Working towards our #OrangutanFreedom goal, we are delighted to report that we have successfully released another seven rehabilitated orangutans to the Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kutai Regency!
Journey to Freedom
On July 11, the Samboja Lestari medical team sedated Abel and her son Alejandro, followed by Imut and her son Ical; Belinda and adoptee Maureen; and finally, big Kumar. An hour later, the seven sleeping orangutans were placed into transportation cages and loaded onto vehicles, ready to depart for the 13th orangutan release in the Kehje Sewen Forest.
Once sedated, technicians lifted every orangutans to put into the transport cage
Orangutans in transport cages were loaded onto the waiting pickup trucks
A convoy of five pickup trucks and one MPV left Samboja Lestari shortly after 2 p.m. and headed to the small town of Muara Wahau in East Kutai Regency. Our team followed strict protocols throughout the journey; stopping every two hours to check on the orangutans and offer them food and water.
Our Medical and Animal Welfare Team ensures that each and every orangutans are in the best travelling condition
The convoy reached the BOSF-RHOI office in Muara Wahau 13 hours later, in the very early hours of July 12. After a short break the team continued on the final leg of the trip to reach the forest before sunrise. It took another five hours to reach the last point accessible by vehicle, 200 meters from the banks of the Telen River.
Then the cages were carried down to the river bank and transported across the river using a ces (small boat).
The whole team works hard to carry the transport cages to the predetermined release points
Once they reached their destination, the cages were loaded onto two waiting 4×4 vehicles that carried them to release points deep in the southern part of the Kehje Sewen Forest.
Update from the Kehje Sewen Forest!
On July 12, at approximately 3.30 p.m., the BOS Foundation headquarters received a short message from Nles Mamse Camp confirming that the seven orangutans had been successfully released to the forest. As previously planned, the first cage opened was Belinda’s, followed by Maureen’s: the two have shared a mother-child like bond ever since meeting on a pre-release island. Abel and Alejandro, who travelled in the same cage, were the next to be released. Our huge flanged male, Kumar, was set free next, followed shortly after by Imut and Ical.
Kumar’s transport cage is opened by Jamartin Sihite, BOS Foundation CEO
The last cage to open was Ical’s, done by Syahrul, our Samboja Lestari technician who was known very close to Ical
This release event brings the total number of orangutans released to natural habitat – from both the Samboja Lestari and Nyaru Menteng rehabilitation centers – to 289, with 75 released to the Kehje Sewen Forest.
This reintroduction was only made possible through cooperation with the East Kalimantan BKSDA, the Provincial Government of East Kalimantan, the local governments of East Kutai and Kutai Kartanegara regencies, and the local residents of said regencies. BOS Foundation is extremely grateful for the moral and financial support provided by many parties, partners and non-partner organizations or individuals from around the world concerned with orangutan conservation in Indonesia.
Text by: BOSF Communication Team
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