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[PRESS RELEASE] BOS Foundation Farewells 2017 with Orangutan Release from Nyaru Menteng

The BOS Foundation, in collaboration with the Directorate of Biodiversity Conservation of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KKH-KLHK) is releasing eight orangutans from the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Center to the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest in Central Kalimantan.

This release is supported by a helicopter provided by the Directorate of Forest and Land Fire Control of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (PKHL-KLHK).

Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan, December 14, 2017: To close the year, the BOS Foundation, winner of the 2017 World Branding Award Animalis Edition, in collaboration with the Directorate of KKH-KLHK releases eight more orangutans from Nyaru Menteng to the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest in Murung Raya District. Prior today, the BOS Foundation has released 167 rehabilitated orangutans to the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest since 2012.

This release includes seven male orangutans, and only one female – Karen – with an age range of between 16-26 years. More adult males were chosen for this release to raise the number of mature males in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. An adult male orangutan can cover more than 3,000 hectares of forest over a lifetime, and the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest is currently able to accommodate the huge cruising range of more males.

Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, BOS Foundation CEO said; “This time, we had another opportunity to release more adult orangutans, to give them the opportunity to live free in the wild. Some of them have been waiting in the rehabilitation complex for far too long, due to a lack of suitable forest areas for release. Today, thanks to cooperation with the local and central governments, we are finally able to give these orangutans a chance to live freely in the forest. I would like to express my appreciation for the support of a helicopter provided by the Directorate of Forest and Land Fire Control (PKHL) from the Ministry of Environmental and Forestry (KLHK). Dispatching orangutans to the release points located deep in Batikap, which takes three days of travel over land and by river, would be very challenging without this assistance. By using a helicopter, the total travel time is greatly reduced to just a matter of hours.

In upholding our #OrangutanFreedom campaign for 2017, we have managed to successfully provide freedom for 170 orangutans this year. Some were moved out of rehabilitation complexes and taken to our pre-release islands, while others were released to wild forests. Thanks to the cooperation of various parties and stakeholders concerned with the orangutan conservation effort and habitat protection, we have been able to achieve freedom for many of our rehabilitated orangutans. Let’s keep going, and persevere with this great collective effort!”The eight orangutans are dispatched in two departure groups over two consecutive days, with each group carrying four orangutans. The first group departed on Tuesday, December 12, and the second group on Wednesday, December 13. From Nyaru Menteng, the orangutans are transported by vehicle to Kuala Kurun, Gunung Mas Regency. A helicopter will airlift the transportation cages and crew members from Kuala Kurun, and fly directly to the release points in the heart of the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

Ir. Raffles Brotestes Panjaitan MSc., Director of PKHL-KLHK, welcomes the cooperation by saying; “We at the PKHL Directorate continue to conduct rigorous monitoring, to ensure that forest and land fires don’t occur this year. Since the current situation is relatively stable, we are able to offer more support to wildlife conservation efforts, for example, by providing our helicopter to aid an orangutan release in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

This is a significant and proud moment for us, since the preservation of this species will help maintain the quality of our forests. Hopefully, a growing orangutan population in the Bukit Batikap Forest, and other forests in Kalimantan, will be successful in helping preserve both the species and our forests.”

Ir. Bambang Dahono Adji, MM., MSi., Director of KKHKLHK, acknowledges the release as a significant effort toward protecting remaining wild habitats; “We know that the orangutan is an umbrella species; one that helps maintain forest quality. Releasing orangutans from rehabilitation centers is an important step in the orangutan and habitat conservation effort. It is vital, because orangutan releases determine the success rate of long-term rehabilitation efforts, ranging from 7-8 years for each individual orangutan. Forest conservation depends on a successful rehabilitation program.

I am grateful to the Director of PKHL-KLHK, for kindly providing a helicopter to airlift these eight orangutans to the release points deep in the forest. Regular releases by the BOS Foundation, in collaboration with all stakeholders, will hopefully be beneficial to us all.”

The BOS Foundation continues to work in collaboration with stakeholders at all levels: The Ministry of Environment and Forestry; the Central Kalimantan Provincial Government; the Murung Raya District Government and community; the Central Kalimantan BKSDA, individual donors, and conservation organizations around the world concerned with the conservation effort in Indonesia.

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Contact:

Paulina Laurensia Ela

Communication Specialist

Email: pauline@orangutan.or.id

 

Monterado Fridman (Agung)

Communication and Education Coordinator (Nyaru Menteng)

Email: agungm@orangutan.or.id

 

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Editor’s Note:

ABOUT BOS FOUNDATION

Founded in 1991, the BOS Foundation is a non-profit Indonesian organization dedicated to the conservation of Bornean orangutans and their natural habitats, working together with local communities, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, and international partner organizations.

