The Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation will mark World Wildlife Conservation Day, which falls on December 4, by working with the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) to release another 11 orangutans to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR). Here are the release candidates’ profiles
Wild orangutans are those who were born and raised for a certain period in the forest; have never/rarely interacted with humans; and display natural behaviours at the time of their rescue.
Bana was rescued on October 14, 2016, through a joint effort between the Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) and BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng. Bana, who is around 25 years old, was confined to a small forest in an area that had largely been cleared for housing near the Hiang Bana transmigration reservation at Petak Bahandang village, in Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan. This huge male would emerge from the forest to forage in fields and eat local farmers’ crops, until local residents finally reported this situation to BKSDA.
At the time of his rescue, Bana had several bad wounds on his arms that required immediate attention. The rescue team took Bana to Nyaru Menteng for treatment, where the dedicated medical team cared for him as he recovered from his wounds.
This dominant, flanged male with long and thick hair is now ready for release to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.
2. SAWA AND SAWI
A joint team from the Central Kalimantan BKSDA and BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng rescued Sawa and her daughter, Sawi, only a week after Bana’s rescue. The mother-daughter pair was found in a small, remaining forest area in the Hiang Bana transmigration reservation located at Petak Bahandang village, Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan. Sawa and Sawi were taken to Nyaru Menteng on October 23, 2016.
Sawa is estimated to be around 15 years old and weighs about 30 kilograms. Upon rescue, she had open wounds on her arms and a cataract on her left eye. The rescue team decided to take Sawa and Sawi to Nyaru Menteng for further examination and treatment, and after much-needed intensive care, Sawa’s wounded arms recovered well.
Sawa will soon be released back to the wild together with 4-year-old Sawi. The pair will join other release candidates to become the newest residents of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.
Rehabilitant orangutans are those rescued at a young age and/or confiscated from people who have illegally 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.
Kisar arrived at Nyaru Menteng on September 1, 2002, after being rescued from Tumbang Samba village in Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan, by a joint team from the Central Kalimantan BKSDA and BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng. He was about two years old when he arrived at Nyaru Menteng and weighed only 5.6 kilograms.
After completing quarantine, Kisar started the rehabilitation process in Nyaru Menteng’s Forest School. He was transferred to Kaja pre-release island after completing Forest School, to fulfil the final rehabilitation stage prior to being release to the wild. During his stay on Kaja, this male actively explored and practised the skills he had learned in Forest School. Kisar has excellent foraging skills and favours feeding on young leaves, forest ferns and fruits.
Kisar is now 16 years old and weighs 62.3 kg. He has grown into a handsome male with a fringed forehead. He will soon put his skills to the final test when he is released to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park, to live as a true wild orangutan.
Two weeks after rescuing Kisar in Tumbang Samba village, the Central Kalimantan BKSDA and BOS Foundation Nyaru Menteng joint-team rescued a female from the same location. Mini came to Nyaru Menteng on September 18, 2002, when she was 1.5 years old and weighed 4.6 kilograms. She was thin, but had a bulging stomach, and after two months in quarantine began Forest School where she developed her survival skills.
After completing Forest School, Mini progressed to the pre-release stage on Kaja Island, on June 24, 2013. During her time on Kaja, Mini enjoyed exploring the forest from high up in the trees.
This beautiful, strong female with long, reddish-brown hair is now 16 years old and weighs 53.2 kilograms. After 14 years of rehabilitation at Nyaru Menteng, Mini will soon get the chance to live wild and free in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.
Sarimin came to Nyaru Menteng on September 28, 2005, after being confiscated by the Central Kalimantan BKSDA from a local villager in Mendawai village, Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan. He had been kept illegally as pet. The little 2-year-old, who weighed only 6 kilograms at the time, started the rehabilitation process after completing a compulsory two-month quarantine period in the Nyaru Menteng clinic.
After completing Forest School on November 20, 2014, Sarimin began the final leg of rehabilitation on Kaja pre-release island. This male, with long thick hair, prefers to be left alone and dislikes human presence, which made him difficult to observe while he was on Kaja.
Sarimin is now 13 years old and weighs 48.3 kilograms. He will soon depart for the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park forest to begin his new life as a wild orangutan.
Beda was confiscated by the Central Kalimantan BKSDA from a local villager in Tumbang Jutuh, Gunung Mas Regency, Central Kalimantan on February 2, 2004, when she was 10 months old and weighed 5.5 kilograms.
On June 24, 2016, after completing Forest School, Beda proceeded to the pre-release stage on Kaja island. Here, she honed her foraging skills and explored every inch of Kaja Island in her quest for forest foods.
After 12 years of rehabilitation at Nyaru Menteng, 13-year-old Beda is just days away from being set free to live as an independent, wild orangutan in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.
Susi, together with a male named Juky, was confiscated by the BKSDA from a local villager in Ketapang, West Kalimantan, who had been keeping her illegally as a pet. Susi arrived at Nyaru Menteng on March 28, 2003, when she was 1.5 years old and weighed 8 kilograms. As with other newly-arrived orangutans, Susi spent two months in quarantine before starting the rehabilitation process in Forest School.
Susi completed Forest School and was moved to Kaja pre-release island on June 20, 2013. On the island, Susi was social with other orangutans and stayed close to trees and areas plentiful in forest fruits.
After 13 years of rehabilitation at Nyaru Menteng, this beautiful orangutan is now 15 years old and weighs 49.3 kilograms. In a few days, Susi will be released to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.
Juky was confiscated (together with Susi) from a local villager in Ketapang, West Kalimantan, by the BKSDA on March 28, 2003. Little Juky was just 1.5 years old and weighed 7 kilograms. Together with Susi, Juky underwent quarantine before moving to the rehabilitation stages of Forest School.
After finishing Forest School, Juky entered the final pre-release stage on Kaja Island. His good looks, highlighted by his bright-orange beard and growing cheekpads, are helping him to establish his dominance.
Now 15 years old and weighing 66 kilograms, this male is more than ready to explore the forests of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.
Rina was consficated by the Central Kalimantan BKSDA from a local resident from Mantangai in Kapuas Regency, Central Kalimantan, on March 26, 2003. When she arrived at Nyaru Menteng, she was just 1.5 years old, weighed 5 kilograms, and was in a very poor condition with a terrible wound on her head. She received intensive treatment from the medical team in Nyaru Menteng before completing her quarantine period and then beginning the rehabilitation process in Forest School.
With her sound foraging skills, Rina finished Forest School and continued to the pre-release stage on Kaja Island, where she was moved on June 24, 2013. This female prefers to explore deep into the forest alone.
Rina is now 15 years old, weighs 53 kilograms, and after 13 years of rehabilitation at Nyaru Menteng, Rina will soon once again be free in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.
Miri was confiscated by the Central Kalimantan BKSDA from a local villager in Tumbang Miri, Gunung Mas Regency, Central Kalimantan on September 24, 2002. She arrived at Nyaru Menteng in a bad condition with a rotting, open wound on her right middle finger. She was two years old at the time and weighed 6.1 kilograms. Miri received intensive treatment from the Nyaru Menteng medical team and recovered during the quarantine period, then continued on to Forest School.
On June 20, 2013, Miri entered the final pre-release stage of rehabilitation on Kaja Island. While mostly a solitary individual, curious Miri is sometimes willing to socialise, and loves playing with water.
Now 17 years old, Miri is ready to return to freedom. While not a dominant figure, Miri’s survival skills will help her live an independent life in the forests of the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park.