Eight orangutans were released in Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR) over several days spanning from December 12 to December 14, 2023. The Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) collaborated with the TNBBBR Office and the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation for the two-stage release of these eight individuals.
One of the eight orangutans, Cinta, underwent 11 years of rehabilitation at the Nyaru Menteng Rehabilitation Centre since her arrival at 4 months of age. Cinta was selected for this release due to her impressive progress in the rehabilitation program and her proven survival skills.
When her transport cage was opened, Cinta quickly exited into her new home. From the first moment, Cinta started to investigate her new surroundings as she familiarised herself with the Bemban River watershed. After exploring, Cinta finally stopped at a ficus sp. tree to consume its fruits in copious amounts. As the evening approached, she decided to build a sleeping nest in the tree.
Similar to Cinta, the calm Liti cautiously stepped out of the transport cage and climbed a tree about 11 meters high. Ojes, a male orangutan who was released shortly afterward, immediately moved toward Liti, attempting to interact with her.
It turned out it wasn’t just Ojes interested in Liti, even Wanto tried to follow Liti’s movements. After reaching a tree with an old nest, Liti decided to refurbish the nest and rest from the long journey. All of the newly released orangutans, including Ojes, Wanto, Fajar, Fathia, Lala, and Tomang, all found comfort in their new environment, just like Cinta and Liti.
The nearly 20-hour-long journey naturally caused some stress for these eight orangutans confined in cages. Therefore, our veterinary team regularly checked their conditions over the course of the trip. Despite encountering a few minor challenges, such as boat propellers getting stuck on wood or light rain occurring several times, the overall journey went smoothly. Moreover, questions about how these eight orangutans would adapt to their new environment quickly turned into optimistic hopes that they would soon be thriving in their new home.
Text by: Communication Team, BOS Foundation Headquarter, Bogor, West Java