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Our Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team conducted their regular patrol activities as 2023 was drawing to a close. Per usual, at 08:00 AM the team set out for Transect 32. It was when they reached the Pondok 2 area that the squad took a break to drink some water and recharge

Soon after, the canopy rustled slightly, and Justin, a male orangutan released into the Kehje Sewen Forest in 2017, appeared. Our PRM team immediately took photos of and observed Justin. He appeared to be slightly ill, as indicated by the fluids dropping out from his nostrils. The team observed for ten minutes while the orangutan sat quietly on a branch.

However, Justin seems to be bothered by our PRM team’s presence. He rattled the tree branches and moved away from our PRM squad, into the tangle of the jungle. Despite their efforts to follow his movements, our PRM team lost track of Justin just as quickly as they found him. Justin was last observed in 2021, engaged in a playful encounter with the orangutan Angely.

After circling for about an hour, our PRM team finally decided to continue their original patrol destination and headed towards Transect 32. Along their route, our PRM team found no signs of other orangutans. Their short encounters with Justin provided a welcome update on this male orangutan who, despite his runny nose, is still doing well in the Kehje Sewen Forest.

Text by: PRM Team at Camp Nles Mamse, Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan

Will you help us rescue, rehabilitate and release orangutans back to freedom? Thank you!

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