Our Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team from Nles Mamse Camp has spent the past few weeks monitoring the five orangutans reintroduced in to the Kehje Sewen Forest on October 19. Collecting data on their progress and adaptation has proven quite challenging for the PRM team, as each individual orangutan has a different and unique approach to adjusting to their new environment.
Kent chose to explore the forest on his own following his release, and moved deeper into the forest to forage. He didn’t seem to mind the team observing him; he just went about his own business and continued foraging. This is the second release for Kent – he was first released in 2014, on the north side of the Kehje Sewen Forest, but was moved back to Samboja Lestari for medical treatment of a persistent wound. After two additional years care in Samboja Lestari, Kent this time moved quickly through the forest once released, shaking off the PRM team on the second day post-release. The last time the PRM team caught up with Kent, he was located two kilometres from his release point, in the heart of the forest.
Saprol is very good at hiding, which is a great skill, but makes observing him a challenge for our PRM team. On the second morning post-release, the team came across Saprol’s empty nest – it appeared he had risen early and had already moved on and out of sight. Our PRM team are still trying to locate Saprol, but it is likely he wandered deeper into the forest to explore, just like Kent. Saprol was last seen about one kilometre from his release point.
Jamur and J-Lo
This mother-daughter pair has a very close bond: The two like to forage together and share food, and both have a very good appetite! However, J-Lo is showing signs of becoming more independent, and now relies less on her mother’s help.
Several days after their release, Jamur and J-Lo met up with Leonie. Like meeting a long-lost friend, J-Lo happily spent time exploring and foraging with Leonie, but made sure she stayed close to Jamur.
As for Jamur, it seems she has found herself a new beau! A wild male, who initially joined the group together with Leonie, took an interest in Jamur. The two started spending time together and eventually copulated, then shared the same night nest.
Jamur and wild male orangutan
Rafli, the first flanged male to be released to the south of the Kehje Sewen Forest, has been making many long calls to announce his presence in the forest and attract females. His efforts have paid off; on day two of his release, Rafli managed to attract a wild female who approached him with an offspring. The mother-child pair, however, mingled only a short time before continuing on their way.
Rafli is a big eater, and has been feasting on fruits and leaves in the Kehje Sewen Forest. Rafli is also good at building nests; the monitoring team even saw him fashion a ‘pillow’ for his night nest! Rafli was last seen moving into the heart of the forest, away from his release point.
We’ll keep you updated on the progress of these orangutans as we move into 2017!
Text: PRM team in Nles Mamse Camp, Kehje Sewen Forest