BOS Foundation Release Update: Orangutans Freet, Juve and Britney Starting Strong
Text by: PRM Team in Lesik Camp, Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan
March 8, 2021 — After the successful release of Freet, Juve, and Britney on 18 February, our Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team from Lesik Camp in the Kehje Sewen Forest of East Kalimantan, has found renewed vigor! The global pandemic had forced us to temporarily suspend a number of activities over the past 12 months, including orangutan releases. Thus, it was an exciting moment when we were finally be able to release these three orangutans in the wild.
The newly released adult orangutans included males Freet and Juve, aged 27 and 25 years old respectively, and female Britney, 28 years old. Mature in age and equipped with all the skills required to survive in the wild, the three orangutans instantly began to explore their new surroundings once released. Our PRM team, which is responsible for monitoring released orangutans once the transport cages are opened, unfortunately lost track of Freet and Britney after the two quickly brachiated away in the tall canopy. The team, left behind on the forest floor, kept up with Juve and managed to monitor him all afternoon until he had built his night nest.
That afternoon, our team noticed that Juve stayed in the very top of the canopy, where he enjoyed adinandra leaves and fruits. He was obviously hungry after his long journey to the forest, and wasted no time in satisfying his appetite. Once Juve had filled his belly, he began looking for branches to build his first nest in the Kehje Sewen Forest. What a milestone for him! Once he was settled, our team returned to the temporary camp to rest.
The next morning, three teams were sent out to monitor Juve, Freet, and Britney. Finding Juve was not difficult, as we knew where to locate him in his night nest. During that day’s observations, Juve again showed excellent foraging skills, judging from the variety of fruits and leaves he consumed.
During the day, Juve let out a long call, which could be heard by the team that had found Freet and was observing him. Freet was located not far from where he was released. During observations, he showed his displeasure at being observed by our PRM team members by breaking tree branches and throwing them at the team below. Freet was seen heartily eating Nephelium sp., or forest rambutan.
At first, Freet did not seem to pay attention to Juve’s long call. But after a while, he responded with a mutually loud long call. This shouting contest occurred into the afternoon, just before the two settled down to build their night nests. That day, we also heard another orangutan long call coming from the east.
The next day, one of our teams finally located Britney, who was seen approaching Juve. As the two became comfortable with each other’s presence, Juve began to follow Britney wherever she went. However, after a short while, he gave up and wandered off to explore the forest alone.
In the first days of observation, our PRM team has witnessed Freet, Juve, and Britney adapting well to their new forest home. We are very happy to see this, and wish them a prosperous life in the Kehje Sewen Forest. Enjoy your wild adventures, Freet, Juve, and Britney!
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