The BOS Foundation currently cares for almost 600 orangutans in two rehabilitation centres, with the support of 443 highly dedicated staff members and experts in the fields of primatology, biodiversity, ecology, forest rehabilitation, agroforestry, community empowerment, communications, education, and orangutan welfare. For further information, please visit www.orangutan.or.id.

ABOUT ORANGUTAN RELEASE

Since 2012, BOS Foundation has been releasing (including this release) 326 orangutans to 3 release sites in Central (Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest and Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park) and East Kalimantan (Kehje Sewen Forest).

This is the 9th release conducted by the BOS Foundation in 2017. This year BOS Foundation has released 75 orangutans at three sites across Central and East Kalimantan.

The BOS Foundation is currently rehabilitating 590 orangutans at its two rehabilitation centers: Samboja Lestari (158), and Nyaru Menteng (432).

TENTANG WORLD BRANDING AWARD

The World Branding Award is an annual event organised by The World Branding Forum, a registered non-profit organisation in England and Wales. Awards are only presented to the very top household names, recognized globally and in their home countries and BOS Foundation thanks all those who supported and voted for our organization.

NYARU MENTENG 20th ORANGUTAN RELEASE CANDIDATE PROFILES

1. JAKI

Jaki was rescued from a villager in Kereng Pangi, Katingan District, Central Kalimantan. He arrived at Nyaru Menteng on March 8, 2000, aged around 4 years and weighing 12 kilograms.

In October 2000, Jaki was moved to the socialization complex, and on February 2, 2002, he joined the pre-release stage on Kaja Island together with Uban, Mas, and Fitun. Jaki grew quickly and became a dominant male on the island, where he was happy to explore and keep to himself. Jaki was moved from Kaja Island on July 24, 2012, to prepare as a release candidate.

Jaki is now 21 years old and weighs 113 kg. Now dislike toward humans, Jaki cuts a dashing figure with his large cheek-pads, sharp gaze, and thick beard. He is more than ready to live in the wilds of the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

2. FITUN

Fitun was rescued by the Central Kalimantan BKSDA from a resident of Palangka Raya, on January 28, 2001. Upon his arrival at Nyaru Menteng, Fitun was aged 7 years and weighed 31 kilograms. At Nyaru Menteng, Fitun had to skip Forest School due to his age, and was instead placed in the socialization complex.

The following year, Fitun entered the pre-release stage on Kaja Island alongside Jaki, Mas, and Uban. Fitun became a dominant figure on Kaja and an avid explorer who firmly disliked human presence. Fitun was placed in the Nyaru Menteng 2 Complex in August 2011, due to an extended dry season that saw the Rungan River dry up: it was feared Fitun and a number of other large orangutans might escape the island.

Fitun was finally returned to Kaja Island after the river regained its normal depth, in January 2012. On July 25, the same year, Fitun was recalled from Kaja Island to prepare as a release candidate.

Fitun is now 23 years old and weighs 91 kg. Just like other dominant male orangutans on this release list, Fitun, with his masculine looks, is ready to explore the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest and live like a true, wild orangutan.

3. KASPER

Kasper was rescued in the town of Berau, East Kalimantan, and taken to Nyaru Menteng on February 8, 2003, aged 2 years and weighing 6 kilograms. He arrived at Nyaru Menteng in poor condition, and was suffering from pneumonia and malaria.

Kasper joined Forest School in 2003 and advanced to the pre-release stage on Kaja Island on August 3, 2016. During his time on Kaja Island, Kasper further developed his survival skills and turned into a dominant figure who firmly disliked human presence. On August 9, 2017, Kasper was moved to the Nyaru Menteng 3 complex in preparation for his release.

Kasper is now 16 years old and weighs 80 kg. With developed cheek-pads and a fierce gaze in his eye, Kasper is primed for the wild habitat of his new home – the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

4. SABUN

Sabun arrived at Nyaru Menteng on July 30, 2004, as a 2.5-year-old orphan, weighing 7.5 kilograms. He had been rescued from a resident of Kahayan Village, in Gunung Mas District, Central Kalimantan.

Sabun completed all stages of Nyaru Menteng’s Forest School, then advanced to the pre-release stage on Kaja Island in 2009. Curious Sabun has consistently shown wild behavior, respected by other orangutans, and will react whenever he feels that his territory is compromised. Sabun loves to explore, and is very alert of potential dangers and threats. He dislikes human presence.

