Following the success of releasing 167 Central Kalimantan orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest (Batikap) since 2012, now the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS Foundation) and Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) will release 10 more orangutans from Nyaru Menteng, this time to a new forest area, Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park in Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan. Here are the release candidates’ profiles
Semi-wild orangutans are those who, at the time of rescue, have previously encountered humans yet have retained sufficient natural behaviours and vital skills to survive alone in the wild.
Kameloh was rescued by the Central Kalimantan BKSDA (the Natural Resources Conservation Agency) from a resident of Kameloh Baru village, Palangka Raya. He came to Nyaru Menteng in good condition on January 18, 2007, when he was two years old and weighed eight kilograms. He still exhibited wild behaviours.
After completing the quarantine phase, Kameloh was placed in Nyaru Menteng 2 where he learned the skills required to survive in the wild. He was relocated to Kaja Island on November 20, 2014, where he joined the final pre-release phase. The dark brown, thick-haired Kameloh is a loner and very independent. He is easy to identify with his tall stature and growing cheekpads. On Kaja Island, Kameloh regularly shows his dislike of humans.
Kameloh is now 11 years old and weighs 66.6 kilograms. Adventurous and adept at foraging for natural food, Kameloh is now ready to explore his new habitat in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.
Mima was being held captive by a local resident of Muara Teweh, North Barito, Central Kalimantan, at her time of rescue on October 16, 2003. Mima was three years old and weighed six kilograms when she came to Nyaru Menteng, and she was visibly distressed by human contact.
Mima grew into an extraordinary individual during her time in the Forest School and took the last step in the rehabilitation process when she was moved to Kaja Pre-release Island on November 19, 2014. Her bulky figure and short reddish-brown hair – complete with fringe – makes Mima one fine looking lady. Like most wild orangutans, Mima prefers to forage and explore on her own.
Now at 15 years of age and weighing in at 43.9 kilograms, Mima is ready to live in the wilds of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.
Rambo was two years old and exhibited wild behaviour when he was rescued in Parenggean on June 19, 2006. He arrived at Nyaru Menteng weighing seven kilograms and had a wounded left arm.
Rambo was placed on Kaja Island to undergo the pre-release stage of rehabilitation on November 20, 2014. Curious-natured Rambo is not usually aggressive, but will defend himself when he feels threatened and shies away from humans. While he is not considered a dominant figure, Rambo is still quite skilled at foraging and is a good explorer.
Rambo has a slight lump on his forehead and a fringed hairline with a thin orange beard. His cheekpads have started to develop and he is now 12 years old weighing 45.5 kg. Very soon, Rambo will become a new inhabitant of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.
Dara arrived at Nyaru Menteng when she was three years old, after being rescued from an oil palm plantation concession area in Satuan Pemukiman 3, Padas village, Parenggean, Central Kalimantan, on December 31, 2005. She was in good health, weighed 7.5 kilograms, and displayed wild behaviour. She would become aggressive whenever a human approached.
After completing quarantine, Dara was placed in Nyaru Menteng’s Socialization Complex, and on November 19, 2014, she entered the pre-release stage of rehabilitation on Kaja Island.
Now at 14 years of age and weighing 42.5 kilograms, reddish-brown and thick-haired Dara has grown into a beautiful and independent orangutan. After twelve years of rehabilitation, ever-alert Dara will soon embark on the final journey to freedom when she is released to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Forest.
Rehabilitant orangutans are those rescued at a young age and/or confiscated from people who have kept them in captivity. These orangutans have limited knowledge and skills required to live independently in the forest, and therefore need to undergo a lengthy period of rehabilitation.
5. AWA AND EWA
Awa was confiscated by the Central Kalimantan BKSDA on February 29, 2000, from a villager in Mangkatip, South Barito, Central Kalimantan, who had been holding her captive. She was 18 months old and weighed five kilograms when she first arrived at Nyaru Menteng.
Awa started living on Kaja Island right after she finished her training at the Forest School. The reddish-brown, shorthaired Awa has been very active and independent on the pre-release island. On February 13, 2008, Awa gave birth to a healthy baby. The female infant, whom we named Ewa, has thick hair similarly coloured to Awa’s and behaves like a true, wild orangutan. She visibly dislikes human presence and is quick to find comfort in her attentive mother’s arms whenever she feels alarmed.
After 16 years of rehabilitation at Nyaru Menteng, Awa is now 18 years old and weighs 42.95 kilograms. Her daughter Ewa, who is aged eight years, weighs 25.90 kilograms. Soon, both Awa and Ewa will be living as true, wild orangutans in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.
6. DOREN AND DAICHI
Doren was confiscated from a villager in Tanjung Jurung, Parenggean sub-regency, Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan, on February 10, 2003. Upon arrival at Nyaru Menteng, Doren was estimated to be one year old and she weighed 2.2 kilograms. She was in good health and exhibited wild behaviour.
By December 24, 2012, Doren had completed her Forest School training and continued to the final pre-release stage on Bangamat Island. Doren, who is a skilled forager and explorer, once went missing for almost two months. She was eventually found in good health along the banks of the Rungan River near Kanarakan village, 30 kilometres from her last known location on the island. Doren was moved to Kaja Island on November 16, 2014, to undertake the final pre-release stage.
On March 17, 2015, Doren gave birth to her first baby – a male whom we named Daichi. Thick, reddish-brown-haired Doren is now 12 years old and weighs 60 kilograms. She will continue to raise 1-year-old Daichi as a true, wild orangutan when the two are released to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.
7. WINDA AND WIHIM
Winda was confiscated by the Central Kalimantan BKSDA from an oil palm plantation worker in East Kotawaringin regency, Central Kalimantan. She was five years old when she came to Nyaru Menteng in poor condition on January 22, 2007, weighing 9.5 kilograms. She suffered from malnutrition and had several wounds. She exhibited wild behaviour and refused human contact.
Thanks to the dedication and care of the team from Nyaru Menteng, Winda recovered and started the long rehabilitation process. On July 8, 2014, Winda gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy, whom we named Wihim. On November 20, 2014, the mother-son pair entered the pre-release stage of rehabilitation on Kaja Island.
Winda, now a 14-year-old weighing 37.4 kilograms, clearly loves her 2-year-old son and will soon be moving with him to live free in the wilds of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.