New Place, New Adventures

Date Posted April 14, 2023
Text by: BOSF PRM team in Camp Lesik, Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan

In February, we received a report that three orangutans had been spotted intruding in a village in Pelangsiran. The report came from the Orangutan Habitat Rehabilitation (RHO) team and was sent to our Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team at Camp Nles Mamse, to request a translocation of the orangutans to an area of the forest that is far away from residential areas.

Our PRM team from Camp Nles Mamse prepared early in the morning to locate the trio, assisted by several residents. They found that the trio was made up of orangutans, Indonesia, Tree, and Tree’s child. After successfully securing all three orangutans in transport cages, the team headed to Camp Lesik by utility vehicle.

After resting a while at Camp Lesik, the translocation team proceeded to the Lembu River, where they would release Indonesia, Tree, and her baby. This location was chosen for its water and food sources, and its distance from our PRM camp, to anticipate the possibility of the three finding their way back to human settlements, given their vast cruising range.

Indonesia’s transport cage was opened first, by PRM team member Gelar. After receiving the command, Gelar immediately opened the door and Indonesia swiftly climbed up the tree directly in front of him. Tree and her baby were next to be released, by Hendra. Clutching her baby, Tree quickly exited the cage, moved away from the PRM team, and climbed up a nearby tree.

Before leaving the translocation point, our team placed some fruit down away from the main road, to prevent the three orangutans from following the team's vehicle back to camp. Indonesia, Tree, and the baby were observed together shortly after their release. They soon moved away from our team and occupied a guava tree across the way from the translocation point.

Transferring these three individuals went smoothly, without incident. We hope that they will stay away from humans, thrive independently in the forest, and successfully form a new orangutan population.

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