Sabun is now 16 years old and weighs 95 kg. A curved forehead, prominent brow ridge, narrow eyes, and oval-shape face framed with broad cheekpads give him a sharp look. With his strong sense of independence, Sabun is ready to put his survival skills to the ultimate test in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

5. MAS

Mas was rescued from a villager in Tangkiling, Palangka Raya, on February 7, 2000. He was brought to Nyaru Menteng when he was 4 years old and weighed 14 kilograms. He had long hair and a wound on his left toe at the time, and was very wary of people.

Shortly after his arrival, Mas joined Forest School in the old midway complex, and in November 2001 began the pre-release stage of rehabilitation on Kaja Island. Mas became a dominant, and independent figure during his time on Kaja.

On June 26, 2008, Mas moved from Kaja Island to the Nyaru Menteng 2 Complex. On July 24, 2012, he was moved to the Nyaru Menteng 3 Complex, where he was deemed a release candidate.

Mas is now 21 years old and weighs 79 kg. With his huge cheekpads, sharp gaze, and goldish-red beard, he certainly strikes a handsome figure. Mas is now ready to go to the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest and experience life as a true wild orangutan.

6. DANI

Dani was rescued from a resident of Palangka Raya in 1997, and sent to Wanariset in East Kalimantan. He was eventually sent back to Central Kalimantan and arrived at Nyaru Menteng on August 12, 2000, to continue his rehabilitation. He was aged 5 years and weighed 15 kilograms. After passing the quarantine period, Dani was placed in the Nyaru Menteng socialization complex.

Dani was moved to Pulau Hampapak to enter the pre-release stage of rehabilitation on March 1, 2009. After becoming one of the dominant males on the island, Dani was moved on September 3, 2013, and placed in the Nyaru Menteng 3 complex to be prepared as a release candidate.

Now 22 years old and weighing 80 kg, Dani is ready to taste true freedom in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.

7. BENTO

This male orangutan was rescued on November 10, 2004 by the Central Kalimantan BKSDA from a Jakarta resident, who had kept him as a pet, When he was handed over to Nyaru Menteng, Bento was already 13 years old and weighed 31 kg.

Bento has spent the last phase of his rehabilitation process on the pre-release island, Kaja. On Kaja Island, Bento was extremely dominant, dislikes human presence and, like all wild adult male orangutans, he prefers a solitary life.

Now, Bento is 26 years old and weighs 86 kg. He has brown long hair with fully developed cheekpads. Bento is ready to return to life in the forest and will shortly depart for the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest, where he will become a true wild orangutan.

8. KAREN

Karen was rescued from a Jakarta resident, and arrived at Samboja Lestari on July 14, 2004, aged around 5 years and weighing 19.5 kilograms. She undertook rehabilitation at Samboja Lestari for 9 years, and was moved to Nyaru Menteng on 28 November, 2013, at the age of 14, weighing 50 kilograms.

She was placed in the Nyaru Menteng 2 socialization complex, and later moved to the quarantine complex at Nyaru Menteng 3, to be prepared for release.

Karen is now 18 years old and weighs 52 kg. She is more than ready to explore the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest and live as a true wild orangutan.

Island Freedom for Papa!

Papa was repatriated from Taiwan and arrived at our rehabilitation centre- Samboja Lestari on September 1, 1994, at the age of five. Unfortunately, as was the case with Romeo (read Romeo’s story here), Papa was diagnosed with Hepatitis B, a contagious virus known to be transmittable among both humans and orangutans. For Papa, this meant he could not join Forest School with other orangutans of his age, and as such did not have the opportunity to fully develop his forest survival skills.

Back then, orangutans who tested positive for Hepatitis B were separated from other orangutans to prevent the risk of disease transmission. However, medical science more recently found that the strand of Hepatitis B found in orangutans (Orangutan hepadnavirus) actually occurs naturally in the wild, and is not dangerous. This was an amazing finding; one which gave hope to orangutans like Papa, who would now be able to experience freedom outside of a quarantine enclosure.

Caring for Papa over the years, he is known by all as the “gentle giant”: Papa has never shown signs of aggression toward his caregivers, nor toward other orangutans during his time at Samboja Lestari, and has won the hearts of us all.

Just days ago, Papa’s life completely changed when we were finally able to move him to pre-release Island 4, where he can finally bond with other orangutans. This is the first time in 23 years that Papa is experiencing the world outside the bars of a cage! He is finally experiencing the freedom he deserves. We don’t know if he will be able to develop the skills he needs to survive alone in the wild and we’ll watch his progress step by step. But we won’t give up without trying all possibilities.

