Go Go Gonzales
Date Posted: April 14, 2023
Text by: BOSF PRM Team at Hiran Monitoring Post, TNBBBR, Central Kalimantan
Our Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team in the Hiran watershed recently observed Gonzales, a male orangutan who was released in November 2022 in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR). A two-man PRM team, consisting of Dandi and Darsono, left the Hiran monitoring camp at 4 a.m. to conduct a phenology survey in the forest. They headed toward the KL transect and found a nest belonging to Gonzales, on a tree branch about 15 metres above ground level.
During observations, Gonzales did a lot of walking and climbing, but not a lot of eating. Even so, he still managed to consume some natural foods, including orchid leaves (Orchidaceae), several types of plant piths, ketepeng leaves (Cassia alata), and even termites (Isoptera). He appeared to be in very good health. The day's observations ended at 5 p.m. when Gonzales started building his night nest in a kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra), located around 20 metres from his previous nest.
The team decided to return to Gonzales the following day, to continue observations. This time, a PRM team consisting of Andrianto, Dandi, and Darsono did not find Gonzales in the nest he had built the night before. The team made a detour and navigated the KL transect, still on the lookout for Gonzales.
Unable to find Gonzales, the three team members redirected their search back to the nest he had previously built. He was still nowhere to be found. That was until just before sunset, when the PRM team finally located Gonzales, chewing on leaves.
Upon seeing the PRM team, Gonzales let out a long call. Visibly annoyed by the disturbance, he slipped away into the forest in search of a more private place to build his night nest. It began to rain, so the team decided to call it a day and returned to the monitoring post.
We are relieved to know that Gonzales is doing well and finding his way around the forest!