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Releases Kick Off #FREEDOM Campaign


The BOS Foundation has kicked off the year with the release of more orangutans to natural habitats in Central and East Kalimantan, taking the total number of orangutans released by BOSF since 2012 to 270. We also launched our #FREEDOM campaign, in which we aim to release as many orangutans as possible from our rehabilitation centres into protected forests this year.

The first orangutan release for this year took place in Central Kalimantan in February, with 12 orangutans from Nyaru Menteng released to the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR) in Katingan Regency. One of the 12 was Wanna, who was repatriated from Thailand 10 years ago.

 

Wanna is released by BOS Foundation CEO Jamartin Sihite on February 18

The eight females and four males were dispatched to the TNBBBR in two separate groups. Pak Herry, Janu, Ine, Sophia, Eka and Buntut departed on February 14 and were released the very next day. Meanwhile, Bagio, Meggi, Besty, Aulin, Nyiwuh and Wanna departed on February 17 and also were released the following day. With the addition of these 12, the BOS Foundation has now released a total 41 orangutans to the TNBBBR.

 

Pak Herry’s cage is opened by Deputy CEO of the BOS Foundation, Jacqui Sunderland| Further details of the release can be found on our Facebook page.

Two weeks later, the BOS Foundation released seven orangutans from Samboja Lestari to the Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kutai Regency. The two males and five females, ranging in age up to 20 years, were released in the northern part of the Kehje Sewen Forest after a long journey by utility vehicles and helicopter.

On March 1, the #OrangutanRelease team departed from Samboja Lestari with Elisa, Wardah, Eris, Emmy, Wulani, Cemong, and Beni by road, and headed to an airstrip belonging to PT. Swakarsa Sinar Sentosa in Muara Wahau, a sub-regency town in East Kutai Regency. The 12-hour trip ended the following morning at Muara Wahau, where the team quickly prepared the cages to be airlifted by a waiting helicopter.

 

The orangutans are loaded onto a helicopter and airlifted from Muara Wahau to predetermined release points in the Kehje Sewen Forest

Our team from Camp Lesik, in the northern section of the Kehje Sewen Forest, had prepared a drop point for the orangutans located about four kilometres from the camp. The seven orangutans were brought from Muara Wahau in two consecutive batches, and were released at points spread around 30-200 meters from the drop point.

The #OrangutanRelease team used a pulley-operated door to open the cages of the two large cheek-padded males, Beni and Cemong. This method was used for safety reasons, but also allowed Beni and Cemong the chance to climb straight up the nearest tree and into their new surroundings without becoming agitated.

 

The #OrangutanRelease team prepares to release Cemong using a pulley-operated mechanism

 

Elisabeth Labes from BOSF Switzerland opens Elisa’s cage | Further details of the release can be found on our Facebook page.

The release of Elisa, Wardah, Eris, Emmy, Wulani, Cemong and Beni to the Kehje Sewen Forest has now taken the population of released orangutans in the area to 62 individuals. Our goal this year is to release 100 orangutans, giving them #FREEDOM in protected, natural forests.

Many thanks to those who supported this particular release, and to all parties helping our orangutan conservation effort!

Text by: BOS Foundation Communications Team HQ

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