LEARNING TO LIVE WITH OUR FOREST-DWELLING NEIGHBOURS
Human population growth and the expansion of development into forest regions has the potential to lead to human-orangutan conflict.
The helicopter returned to Mt. Muro Airport, Dirung this morning with a flash-disk and internal memory card containing great news and several photos from our team in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest (Batikap). All orangutans have been successfully released!
Yesterday, the first eight orangutans were released successfully. Cindy carried her daughter, Riwut, and as soon as her travel cage was opened by Ahmat and Vet Adhi Maruli, she immediately climbed the tree right in front of her.
Cilik’s travel cage was opened by our Post Release Monitoring Coordinator in Batikap, Ike Naya Silana, while Mandra’s travel cage was opened by Technician Kustimbung. A few minutes after their cages were opened, Cilik and Mandra were seen scrambling over something. Despite his small size, Cilik won the scramble.
After the first orangutan group had been successfully released, the team waited patiently for the arrival of Daisy, Zona, Nopi and Nicky.
The afternoon sky was much clearer and helicopter had no problem in flying directly to Batikap. As with the first group, the process of sling loading and setting orangutans down at helipad went smoothly.
Nopi and Nicky were the first orangutans to be released from the second group. Without wasting a single moment, as soon as technician Joy opened their travel cage, Nopi climbed to freedom up a tree into her new home in the rainforest in the heart of Borneo. Their true home!
Nopi’s eldest daughter, Zona, was the next to be released. Technician Tuwe opened the cage and Zona quickly ran out and climbed the nearest tree as high as she could and immediately constructed a nest. It seemed that the long trip from Nyaru Menteng to Batikap tired Zona out and she needed a nice and comfortable rest in her new home together with her Mum and sister.
Daisy was the last orangutan to be released yesterday. Technician Arfan opened her travel cage. Exiting her cage, Daisy turned around and looked at the team, then she climbed a tree. But not long after, she descended again and tried to approach the team. She was somewhat unhappy with the team’s presence. The release team successfully encouraged Daisy to climb again.
Enjoy your new home, Daisy! There will be much new experiences waiting for you!
Cindy and Riwut crawling out of the cage (Photo credit: Hermansyah)
Cindy and Riwut up in the tree! (Photo credit: Ike N. Nayasilana)
Mandra's cage opened by Kustimbung (Photo credit: Hermansyah)
Nicky was wrapped in his mum's arm (Photo credit: Ike N. Nayasilana)
Nopi and Nicky's first moment of freedom (Photo credit: Ike N. Nayasilana)
Daisy, hanging on a tree branch (Photo credit: Ike N. Nayasilana)
Inung and Ina's cage was opened by Eldy (Photo credit: Hermansyah)
Are you hungry, Boy? (Photo credit: Hermansyah)
Bertha's cage was opened by Tedi (Photo credit: Hermansyah)
In Batikap, Inung and baby Ina’s travel cage was the first to be opened today. Technician Eldy accompanied by Vet Adhi Maruli opened the cage and Inung didn’t even look back. With her daughter Ina clinging onto her tightly, she stormed out and climbed a tree. Inung’s oldest daughter, Indah, was the next to be released, and technician Owang, opened her travel cage. She too, immediately climbed out, grabbed a liana and used it to swing to another tree to catch up with her mother and sister. They are reunited!
Next, technician Johanis opened Boy’s travel cage. Sure enough, once his travel cage was opened, Boy raced to the nearby tree and started eating. Seemed like the long journey has made him starving. Well, enjoy your meal, buddy!
Bertha’s travel cage was opened by technician Tedi. Bertha was a bit aggressive. She didn’t seem pleased with the team’s presence and turned around to chase them. The team decided to give Bertha some space. After being left alone, Bertha calmed down and soon disappeared into the forest, especially after seeing senior technician’s from Nyaru Menteng, Azis and Tedison approach her.
Daisy and Bertha showed aggressive behavior indicating that they are ready to be true wild orangutans.
The orangutan release activities for this day officially ended. Updates on Komo, Lolin, Shella and Forest who were released today will have to wait for some of the team members to return from Batikap.
Enjoy your new home, pals! And of course congratulation for all of the Orangutan Release Activity Team for this marvellous achievement!