Now this gentle giant who has stolen the hearts of everyone lucky enough to know him, 28-year-old Papa will start to relearn the survival skills he needs on the Island from watching and bonding with his peers, Vera and Citra; two females who were also moved to Island 4 to keep Papa company.

Papa

Vera

Citra

We are thrilled to be able to give Papa a more natural free life on an island and we hope he thrives here with his new companions.

 

Text by: BOS Foundation Communication Team

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Santa’s December Homecoming

Celebrating World Wildlife Conservation Day and our #OrangutanFreedom campaign, together with the East Kalimantan BKSDA, we are delighted to have released another five orangutans from the BOS Foundation-Samboja Lestari Orangutan Reintroduction Program to the Kehje Sewen Forest, in East Kalimantan.

 

It’s A Good Day for a Release!

On Monday, December 4, three male and two female orangutans, including mother-infant pair Ingrid and Ivan, were prepared for their final release. Our Samboja Lestari team sedated Ingrid and her son Ivan, then Yuniar, Tiny, and Santa. Once sedated, the five orangutans were carefully transferred into separate transportation cages, with Ingrid and Ivan placed in one large cage together.

The release team sedates the orangutans.

 

The five orangutans are carefully placed inside transport cages.

 

The four cages were then loaded onto two 4×4 pickup vehicles, ready to depart.

The team departs from Samboja Lestari.

 

The #OrangutanRelease team departed from Samboja Lestari at around 1 p.m. and headed towards the East Kalimantan BKSDA office in Samarinda to sign handover papers.

At the East Kalimantan BKSDA office

 

The team then continued the journey to Selabing village, in Muara Wahau Sub-district, East Kutai Regency. The road trip took around 20 hours, with the team making regular stops every two hours to check the orangutans, and to provide them with food and drinks.

The team checks up on the orangutans en route to the Kehje Sewen Forest.

 

The team reached Muara Wahau on December 5, just past midnight. Following a brief pit stop at the BOSF-RHO office in Muara Wahau, the team set off again not long after daybreak and the brief rainy spells dissipated on to the last leg of the trip, to the final point reachable by vehicle.

The road trip to the Kehje Sewen Forest.

Santa’s Homecoming

Once they had reached the banks of the Telen River, the release team moved the transport cages across the river using ces (small motorised boats).

Travelling by ces

 

As soon as the team reached the other side of the river, the transport cages were lifted off the boats and carried by team members to predetermined release points deep in the forest.

Transport cages carried from the ces to the release points.

 

Transport cages carried on foot to the release points.

 

This release included an orangutan who was rescued by the BOS Foundation on January 10, 2014, from a villager in Jak Luay, Muara Wahau Sub-district, East Kutai Regency. Santa, who was only three years old at the time of her rescue, was found without her mother. Nobody knew how she had become separated from her mother, and a search for the mother failed to locate her (read the story here). Since Santa was still too young to survive alone in the forest, she was brought to Samboja Lestari, where she received loving care and guidance from our team of dedicated babysitters. Santa’s long, 3-year journey to return to the forest had now finally come to an end – she was returning to her natural home in the Kehje Sewen.

Santa; then and now

 

All five orangutans were successfully released to the forest to finally enjoy freedom as true, wild orangutans.

Widodo from BOSF-RHO and Kate Heliwell from The Great Project UK opened Ingrid’s and Ivan’s cage at 10.34

 

Santa enjoys her freedom as true, wild orangutans.

 

This release is the 14th conducted by the BOS Foundation in the Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan, since 2012. The total number of rehabilitated orangutans released from Samboja Lestari now stands at 80 individuals.

This year, BOS Foundation has concentrated on working to free the orangutans in its care, at both the Samboja Lestari and Nyaru Menteng rehabilitation centres. Every orangutan has the right to live safely in a natural habitat, without human interference; and we will continue to work hard to achieve this for all orangutans.

We are extremely grateful for the support provided by the East Kalimantan BKSDA, the government of East Kalimantan, and those stakeholders committed to the orangutan and habitat conservation effort. We are also grateful for the moral and financial support provided by numerous organizations, individuals, and our partners from all over the world concerned with orangutan conservation in Indonesia.

Text by: BOS Foundation Communication Team

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[PRESS RELEASE] BOS Foundation Releases More Orangutans to Kehje Sewen Forest on World Wildlife Conservation Day

Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation, in cooperation with the East Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA), will release five more orangutans from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rehabilitation Center to the Kehje Sewen Forest.

