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June 20, 2017
Our PRM team from Camp Nles Mamse, in the southern part of the Kehje Sewen Forest, recently set off in the morning to conduct observations on some of our released orangutans. The team used radio transmitters to pick up signals emitted by the chips implanted in the orangutans, and on that day were able to pick up signals from Long and Arief, a non-biological mother-and-son pair released in August 2015.
The sweet story of Long and Arief began at Samboja Lestari when one day, Long, an adult female, moved away from her group to explore an area she had never been to before. She accidently moved into the Forest School Group 1 area, where Arief was busy learning. To everybody’s surprise, Long suddenly picked Arief up and carried him off in her arms. Still very young and in desperate need of a mother’s touch, Arief accepted Long’s affection, and the two became inseparable. (Read their story here: Long’s Love for Arief)
When the team picked up their signals and encountered them in the forest, Long and Arief were spotted together, relaxing in a tree. Long was still doting over Arief, just as she had done in Samboja Lestari from the very first day shehad taken him under her wing.
On the day of observation, Long and Arief spent a lot of time up in the trees, and only climbed down to pluck shoots and forage for termites in weathered logs. That day, the two looked very satisfied with the natural food they consumed.
Long eats termites
Arief eats termites, following Long’s lead
In general, both Long and Arief looked to be in perfect condition, and ate a healthy amount of forest food. Long was seen patiently teaching Arief how to forage and move through the trees, fulfilling her motherly duty of arming him withthe life skills he needs to survive in the wild.
Arief appeared to be growing well, and with help from his surrogate mother, looks well on his way to becoming an independent orangutan in the Kehje Sewen Forest.
Text by: PRM team in Camp Nles Mamse, Kehje Sewen Forest
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