The BOS Foundation will today release five orangutans from the East Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Program in Samboja Lestari to the Kehje Sewen Forest. This event will bring the total population of released orangutans in the Kehje Sewen to 91.
The BOS Foundation is again working in cooperation with the East Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) to release another five orangutans from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre. This is the 16th orangutan release conducted by the BOS Foundation - winner of 2017 World Branding Award Animalis Edition - in the Kehje Sewen Forest. Since 2012, this 86,450-hectare Ecosystem Restoration Concession forest, located in Muara Wahau Subdistrict, East Kutai Regency, has become home to 86 rehabilitated orangutans.
The five orangutans to be released include one male, Julien (aged 7 years), and four females, Erina (8), Cheryl (7), Nicola (13), and Choki (7). All five will depart from Samboja Lestari on a 20-hour journey to pre-determined release points in the Kehje Sewen Forest. These orangutans have been assessed as possessing the skills and behaviours required to survive independently in a wild forest.
Past orangutan releases conducted by the BOS Foundation have succeeded in increasing the orangutan population in the Kehje Sewen Forest. On the other hand, this has also pushed the forest’s carrying capacity to its limit. Surveys conducted in the Kehje Sewen indicate that the forest can only sustain around 150 orangutans: The population will reach 91 following this release. Therefore, the BOS Foundation is currently searching for suitable and sustainable forest areas for future orangutan releases.
DR. IR. JAMARTIN SIHITE, BOS Foundation CEO said; «We will keep on fulfilling our dream of releasing all the orangutans currently in our care to natural habitats, to ensure that Bornean orangutans will not become extinct. There are more than one hundred orangutans waiting for release in Samboja Lestari, but the carrying capacity of our release forest is not high enough to accommodate them all. The BOS Foundation, therefore, humbly requests support from the community, the regional government, and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to help us acquire more forest areas in East Kalimantan in which to release rehabilitated orangutans.
We need to remember that mankind desperately depends on forests - for clean air and water, forest products, and a well-regulated climate. Orangutans maintain the quality of forests; therefore, their existence is critical to our very own survival. Collectively, we must protect orangutans and their forest environments.»