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Can you remember the orangutans we released into the Kehje Sewen Forest in May? Amongst them are Andreas, Riana, and Leann. All coming from the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre, they have now returned to their true home in the forest.

Andreas, Riana, and Leann are routinely monitored from nest to nest by our Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team. PRM teams consist of two to three persons who record the daily activities of the orangutans under observation and ensure they adjust successfully to their new surroundings.

Andreas, Leann, and Riana have all been monitored regularly interacting with one another. All three graze on trees’ young leaves and cambium beneath the bark. When Andreas ran from a swarm of wasps whom he had disturbed, something unexpected happened. Riana took the opportunity to separate herself from Andreas and Leann. Riana eagerly travelled from one tree to the next until she came across an unknown orangutan. 

The unknown orangutan, whom the team believed to be male, appeared to be interested in Riana and even shared food with her. The two were also seen to be close to copulating, but Riana eventually moved away from this mysterious ladies’ man.

At the same time, Andreas and Leann were still busy exploring, eating, and resting together. In this pair, Leann was the clear leader, with Andreas always following her around and imitating her actions. 

The day of monitoring came to an end when our team lost track of the three orangutans. Young orangutans like Andreas, Leann, and Riana spend little time on the ground and travel far distances. Their quick travel over the hills of the forest left the PRM team far beyond on the ground below as the sun set. They eventually called the day in order to return to camp before it got completely dark.

Until recently, neither Andreas, Riana, nor Leann had been watched by the team until they made their night nests as these three orangutans often ventured far into the forest. We realise that these three orangutans are still adjusting to life in the wild and finding their home ranges. Besides this trio, there are about 400 individual orangutans awaiting release in our rehabilitation centers both in Central and East Kalimantan.

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

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

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