COMMEMORATING NATIONAL HEROES’ DAY WITH RELEASE OF THREE MORE ORANGUTANS IN KEHJE SEWEN FOREST
Samboja, East Kalimantan
The East Kalimantan BKSDA is again working together with the BOS Foundation and PT. RHOI to release three more rehabilitated orangutans who are ready to return to the wild. Today, the orangutans started their journey from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to the Kehje Sewen Forest, an 86,450-hectare Ecosystem Restoration Concession forest located in East Kutai District, East Kalimantan.
The southern part of the Kehje Sewen Forest, where the group is headed, has been used as an orangutan release site since 2015. The trip to reach this location relies heavily on four-wheeled vehicles, boats, and strong porters to lift the transport cages and carry the orangutans to the release points in the forest. The entire trip takes around 20 hours in total.
The three orangutans that will be released include mother-infant pair Jubaedah (20 years) and Jubaedi (2 years), and an adult male named Titon (19 years). Mother Jubaedah and her son Jubaedi were rescued at the start of the year. They had been found with multiple injuries and were suffering from malnutrition. Following several months of treatment, they have fully recovered and are now ready for release. Titon was born in Samboja Lestari, and through many years of rehabilitation, has built a wild orangutan skillset and established his independence. Now, he is finally ready to return to wild habitat.
This release will increase the total population of rehabilitated orangutans in the Kehje Sewen Forest to 118 individuals.
IR. SUNANDAR TRIGUNAJASA N., M.M., Head of the East Kalimantan BKSDA, stated: «This will be our last planned release for this year in East Kalimantan. Throughout 2019, our cooperation with the BOS Foundation and PT. RHOI has resulted in six release activities, and the return of 21 orangutans to the wild.»
«We still have a lot of work to do, as there are many more orangutans at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre awaiting their chance at true freedom. In order to achieve orangutan conservation and the protection of habitat, we require the support and participation of all parties. We all benefit from orangutan and orangutan habitat conservation, with fresh air, clean water, a regulated climate, and the forest’s medicinal properties.»
«You can join us, by not capturing, killing, or taking orangutans as pets! These illegal activities potentially disrupt the ecological balance of our forest ecosystems. If you know of anybody keeping orangutans in captivity, please report it to us or to the BOS Foundation. Let's protect our forest and its biodiversity.»
DR. IR. JAMARTIN SIHITE, MSC., BOS Foundation CEO, said: «There are still many orangutans awaiting the opportunity to be released. But we still need to find new forest areas for future releases. The Kehje Sewen Forest is approaching its maximum capacity of 150 orangutans. By our calculations, the forest can only accommodate another 30 individuals. We are in dire need of a new forest area to be managed under the IUPHHK-RE scheme as an orangutan release site and we require the support of various parties to acquire it.»
«National Heroes’ Day commemorates all the battles that our predecessors had to fight to provide us with the freedom we enjoy today. We too, can be heroes by helping orangutans to regain their freedom in the forest. This should be the proper way of celebrating the Heroes Day. So let's all be environmental warriors, by helping to save orangutans and their habitat. Your support for the rehabilitation of orangutans in Samboja Lestari means you are helping to create the new capital city with an urban forest concept.»
The BOS Foundation would like to express its deepest gratitude to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the East Kalimantan BKSDA, the East Kalimantan Provincial Government, the Regional Governments of East Kutai and Kutai Kartanegara Regencies, and the people of East Kutai and Kutai Kartanegara Regencies. We would also like to thank the following donors for their support in making these rehabilitation and release activities possible: the Giving Day for Apes campaign (funded by the Arcus Foundation, the Swiss provider of a matching grant, and the numerous private donors who responded to that appeal), BOS Australia, BOS Germany, BOS Switzerland, BOS UK, Save the Orangutan, and private sector entities such as Kitabisa.com, Pupuk Indonesia, Pupuk Kaltim and Rekayasa Industri. We would also like to thank all the conservation warriors around the globe for assisting our orangutan conservation efforts in Kalimantan.
Editors Note :
Djati Witjaksono Hadi
Head of Public Relations Bureau of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry