Bungan’s Big Appetite

A heavy downpour last Sunday morning prevented the Camp Nles Mamse PRM team from making an early start. It took a while for the rain to ease up, but when it eventually did, the team set off for Simpang Tawon transect to look for orangutan, Ung.

After trekking along the transect for an hour, there was still no sign or signal for Ung. The team continued the search across the swamp, when they saw a sudden movement in the trees. Spotting the approaching silhouette of an orangutan, the team quickly checked for signals, and found none. The foliage parted and revealed Bungan, who was released in December 2015. This likely explained why she wasn’t emitting a signal, as the battery in her transmitter had probably expired. Bungan moved from tree to tree to explore the forest, as the team observed her from below.

Bungan sit on the tree

Bungan went about her way foraging and feeding, too busy to worry about the team’s presence. She climbed down to pick and eat some shoots: This was clearly just an appetiser, as Bungan quickly climbed back up into the trees to dine on other forest fare – Anthocepalus fruits, shorea, and young fig leaves and figs. She lazily fed whilst resting on a big tree branch, reaching out for more fruits nearby without even needing to get up. How convenient!

Bungan climb down to pick and eat some shoots

After two hours of ‘culinary observations’, our team tried again to locate Ung’s signal, but were still unable to detect it after several attempts. So they returned to camp to make preparations to search for Ung the next day.

Everyday is a new adventure and although the team didn’t find Ung on that day, they did have the pleasure of seeing Bungan in good form and with a very healthy appetite!

Text by: PRM team in Camp Nles Mamse, Kehje Sewen Forest

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