The Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia (KLHK), the Natural Resources Conservation Centre (BKSDA) of East Kalimantan, and the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation will soon conduct the 26th orangutan release from the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre to the Kehje Sewen Forest. Here are the orangutan candidates up for release!
Handed over by a resident of Yogyakarta on 15 August 2001, Eliona had spent the early years of her life being kept illegally as a pet. She was only 3.5 years old when she first arrived at the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre. After passing the quarantine, Eliona joined other orangutans her age in Forest School. She graduated from Forest School in 2018 and was transferred to Pre-release Island #7, where she remained until 2021. Because of a downpour on Pre-release Island 7, he had to be returned to the socializing enclosure. During her time on the island, Eliona mastered nest-building and the ability to recognise and forage for natural food sources.
Our technicians report that Eliona has a disposition that can change at a moment’s notice: At first glance, she seems to be a calm and relaxed individual, but when approached will act aggressively towards both the technicians she has known for a long time and those who are new staff members. Eliona, 26 years old, now behaves like a true, wild orangutan and is ready to be released into the Kehje Sewen Forest.
Dias was handed over by a resident of Banjar Baru on 24 August 2001, after being kept as a pet for more than three years. Following quarantine, Dias joined others her age in Forest School and graduated in 2018. She was then transferred to Pre-release Island #7, where she further honed her survival skills. Because of a downpour on Pre-release Island 7, she had to be returned to the socializing enclosure. However, she receives enrichment to help her improve his survival skills.
Dias learned how to identify natural food sources during her time on the island and enclosure and became skilled at constructing comfortable nests. Despite her plump physique and grumpy demeanour, Dias often loses out in competitions amongst her peers. This 26-year-old female is more than ready to be released on the north side of the Kehje Sewen Forest.
Ozi is a 25-year-old, adult male orangutan with cheek pads who was handed over to the Tenggarong Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) on 1 September 2019, after he was found limping near a river around the PT. KMS/REA area in East Kalimantan. Ozi’s rescue was handled by the BKSDA, who captured him with only a net and anaesthesia, as he was so weak that he showed no resistance.
Ozi was admitted to the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre for intensive treatment. He was emaciated at the time of his rescue and had acute anaemia, as well as multiple abscesses. Following his treatment, Ozi was placed in a socialisation enclosure while he waiting for his chance to return to the wild. The time has finally come and he is ready for homecoming to the Kehje Sewen Forest.
The Samarinda Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) rescued a flanged male orangutan, later named Gami, on 3 November 2021. Gami came from Bontang, where he was found in the working area of PT. Indominco. According to reports, Gami had grown accustomed to interacting with humans and was frequently offered food by PT. Indominco staff.
Gami was placed in a socialisation enclosure shortly after arriving at the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre and completing quarantine. There he was given foods that are appropriate for orangutans and enrichment to reacquaint him with how to extract natural food sources. Gami is not an aggressive orangutan and is able to build sturdy nests. He is now ready to return to the wilds of the Kehje Sewen Forest.
Text by: Communication Team in Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan