Eden – A Newborn Wild Baby: Hope for the Future

February 23, 2018 — We are thrilled to announce the birth of another baby orangutan in the Bukit Batikap Protection Forest, Central Kalimantan! Our newest arrival was born to Ebol, an orangutan we released during our first year of reintroductions in 2012. Our PRM team in Totat Jalu Camp, Batikap, last observed Ebol in November 2017, during a regular patrol. (read the full story here)

The last time we observed Ebol, we predicted she would likely deliver her baby in the beginning of 2018 – and we were right! A few days ago, after a long search, the PRM team and an accompanying vet from Nyaru Menteng finally located Ebol and her new born baby.

Ebol is an amazing example of our reintroduction successes. She was released with her mother Mama Ebol in 2012, when Ebol was 7 years old; at that time we assumed Mum and daughter would stay together. But Mama Ebol had other ideas and was very happy to leave Ebol to her own devices. After a few stumbling blocks, Ebol proved she could take care of herself and in the last 5 years she has gone from strength to strength.

During our recent encounter, new Mum Ebol foraged and consumed a large amount of forest fruit, while her baby clung to her chest and spent time breastfeeding and sleeping. Like every good mother, Ebol was very protective of her newborn; she moved very cautiously and kissed and caressed her little one, as if wanting to keep her newborn clean. Ebol even kiss-squeaked to indicate her displeasure at our presence – and possibly also out of concern for her baby’s safety.

Ebol and her baby

We were extremely happy to see this mother-infant pair in perfect condition. We are also expecting a new arrival from Meklies, whom we predict will give birth soon (read the full story here), and Manisha, who is thought to be in her second trimester. With the growing number of babies being born in Bukit Batikap, we are hopeful the wild orangutan population will flourish here in the future.

As the only great ape species found in Asia, the orangutan plays a significant role as an umbrella species. By protecting the orangutans a whole plethora of other flora and fauna will be protected and we have the responsibility to ensure the survival of this unique species.

Text by: Vet Agus Fahroni and Purnomo, PRM Team in Bukit Batikap Protection Forest

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