Cemong: Giant of the Kehje Sewen Forest

Cemong is one of the biggest orangutans the BOS Foundation has released to the Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kalimantan: His weight upon release in February was 120 kilograms! Almost two months have passed, and giant Cemong has spent much of his new found freedom roaming deep into the heart of the Kehje Sewen.

Our PRM team recently caught up with Cemong quite a distance from initial his release area. He was dangling from a tree when the team first spotted him; he looked very healthy, and appeared to have adapted well to his new home.

Cemong glances around from his treetop vantage point

On the day our team observed him, Cemong ate plentyof natural foods, including rattan shoots, termites, young leaves, and forest fruits. When fruits dropped to the ground below him, Cemong quickly climbed down to gather them up, as though not wanting to waste any food.

Cemong climbs down from a tree to collect fallen fruits

With his tummy full, Cemong took time out and relaxed whilst he was still on the ground. He seemed to be enjoying this peaceful moment, listening to the sounds of chatting monkeys in the distance.

Cemong takes a rest on the forest floor after filling up

After his brief time out, Cemong climbed back up into the trees. It was amazing to watch him climb, carefully picking branches strong enough to hold his weight as he slowly moved through the canopy. The team continued to follow him from a distance.

With a lot of effort, Cemong managed to climb back up into the trees

In the afternoon, Cemong found a termite-invested piece of weathered wood and enjoyed a protein-rich snack. Satisfied with his fill of termites, Cemong sat on the branch of a tree and leaned back on its trunk to relax. As the sun began to set, Cemong remained where he sat resting, clearly drained from dragging his bulky figure around.

Considering the distance from camp and the long hike back, the team decided to head back to camp before Cemong built his night nest. We were completely satisfied to have found Cemong looking healthy and adapting well to life in the Kehje Sewen. Stay fit and free, Cemong!

Text by: PRM team in Camp Lesik, Kehje Sewen Forest.

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