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Jun 28, 2023

A Cause For Celebration: Ten More Orangutans Freed!

The BOS Foundation recently released 10 more orangutans back into the wild.

The Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) together with the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park Agency (TNBBBR) and the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation have together released ten more orangutans into Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR). The release involved two groups of orangutans, with the first group departing for the Hiran watershed site on 14 June, and the second group heading for the Bemban watershed site on 16 June.

The four orangutans travelling to the Hiran watershed were Aristo, Lalang, Svenja, and Noni Partono. The remaining six, who went to the Bemban watershed, were Yoko, Kejora, Syahrini, Susanne, Mama Edwan, and Edwina.

All ten orangutans had completed their rehabilitation and training for survival in the wild at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, although each had their own unique story and timeline. Lalang, for instance, came to the centre as one of the 47 orangutans who were repatriated from Thailand to Indonesia, in a major operation back in 2006. After undergoing 17 years of rehabilitation at the centre, her transport cage was finally opened in front of a rasamala tree (Altingia excelsa), straight after Noni Partono’s transport cage was opened.

The Release

Svenja and Yoko both came to the rehabilitation centre as very young orphans, after being rescued at the same time in Kapuas Regency. Both graduated from the rehabilitation centre at the same time, but have now been released in different locations, Svenja in the Hiran watershed and Yoko in the Bemban watershed. We hope they both enjoy their new lives and true freedom in the forest.

Unlike Svenja and Yoko, who entered Forest School after being rescued and passing quarantine, Mama Edwan was directly relocated to Palas Pre-release Island when she arrived at the centre in 2007. As Mama Edwan was rescued as an adult, she had already lived successfully in the wild for many years and had no need to learn more survival skills. She could not be released right away due to severe damage to her left arm before her rescue, which required our team of veterinarians to amputate the entire limb.

Despite this physically traumatic experience, she made a full recovery and even went on to have a child, Edwina. When the door to her transport cage was opened, Mama Edwan exited without hesitation and immediately started scoping out her new environment and reunited with her daughter.

On their first day exploring the forest, Janu, a male orangutan released in 2017, approached Mama Edwan and the two showed interest in each other before going on to copulate.

Syahrini, meanwhile, did not arrive at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre like the others, as she was born here ten years ago. Highly intelligent, Syahrini breezed through the rehabilitation process. Just like her peers, Syahrini quickly moved out of her transport cage after it was opened.

The release of these ten orangutans increases the number of reintroduced orangutans from Nyaru Menteng living in TNBBBR to 199 individuals. We are confident that these newcomers will do their part to help increase orangutan population numbers in Central Kalimantan. 

Stay tuned for more updates on orangutans released in both Central and East Kalimantan. Help us return orangutans back to their true home, the forest, by supporting their wild journeys!

Welcome home to these ten new releases!