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June 28, 2016
Our PRM team from Nles Mamse Camp recently reported that Gadis, Hope, Raymond, Kenji, and Angely – who were released from Samboja Lestari to the Kehje Sewen Forest on May 28 – have been adapting well to their new habitat. All five orangutans have been observed actively moving through the trees and foraging well.
Angely, Hope, Kenji and Raymond have been frequently seen exploring alone, while Gadis has been spending time with orangutans that were previously released in the forest, namely Long and Arief.
Gadis Makes Friends with Arief and Long
On her first day of release, Gadis quickly moved away from her release point and out of range of our PRM team. However, over the past few weeks our team have caught up with Gadis and observed her interacting closely with Long and her adopted son Arief, who were released in September 2015. Gadis seemed comfortable alongside Long and Arief, and was seen to be spending her time exploring, foraging and dangling from the trees with them. The three were also spotted together near the river.
Gadis, Arief, and Long
Arief, who hasn’t left Long’s side since they met in Forest School Level 1, seemed somewhat jealous of Gadis and the two appeared to fight several times. Wise, mother figure Long was there to split them up and calm them down.
Gadis and Long interacting together near the river
Angely and Kenji Prefer to be Alone
In contrast to Gadis, who easily befriends other orangutans, Angely and Kenji prefer to spend time alone. On different occasions, our team saw Ajeng – who was released in September 2015 – approach Angely and Kenji, who both went out of their way to avoid her.
Angely appeared to resent Ajeng’s presence and moved away from her to explore other areas of the forest, while Kenji expressed his dislike by throwing twigs at her. Ajeng did not seem to understand the gesture and came closer instead. Kenji then lashed out at Ajeng, who then got the message loud and clear, and left him alone.
Our PRM team have noted that both Angely and Kenji are skilful foragers in the Kehje Sewen Forest and enjoy all the natural food on offer, such as Baccaurea, Artocarpus fruits, liana flowers, termites, bamboo and various other types of flora.
Angely eating Baccaurea sp.
Kenji eating Artocapus
Hope Approaches Ajeng
A day after her release, Hope was observed spending the majority of his time resting in a nest and would only move to find food. However, he has since started becoming more active up in the trees foraging for forest fruits and playing with newfound friend Ajeng.
The PRM team witnessed an encounter between Hope and Ajeng a week after Hope was released; initially he seemed frightened of Ajeng, as she approached in a rather forward manner. Since that first meeting, Hope and Ajeng have become very close – they now eat, explore, play and build nests in trees nearby one another.
Hope (left) and Ajeng (right)
Raymond Savours Jabon and Ferns
After release, Raymond was seen to be spending most of his time exploring and foraging. Once, he bumped into Hanung, a male released in December 2015. When they met, they exchanged sharp looks and their hair stood up on end. A fight soon took place.
Larger Hanung won the physical contest hands-down and Raymond fled to Puncak Palem area, about 500 meters from Hanung’s territory. From that point on, Raymond backed away from Hanung whenever he saw him.
From the team’s observations, it is clear that Raymond is having a love affair with jabon fruits and ferns, enjoying both in abundance!
Raymond eating pakis fern
We are thrilled to see the released orangutans adapting well to their new environment and thriving in the Kehje Sewen Forest. We hope every orangutan undergoing rehabilitation – be it at Samboja Lestari or Nyaru Menteng – will follow in their released friends’ footsteps, and return to this beautiful natural habitat.
Text by: PRM team of Camp Nles Mamse, Kehje Sewen Forest
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