6.55 am. The loading-unloading process immediately began. It did not take long before all four orangutans were on board the Twin Otter, ready to go. Vet Agnes Pratamiutami and Technician Firman from the BOS Foundation at Samboja Lestari were also on this flight along with a representative of the Central Kalimantan Conservation and Natural Resources Authority.

Loading the Orangutans Into the Twin Otter

One Step Closer to Their True Home!

Meanwhile in Muara Teweh, the weather was clear. The team was ready to welcome the eight orangutans from Palangka Raya. The weather in Batikap was also clear and the Release Team there was ready at Drop Point Monnu.

The beautiful weather heightened our spirits, after going through a challenging day yesterday. All hopes and prayers were solely for this release activity to go as planned. Helicopter was on standby since morning at Beringin Airport, waiting for the Twin Otter to arrive.

At 8.10 am, the Twin Otter landed at Beringin Airport in Muara Teweh. The travel cages were unloaded from the plane immediately, and placed onto the sling load.

Unloading the Travel Cages

Photo: Unloading the Travel Cages

Before departing, Vet Meryl conducted a final check on the orangutans to make sure that they were set to embark on their final journey home. Not long after, the helicopter departed, bringing Trold, Bonita, Kiki and her beautiful daughter Hardi one step closer to their true home in Batikap!

Vet Meryl Conducting Final Check of the Four Orangutans

Palangka Raya: Preparation of the Second Group!

Meanwhile at the Quarantine Enclosure – Midway 3 in Nyaru Menteng, the sedation process had already begun for Mego (Omego), Sella, Cuplis, and Wardah. At 7.21 am, Vet Arga sedated Sella and Cuplis, then Vet Agus sedated Mego and Wardah. Once they fell asleep, each of them was moved into their travel cages and loaded onto the truck.

Moving the Orangutans to Their Travel Cages

The Four Orangutans Were Loaded Onto the Truck

At 9.28 am, Mego, Sella, Cuplis and Wardah arrived at Tjilik Riwut Airport. At the same time, the Twin Otter also landed back from Beringin Airport, Muara Teweh. The Team immediately unloaded the travel cages from the truck and, one by one, loaded them onto the Twin Otter, starting with Wardah, followed by Cuplis, Sella, and Mego (Omego).

Unloading the Cages From Truck

Loading Into Twin Otter

The Twin Otter started its engine and finally took off from Tjilik Riwut Airport, Palangka Raya, heading to Beringin Airport in Muara Teweh.

Eight Orangutans were Finally Home!

The Twin Otter was spotted in Muara Teweh sky and finally landed at 10.50 am.  The Team started to unload the four travel cages from the plane and moved them onto the sling load. Mego (Omego), Sella, Cuplis, and Wardah looked calm when the team moved their travel cages onto the sling load.

Moving the Travel Cages onto Sling Load

Finally, the Team in Muara Teweh ended the day by saying goodbye to Mego (Omego), Sella, Cuplis, and Wardah as they were lifted by the B3 helicopter, heading to Batikap. The eight orangutans were finally going to their true home in Batikap. Releasing orangutans is always a very touching moment for us.

Helicopter Departed to Batikap

Enjoy your new home, Trold, Bonita, Kiki, Hardi, Mego (Omego), Sella, Cuplis, and Wardah. After yesterday’s bad weather, this was indeed a good day to do good work. We will update you with stories from the forest once our team in Batikap returns to Palangka Raya. Check this space often for exciting updates!

Release Team in Nyaru Menteng

Release Team in Muara Teweh

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Orangutan release activities are very costly. Help us send more orangutans home by donating at http://donation.orangutan.or.id.

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Text by: Paulina L. Ela

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3 thoughts on “9th Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Release, Day 3: A Good Day to Do Good Work

  1. This is wonderful work that you do and that I support! I have one question: Aren’t orangutans all over Borneo’s rain forests? When you release new orangutans, wouldn’t it be into some other orangutan’s territory, which could cause problems?
    Please email me an answer.

    • Hello Jeanie,thank you for your questions.
      Our release sites, Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest (Central Kalimantan) and Kehje Sewen Forest (East Kalimantan) were chosen after thorough surveys on their suitability as orangutan forests, including based on topography and food availability, also based on their wild orangutan population and carrying capacity (maximum number of orangutans can live comfortably in the area).
      When we release orangutans, we conduct more surveys beforehand to decide the release points. We make sure the released orangutans are released in empty grids with minimum conflict potential, especially amongst dominant orangutans and with wild orangutans. That is why now with Bukit Batikap is almost reaching its maximum carrying capacity, we are working hardly to find new forest which is suitable and safe as orangutan habitat and release area.

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