Wow Kusasi certainly proved popular! Thank you for all the positive comments and nice to hear from you again Brigitta. If people want to see the film "Kusasi from Orphan to King" I understand it can be bought on-line from PBS.
The other week I wrote that July was Pondok Ambung, our Tropical Forest Research Station’s, "month". Certainly, the research activities there dominated my time, but that does not mean everything else stopped. In fact, four more orangutans were released from the Orangutan Care Centre & Quarantine into the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.
I now have a bit of time to tell you about them. Biruté Galdikas supervised the releases with Tigor, the Manager of the five release camps. On 28 July, the adult female Sasha was released along with her adopted daughter Monica. Though Monica was no longer an infant, it is always good to see these adoptions work; no matter how competent the staff at the Care Centre are, obviously a female orangutan is the best possible mother for youngster.
The second release on 4 August was a bit more traumatic. The orangutans, Ucok and Lori, were OK, but the people had some problems! The orangutans were moved out of the Care Centre in the morning, to avoid them travelling in the heat of the day and were carried in a kelotok (a traditional boat a bit like a motorized canoe). Biruté, Tigor and other staff travelled up later in speedboats. Or at least that was the plan; low water levels meant the speedboats could not get up. They lost two propellers and cracked the hull of one of the boats after colliding with submerged logs. Eventually, the kelotok had to come back for them.
The pictures below show the release from the Care Centre to Camp Rasak and then freedom, once again, in the wild.
Monica and Sasha leaving the OCCQ
These photos show the orangutans being moved from the Care Centre, into the kelotok, then having a few minutes peace on the feeding platform before some other interested orangutans came for a nose.
All the photo's were taken by Uduk, Tigor's deputy, on a camera recently donated to the Orangutan Foundation at our Members and Supporter's Evening in London, in July.