 

Samboja, East Kalimantan, December 4, 2017. Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation marks the first World Wildlife Conservation Day which falls today with the release of five orangutans from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rehabilitation Center to the Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kutai Regency, East Kalimantan. This is the 14th release conducted by BOS Foundation and East Kalimantan BKSDA since 2012.

Two male and three female orangutans, with one mother-infant pair among them, will leave Samboja Lestari and head for the Kehje Sewen Forest in an overland journey that will take approximately 20 hours. The team will stop every two hours to check the orangutans, and to give them food and water.One of the orangutans in today’s release, Santa, is finally going home. She was rescued in Muara Wahau in 2014, and displayed natural, wild behaviours on arrival, however she was too young to be immediately returned to natural habitat. She is now six years old and ready for release and we are delighted to be able to return all of these orangutans, including Santa, home in time for Christmas.

The release of these five will bring the total number of released orangutans into the Kehje Sewen Forest to 80.

Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, BOSF CEO, said; “BOS Foundation’s focus is giving back freedom to the orphaned and displaced orangutans under our care. This year our #OrangutanFreedom campaign has intensely highlighted the need to ensure we strive to do exactly that. Orangutans under our care deserve a life in natural habitat and orangutans living in the wild deserve protection to continue to live safe and free.

This year, we have established and secured additional pre-release islands. These islands provide a safe place where orangutans, which have completed the rehabilitation process in Forest School, can hone their skills prior to their final release to a natural forest. Our hope is that next year, BOS Foundation can release even higher numbers of orangutans, back to the forest.We extend our gratitude to the East Kalimantan BKSDA, the government authorities of East Kalimantan Province, and East Kutai and Kutai Kartanegara districts, and their communities. BOS Foundation also greatly appreciates the moral and financial support for today’s event provided by BOS Switzerland, as well as our Global Partner Organisations, individual donors and conservation organizations worldwide concerned with orangutan conservation in Indonesia.”

Ir. Sunandar Trigunajasa N., Head of the East Kalimantan BKSDA, added; “Conservation involves a massive collaborative effort, and can only be achieved through good cooperation among all stakeholders, including the government, the communities, conservation organizations and the private sector.

Our cooperation with BOS Foundation is an excellent example of how positive results can be achieved when we work together. Together we have been able to rescue numerous orangutans, and following the lengthy rehabilitation process supported by BOS Foundation, these orangutans can then be safely released back to the wild. We at BKSDA sincerely appreciate the efforts of other parties who have committed to, and engage in, efforts to preserve orangutans and natural habitat. There are very few good quality forests remaining in the province and together we need to save these forest areas, and help restore those which have been damaged. Many wildlife species that live within these forests are protected by the law and if you are keeping, or know someone who is keeping a protected wildlife species, it needs to be handed over to us. We must halt the capturing, killing and holding of protected animals. It is our collective duty to protect our remaining forests and the biodiversity, which remains within.”Kehje Sewen Forest is an 86,450-hectare rainforest area in East Kalimantan managed under the Ecosystem Restoration Concession (ERC) scheme by PT. RHOI, a company established by BOS Foundation in 2009. In 2010, PT. RHOI obtained permits to utilize the Kehje Sewen Forest specifically for the release of rehabilitated orangutans from Samboja Lestari, and the release program commenced in 2012.

Dr. Aldrianto Priadjati, Deputy Director of Conservation for PT. RHOI, said; “According to surveys, the Kehje Sewen Forest area we manage can accommodate about 150 orangutans. Since 2012, we have reintroduced 80 here. The area only has the capacity to accommodate another 70, at most, but we still have 155 orangutans progressing through rehabilitation at Samboja Lestari. So, simply put, we need more forest to be able to release all the orangutans we currently care for.

As for the area we manage, our data indicates that orangutan distribution is concentrated in certain forest areas, which has prompted us to establish access to new areas and provide better opportunities for released orangutans to succeed. However, this means increasing operational costs, as we also have to establish more monitoring transects, build new camps, and hire more monitoring staff.

So far, we have documented two successful births in the Kehje Sewen Forest, which strongly indicates that the orangutan rehabilitation and reintroduction process implemented by BOS Foundation and PT. RHOI is on track. We now need to acquire the rights to manage a larger forest area, to accommodate all of the orangutans currently undergoing rehabilitation at Samboja Lestari.”

 

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Editor’s Note:

ABOUT THE BORNEO ORANGUTAN SURVIVAL (BOS) FOUNDATION

Founded in 1991, BOS Foundation is a non-profit Indonesian organization dedicated to the conservation of Bornean orangutans and their habitat, working together with local communities, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia, and international partner organizations.

