Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation’s Recent Release Of 6 Orangutans Brings Total To 374 Returned To The Wild!

Photos from BOS Foundation, Dicky Pratama R

To commemorate International Primate Day which was on September 1stBorneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) released six orangutans, the majority from the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation and Reintroduction Center, to the Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kalimantan.

Marking the organization’s 17th release, the first group departed on August 27th from Samboja Lestari and included four male orangutans, eight-year-old Mads, 7-year-olds Riva and Bieber, and six-year old Restu. This team traveled for 17 hours, making stops every two hours to check on the orangutans and provide them with food and water.

The following day on August 28th, a second group which was responsible for the mature female orangutans, Josta and Menur, departed from the pre-release island Juq Kehja Swen, a forest area that is surrounded by wide ditches and rivers on the edge of the palm oil plantation of PT Nusaraya Agro Sawit in Muara Wahau, East Kutai.

Both teams made it to the predetermined release location by noon, and all six orangutans were finally released back to their natural forest habitat.

After the last transport cage was opened, the Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team quickly took over, carefully observing and documenting the released orangutans’ activities. The PRM team will conduct a 30-day, nest-to-nest monitoring period to ensure all six orangutans are adapting well to their new lives in the forest.

“We are maintaining our commitment to ensure that the wild orangutan population in East Kalimantan will not become extinct, by putting all the orangutans we rescue through our rehabilitation program and returning them to natural forests. However, our efforts are being hampered by the limited carrying capacity of our existing release sites,” Dr. Ir. Jamartin Sihite, BOS Foundation CEO, said in a statement. “The BOS Foundation is in dire need of more support from international and national donors, the local community, the local government, and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to provide additional release areas in East Kalimantan.”

The orangutan, a Critically Endangered species protected by law, plays a vital role in forest ecosystems.

“Every single one of us will benefit from the orangutans, the only Asian great ape species, thriving in Indonesian rainforests,” continued Sihite. “We need their presence in our forests, and therefore, we must work together to ensure their survival.”

The BOS Foundation shared that the timely release also recognized the 73rd anniversary of Indonesia’s Independence.

With the release of these six orangutans, the BOS Foundation has thus far released 97 orangutans to the Kehje Sewen Forest since 2012.

This brings the total number of orangutans released by the BOS Foundation to natural habitats to 374, from both Samboja Lestari and Nyaru Menteng Rehabilitation Centers.

Donations to the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation can be made HERE!

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