We have received news from Pak Tigor, our Orangutan Release Manager, that the two Bornean orangutans, Kevin and bobby, who were brought back from Sumatra last month, have been released back into their forest home. They have been in holding cages at Camp Gemini, in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, since they arrived back in Borneo. Last week after being closely monitored, Dr Fikri and field staff decided that they should be allowed out of their cages. At around 16.30, an hour or so before it gets dark, the doors to Kevin and Bobby’s cages were opened.
Kevin immediately went onto the top of his cage, looked around taking in the situation. He eventually climbed off and gathered some branches which he took back to the top of his cage where he then made a make-shift nest. We waited until about 18.30. Kevin stayed sleeping in his nest all night. The next day two field staff stayed close to Kevin, following him as he moved off into the forest. At the end of day he made a nest in a tree and went to sleep. He seems very at home back in the forest.
- Bobby in climbing in trees after his release
Unlike Kevin, Bobby was more hesitant to leave his cage. He just sat on the cage door, then climbed down to the ground and walked around the cage, back and forth for quite a while without any obvious purpose. He did try to climb into a tree, but as he did so he fell back and then returned to his cage door.
- Bobby returns to the security of his cage
The Orangutan Foundation team waited until 18:00 and decided it was better for Bobby to go back into his cage for the night because is very dangerous for orangutans to sleep on the ground due to wild boar in the surrounding forests.
The next day Bobby was taken to the feeding site, where supplementary food is offered. Bobby climbed the trees and moved between them. Bobby did eat fruit from the forest but only one type.
- Bobby playing with ex-captive orangutan Amoi and her infant
He also interacted with ex-captive orangutans, Ebony a female adolescent and Mantra a female orangutan with infant, spending a long time playing. Bobby didn’t attempt to make a nest and so he returned to his cage again for the night. We will continue to take Bobby out and hope that he will eventually become fully independent.
- Bobby getting used to living up in the trees
We will have more news on Kevin and Bobby soon and hopefully some video footage too (so long as the internet connection remains good!).
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