Currently, BOS Foundation is working to rehabilitate 605 orangutans, with the support of 443 highly dedicated staff and experts in the fields of primatology, biodiversity, ecology, forest rehabilitation, agroforestry, community empowerment, communications, education, and orangutan welfare. For further information, please visit www.orangutan.or.id.

 

ABOUT PT RHOI

PT Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia (RHOI) is a company established by the BOS Foundation on April 21, 2009, solely to acquire the Utilization of Forest Timber Products licence through Restoration of the Ecosystem (IUPHHK-RE), also known as the Ecosystem Restoration Concession (ERC).

As a non-profit organisation, the BOS Foundation is not permitted to apply for certain licences due to government regulations. Hence, RHOI was established. The permit gives RHOI the authority to manage a concession area – in this case, a forest area – which is imperative in the planning and implementation of orangutan releases.

On August 18, 2010, RHOI was issued an ERC permit by the Ministry of Forestry, for an 86,450-hectare section of rainforest in East Kutai Regency, East Kalimantan. This ERC provides a suitable, protected, and sustainable habitat for orangutans for at least the next 60 years, with the option of extending for another 35 years. The funding to purchase the permit, which cost around US$1.4 million, was received from donors and the BOS Foundation’s partner organizations in Europe and Australia.

The forest’s name, ‘Kehje Sewen’, translates as ‘orangutan’ in local Dayak Wehea language. By name and nature, the Kehje Sewen Forest has become a forest for orangutans. For more information, please visit www.theforestforever.com.

SAMBOJA LESTARI 14TH ORANGUTAN RELEASE CANDIDATE PROFILES

#OrangutanFreedom is still going strong and we are getting ready to release 5 orangutans into the Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kutai Regency. Here are the profiles of the amazing orangutans who are about to embark on their final journey back to the wild.

 

 

1. INGRID

Ingrid arrived at Samboja Lestari when she was 8 years old, weighing 34 kilograms. She had been kept illegally as a pet in Jakarta – her captor handed her over to BOS Foundation Samboja Lestari on March 24, 2002.

Ingrid was placed in quarantine for two months and began her rehabilitation in the socialization complex. In 2006, she was moved to the islands to complete the final pre-release stage. She is very independent and good at foraging for natural forest foods and building nests. She thrived on the pre-release islands and gave birth twice. Her first child, Indonesia, was released to the Kehje Sewen Forest in 2016, at the age of 12. Ingrid is now 23 years old and weighs 38 kg. With her island experience, and the skills she has honed during her 15 years of rehabilitation at Samboja Lestari, she is ready to return to the wild together with her second baby, son Ivan.

 

2. IVAN

Ivan was born at Samboja Lestari on May 23, 2013, on Orangutan Island 3. He is the second child born to Ingrid. Ivan has been with his mother since birth, which has helped develop his semi-wild nature. Ivan is not keen on human presence, and will kiss-squeak or immediately run to his mother when he sees a person approaching.

Ivan is now 4 years old and weighs 18 kilograms. Soon, this little boy and his mother will be able to live free in the Kehje Sewen Forest.

 

3. TINY

Tiny was born at Samboja Lestari on April 26, 2006, weighing 2 kilograms. Thanks to his mother Tasya’s good maternal instincts, Tiny has learned all the vital skills he needs to survive in the wild, and has grown to display appropriate natural behaviours. Shy Tiny does not like interacting with humans, and kiss-squeaks when approached.

Tiny has mastered his survival skills, and is good at building nests and exploring. Now 11 years old and weighing 38 kilograms, he is ready to explore his new home in the Kehje Sewen Forest.

 

4. SANTA

Santa was rescued on January 10, 2014, from a resident of Jak Luay Village, in Muara Wahau Sub-district of East Kutai, East Kalimantan. Information gathered from local villagers established that Santa was found without a mother. Our team conducted a widescale search for her mother, to no avail. Santa, who was about 3 years old and weighed 10.5 kg, was then taken to Samboja Lestari to begin the rehabilitation process.

Santa progressed through the stages of Forest School and successfully completed all levels in 2017. She is now very skilled at building nests up in tall trees, and is a good forager and explorer.

Now almost 7 years old and displaying independent behaviours, Santa will soon return to wild life in the Kehje Sewen Forest.

 

5. YUNIAR

Yuniar came from Ancol, Jakarta, and was handed over to BOS Foundation Samboja Lestari on August 17, 2006, at the age of 4 years, weighing 14 kilograms. She passed through quarantine prior to beginning her rehabilitation in Forest School. She completed Forest School in 2010 and was transferred to Orangutan Island 4 to enter the pre-release stage.

