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A New Home for the New Year: 26 Orangutans Relocated to Bangamat Island

December 24, 2012

A tremendous joy at the end of 2012! After the news of Astrid’s newborn baby (Astrid is a female orangutan released in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest back in February), now Nyaru Menteng has successfully relocated 26 orangutans to a pre-release island.

Pre-Release Islands

Pre-release islands are halfway forests, where the ‘graduates’ of forest school go through the last phase of rehabilitation process. Just like a university, in these islands the orangutans will learn to live independently. They live as they would in a wild forest and no longer need to go back to their enclosures every night. The purpose is to train them how to live in a real forest, until they are ready to be released. There are four pre-release islands in Nyaru Menteng: Kaja, Bangamat, Hampapak, and Palas.

In these islands, they have to apply all of the survival skills they have learned in Forest School, such as finding their own food and building nests. At Forest School, they had five meals a day but in the islands, food supplements are given only twice a day. Their ability to successfully go through this last stage in a pre-release island will determine whether or not they are ready to be released in the wild.

26 Orangutans were Enrolled in University!

Since Nyaru Menteng has released 44 orangutans in 2012, Bangamat Island now has the long-awaited space for the next group of orangutans. Nyaru Menteng Team started this pre-release activity on Thursday (20/12), relocating 26 qualified orangutans from the rehabilitation center to Bangamat Island!

Vet Barlian prepares sedation doses

Sedating orangutans using blowpipes

On Thursday, 9 orangutans were successfully relocated. They were Tara, Ijum, Benjol, Ratu, Damar, Suta, Maha, Olbert, and Wisnu. They seemed quite happy with their new home. As soon as they arrived on the island, they didn’t waste any time to climb up the trees!

9 orangutans were successfully relocated to Bangamat on Dec 20

Meanwhile on Friday (21/12), Nyaru Menteng Team moved 10 orangutans to Bangamat Island. They were Nambima, Gina, Kevin, Jatihan, Ibut, Tamua, Sigi, Clauss, Mardianto, and Wombat. The last 7: Tweety, Zakia, Doren, Gultop, Martisen, Madsen, and Lomon, were relocated on Monday (24/12).

Vet Maryos prepares sedation on the second day

Before the relocation, Nyaru Menteng Medical Team sedated and checked the chips on each orangutans for identification. All the female orangutans also received birth control implant.

Vet Riani checks the chips and implants birth control

When they were all ready in their transport cages, a truck drove them to a small jetty by the Rungan River. From the jetty, they rode a kelotok (traditional Dayak wooden longboat) to Bangamat Island, one of several islands in the delta of Rungan River.

Loading transport cages onto the longboats

Arriving at the Island, our orangutans immediately explored their new home. Tamua and Mardianto swung in the trees excitedly. Some decided to return to the platform and just hung out, like Ijum who was sitting around on the platform waiting for Maha’s cage to be opened. While Clauss, once the door was opened, joined Jatihan who was already running deep into the forest.

Wombat, Sigi and Ibut were released in Bangamat Island

Nabima, Gina and Kevin hanging out on Platform 7

A New Home for Lomon and Friends

The activity repeated for the last 7 orangutans, relocated to Bangamat Island on Monday, 24/12. After sedation, chip control, and birth control implant for the females, Tweety, Zakia, Doren, Gultop, Martisen, Madsen, and Lomon were dispatched to Bangamat island.

The Medical Team get busy since early morning on Dec 24

Indra and Herman from Communications Division also get ready with their camera

Doren was the first to be released in the island. While Lomon, once the door was opened, said a quick hello to Doren and climbed up a tree right away. Lomon is one of the orangutans from Nyaru Menteng who now enjoys an independent life in the island, thanks to the amazing financial support from his adopters.

Doren enjoying the first moment of independence in Bangamat Island

Lomon casually greeted Doren, then climbed a tree

Everyone looked settled and very happy in their new home, except for Madsen who still seemed to be under the effect of sedation and decided to recover by sitting around near his transport cage for a while. The nosy Tweety, on the other hand, really enjoyed her time. After successfully teasing Gultop, Tweety then had a big meal on the platform. Feeling annoyed, Gultop went up a tree, staying away from Tweety. The fun life on the Island has just begun!

From top left (clockwise): Martisen, Gultop, Tweety and Madsen

The Nyaru Menteng Team has successfully relocated 26 orangutans to the pre-release island of Bangamat. At this end of the year, these 26 orangutans started their new island life, preparing for life in their real home in the forest. What a perfect new year gift and a great way to start the new year! Congratulations to our beloved orangutans who just started a new life in a new home!


  • Anton Nurcahyo – Nyaru Menteng Program Manager
  • Barlian Purnama Putra – Nyaru Menteng Vet
  • Monica Devi Krisnasari – BOSF Communications Assistant
  • Media Romadona – BOSF Communicaitons Officer


  • Anton Nurcahyo
  • Barlian Purnama Putra

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