The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS) just succeeded in releasing another 12 orangutans back into their natural habitat at the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (BBBR-NP) in Katingan Regency, Central Kalimantan. The lucky group consisted of four males and eight females and included two animals that had completed 11 years of rehabilitation at Nyaru Menteng after being repatriated from Thailand.
The orangutans were transported in two separate groups. Nanga, Imot, Kahim, Puput, Puji, and Hangei departed on November 9, 2017 and were released the following day. Sukamara, Stuart, Rawa, Bruni, Rebecca, and Rowo departed on November 11 and were released on November 12.
Before leaving, each group was moved into transport cages, then loaded onto special vehicles at the quarantine complex. The road trip took 10 hours and the team stopped every two hours to check on the orangutans.
After that, the journey continued for another four hours upstream in small motorized boats.
It was not a quick journey, but it was more than worth it as the orangutans finally took their first steps in their new home.
They were so eager, the camera shutter was far too slow for them!
The two repatriated orangutans, Nanga and Sukamara, arrived at the center in November 2006, with little background information about them. From their behavior, it was clear that they had spent a very long time in captivity and had been used in entertainment facilities.
The pair was placed alongside 46 other orangutans repatriated from Thailand in a special Forest School class. There, they learned to develop such basic and necessary skills as climbing, nest-building, foraging, socializing, and identifying predators.
It took a long time for the two, but finally, they were moved to Bangamat island and soon became possible candidates for the release.
Now all the 12 orangutans are at last where they have always belonged – in the wild.
The BBBR-NP is now home to 71 rehabilitated orangutans from Nyaru Menteng. The latest release was the 19th one conducted by the BOS Foundation in Central Kalimantan and the seventh in the BBBR-NP.
To learn more about BOS Foundation, click here.