After 11 years of honing her survival skills, 15-year-old Yuniar, who now weighs 38 kilograms, will soon gain the freedom to explore the wild Kehje Sewen Forest.

King of Kehje Sewen Makes an Appearance

Our PRM team to the south of Camp Nles Mamse was recently delighted to pick up Kumar’s radio tracking signal! The team was busily conducting post-release monitoring in the Simpang Tawon area of the Kehje Sewen Forest, when Kumar’s signal suddenly popped up. So the next day, they set off toward the last point where his signal was detected: They could not pass up this golden opportunity to gather observation data on the ‘King of the Forest’, who had gone undetected for quite some time.

Kumar is a cheek-padded male who was released in July 2017. His cheekpad is the widest and he was the oldest male upon release, at 23 years old. This is why we consider him as the King of the Forest. His radio tracking signal was last picked up two months after his release (read the story here), and his explorations deep into the forest made him difficult to locate.

The PRM team eagerly followed Kumar’s signal, which led them to the Tanjakan Kandang area. From there, the reading became stronger and the team were sensitive to every small movement in the trees, as they anticipated the King’s appearance. As Kumar is known for disliking human presence, the team remained vigilant, aware that he could show up at any second. Then came the sound of branches breaking, and a team member saw a large branch come down nearby. Kumar appeared, standing confidently on a branch like a king staring down at his subjects. The team quickly took some photos of Kumar and started jotting down observation notes from a safe distance.

 

Kumar climbs the tree

Kumar was observed for a week; he is in good physical condition and has a healthy appetite. He stays high up in the canopy, and builds his night nests and day nests in different trees. He has sound nest-building skills, and always builds a new night nest in a different tree from the previous night. Kumar is an excellent forager and was observed eating a variety of forest foods, but he especially likes ficus fruits and liana bark, both of which are plentiful in the forest. Like a king boldly marking his territory, Kumar kiss-squeaked at his uninvited visitors and also made long-calls and replies to other orangutans long-calls during observations.

Seeing Kumar growing and adapting well to his environment is both a joy and a relief. We hope all our released orangutans are also in good health and adapting well to forest life, like King Kumar!

Great work, Forest King!

Text by: PRM Team, Camp Nles Mamse, Kehje Sewen Forest

 

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Seven More Orangutans Enter ‘University’

We are moving full steam ahead with our reintroduction programs and at our new release site in Central Kalimantan in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park, we have already released 71 orangutans since 2016. But it takes time for orphaned orangutans to learn all the skills they need to successfully live in the wild and that is where we step in.

Each orangutan under our care completes a gradual rehabilitation process; starting from the Nursery Group, then working through several levels of Forest School, where they learn and develop the vital skills and behaviours they will need to survive; what to eat and not to eat, how to make a nest and travel through the trees and how to avoid predators. Once they have completed Forest School, graduates are transferred to pre-release islands, where they enter the ‘university’ stage of their rehabilitation. On these naturally vegetated islands, orangutans are observed by Technicians to ensure they are learning to live more independently in a wild situation. Their ability to thrive on these islands ultimately determines their readiness to be released to the wild.

November 23, 2017, was a significant day for Petto, Toby, Tarwan, Uje and Mia. All five had gone through a long rehabilitation process in both Forest School and the socialization complex, and had finally made it to Bangamat pre-release Island. As soon as their transport cages were opened, all five rushed out to climb trees and explore the island; their new home, for the time being.

The vet team sedates the orangutans

Orangutan’s cages are transferred from the car to ‘ces’ small boat

Our team transfer the cages to the release point

Uje impatiently rushes to his new home

In addition to these five orangutans, Bangamat Island also welcomed the arrival of mother-infant pair Clara and Clarita. Baby Clarita was unexpectedly born and first spotted by our team in early July 2017, on Salat Island. A few days later, Clara was reportedly seen alone, without baby Clarita. After a thorough search of the area, we discovered that Clarita was being ‘cared for’ by Rizki, a 14-year-old male orangutan, and his friends.

Clara with baby Clarita on Bangamat Island, their new home

Unfortunately Rizki didn’t want to part with Clarita and although he was extremely gentle with the newborn, he obviously was not her mother and of course he couldn’t feed her. After several attempts to rescue baby Clarita, our Technicians managed to safely retrieve her on July 18. She was suffering from a bad rash thought to be caused by rangas sap and she was also suffering from malnutrition, due to having been separated from her breastfeeding mother. Clarita was immediately taken to our clinic for intensive care. At the time, Clara seemed to be in hiding on Salat and in early August, Clara reappeared. We suspected she had been avoiding the other orangutans on the island – in particular, Rizki who had taken her daughter. We quickly took Clara to Nyaru Menteng to be reunited with Clarita.

