This has been a record year for the Orangutan Foundation in terms of the number of orangutans rescued and released into the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve. The fact we can help these apes and offer them a safe refuge is a positive but it is worrying that there are so many apes in need of rescue. Last week, two more orangutans arrived at the reserve. Here, they will undergo a 'soft' release process where, overtime, with help and monitoring, they will return to a life in the wild. The two orangutans were brought to the Pangkalan Bun office of BKSDA-SKW II (Conservation and Natural Resources Authority) from Sampit, District of Kotawaringin Timur. Pak Hartono, Head of SKW II-BKSDA, named the 5 year-old orangutan Nisa, after his daughter, and the other orangutan, who is thought to be about 3 years-old, was named Lisna, after a BKSDA member of staff.
Nisa (photo above), who was a pet, had been kept in a cage for over a year. Lisna (photo below) was also a pet, but had never been kept in cage.
Our vet, Dr Fikri visited the BKSDA office to examine the orangutans. Lisna, the younger of the two, stayed calm. However, Nisa was very distressed and had to be sedated.
Thankfully both orangutans were found to be fit and healthy and so they were taken to the Reserve last week.
During the boat journey both orangutans remained calm. Dr Fikri held Lisna in his arms and she even fell asleep.
When Nisa's transport cage was opened she quietly climbed out and went straight into the larger holding cage.
Whilst this was going on Lisna took the opportunity to do some tree climbing. The staff were impressed by her skills as she is still very young. Lisna looked very confident and was lively, often moving from branch to branch.
It then began to rain so Ari, an Orangutan Foundation member of staff, tried to call Lisna to come down from the tree. But Lisna ignored him, she was having far too much fun. Ari had to climb up and bring her down.
Lisna only stayed one night at Camp Gemini. A crack was found in the cage and it was feared that Lisna might break out. So the next day Dr Fikri, our vet, moved Lisna to Camp Siswoyo, another release camp, within the reserve.
Thank you to everyone who has donated over the past week - your support is vital to our work and we are extremely grateful.
More news from the field soon!