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September 27, 2016
On a rainy, early morning in the Kehje Sewen Forest, two of our PRM team members from Nles Mamse Camp – Bowo and Rizal – set out to observe and take notes on Bungan from dawn to dusk. After waiting half an hour for the rain to subside, the team wasted no time in finding Bungan’s nest and were lucky to have reached it before she woke up.
Around 6 a.m., Bungan rose from her nest and changed trees to forage for fruit. After sating her huge appetite, she went back to exploring the forest.
Bungan eating forest fruits
It was a cold day indeed, and the rain started up again mid-morning. Bungan was quick to build a nest to take shelter and did not budge from it. The team built a flying camp themselves to also take shelter from the rain, which didn’t let up until just before midday. Once the rain had stopped, Bungan moved from her shelter and once again roamed the trees, foraging for forest fruits.
As Bungan busily ate Macaranga sp. fruits, a swarm of bees suddenly attacked her for no apparent reason! She made a quick escape through the trees.
Bungan making a dash for it to escape an angry swarm of bees
After perhaps sensing the bees had calmed down or moved on, Bungan returned to the same tree to continue her unfinished fruity meal. However, she was attacked once more by the angry swarm and was forced to climb down the tree and move her sights to exploring food options on the forest floor. Quite by luck, Bungan happened upon the beehive, which had fallen from the branches above in all the commotion: She must have accidently knocked it off the tree as she was eating fruits, provoking the swarm attack. Bungan happily gave up foraging for fruits and instead began enjoying the beehive, rich in delicious honey. She ate it joyfully!
Bungan enjoys delicious honey from the fallen hive
After her sweet feast, Bungan climbed back up into the trees and built another nest to rest in. After her rest, she ventured out and explored the forest more until finally stopping at around 6 p.m. to build her night nest. The team then headed back to Nles Mamse Camp.
The day’s observations indicate that Bungan is in good condition and actively moves through the trees as she explores the forest, with very little time spent on the ground. She appeared to have come away from the bee attack without any serious stings. We are thrilled to know that Bungan is living a happy and prosperous life in the Kehje Sewen Forest. Stay healthy, Bungan!
Text by: PRM team in Nles Mamse Camp, Kehje Sewen Forest
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BOS Foundation is dedicated to Bornean orangutan conservation and one of our tasks is to successfully reintroduce orangutans to safe natural habitat where they can establish new viable populations. We aim to give back freedom to as many orangutans as we can and one of the orangutans we reintroduce during this event has made an incredible journey; Wanna was illegally smuggled out of Indonesia to Thailand as a baby, then repatriated to Indonesia in 2006, together with another 47 illegally exported orangutans. These orangutans have been progressing through our rehabilitation program for 11 years. Wanna is now 17 and finally ready to be returned to natural habitat and freedom....read more