Meanwhile, baby Clarita was getting better, albeit with a rash still visible here and there. Initially, we were concerned that Clara might feel disconnected from her infant given that they had been apart for more than two weeks. However, we were very relieved to be wrong, and once baby Clarita was put in Clara’s arms by her Babysitter, the gentle mother embraced her baby tightly to her chest, as though she would never let her go.

To avoid another opportunity for Rizki to take on the role of surrogate mother – or in this case, surrogate father – our team decided to move the mother-infant pair to Bangamat Island instead of Salat. To this day, Clarita continues to suckle and be doted on by loving mother Clara.

The transfer of these seven brings the number of orangutans on Bangamat Island to 34 individuals. Nyaru Menteng’s team of dedicated Technicians will continue to monitor their progress on the island. We hope all seven continue to grow into fully independent orangutans, and when they graduate from this ‘university’, will be ready for life the wild.

Text by: Communications Team BOS Foundation

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Expectant Mothers Meklies, Ebol Getting Ready to Give Birth!

We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of new orangutan family members in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest (Batikap). In August, our team discovered that two of our released orangutans – Meklies (released in 2015), and Ebol (2012) – were pregnant (read the full story here). Since then, we have tried our best to monitor these two expectant mothers and track their progress, however, this has not been an easy task.

Last week, our team managed to locate Meklies and Ebol whilst conducting routine monitoring activities in Batikap. Both females seemed to be in excellent condition! Meklies, who spent most of her time high up in the trees, looked very fit, and was seen eating a large amount of forest fruit. While it was difficult to get a clear visual, our vet, Maryos Tandang, said Meklies appeared in good shape and was getting adequate nutrition (based on food traces found on the forest floor below her). The team pondered whether she was preparing a comfortable nest to soon give birth in.

Meklies kiss-squeaked at PRM Team

Meanwhile, Ebol had moved from the Joloi Atas area to Joloi Bawah, after last being seen together with Lamar. Our team continued to follow and record her activities until she made her night nest. After comparing photos and analysing current observation notes, we predicted that she must be almost ready to give birth.

Ebol relaxed in the tree

Our team is delighted to share this wonderful news! We hope that mother nature will work in their favour, and ensure that these two females succeed in giving birth to strong, healthy babies in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest. Hoping for two safe births in the very near future!

Story by: Alizee Martin, PRM Coordinator in Batikap 

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Robert and Ajeng: Potential New Match in the Kehje Sewen?

As the wet season settles in, rain falls daily on the Kehje Sewen Forest. Bright morning skies turn gloomy in the afternoon bringing showers that persist until late into the night. But despite the unfriendly weather, our PRM team are still as passionate as ever in their efforts to observe and collect data on our reintroduced orangutans.

Last Wednesday, the PRM team headed into the forest at around 8 a.m. to locate and observe Robert, a nine-year-old male who was released in April this year. The team hiked four kilometres through physically challenging terrain and along hilly trails before finally gaining a visual on Robert, who was relaxing in a tree. They quickly prepared binoculars and other monitoring equipment, and started to take notes on Robert’s activities.

Robert sat on the tree

Shortly after, Ajeng, an 11-year-old female we released two years ago, came out of nowhere and approached Robert. It was the first time we had seen the two encounter one another in the forest. Robert was calm and seemed totally unfazed by Ajeng’s uninvited presence.

Ajeng hang on the Liana

The two happily spent time together foraging and eating forest fruits. In a sweet gesture, Robert reached out for Ajeng’s hand, and the pair continued to eat while holding hands. Then, perhaps feeling overly confident and carried away by the moment, Robert embraced Ajeng to initiate copulation. Ajeng failed to respond, and Robert, accepting the refusal, simply went back to eating. Not long after, Ajeng reached out to touch Robert, who evened the score by rejecting her back.

The awkward moment lasted for quite some time, until the two slowly parted ways and moved off in different directions. The team quickly split up to continue observing the two, in the hope they would reunite during the day. Unfortunately, the afternoon rain set in and we had to call it a day.

We don’t know if Robert and Ajeng met up again that day, but we were thankful to have witnessed the two thriving and adapting well in their new home. We sincerely hope their interaction does not stop there, and that the two will someday help produce a new, wild orangutan population in the Kehje Sewen Forest.

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

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