Very recently, this mid July, the Orangutan Foundation team were called to a local palm oil plantation by the owner of the land to relocate an orangutan that had been seen in the area. The farmer wanted the orangutan removed to protect the quality of the crop and near by villages. Additionally, orangutans can be tempted into the nearby community and plantations by palm fruit as well as the more popular pineapples, grown in the village gardens.
Less than an hour after receiving reports on the orangutan’s location… “the team arrived at the scene, and immediately followed the orangutan.” Dr Wawan tells us… “Due to the thick forest and tall shrubs, plus the swampy location, this is enough to cause the team a little trouble.”
They were pursuing the individual until after sunset, and finally around 7pm the orangutan was darted and taken to the BKSDA office in Pangkalan Bun were it was given a check up. The individual was a male around 9-11 years old estimated from the dental work… “From his physical condition looks healthy, still very wild, in a healthy condition and had good blood circulation and health.” Having come straight from the wild and as it was in such good health, the Foundation’s vet recommended a hard release very soon.
The Orangutan Foundation has been supporting the orangutan reintroduction programme in the protected Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve since 2000. It is one of the few places in Indonesia where translocated and rescued orangutans can be released into a protected area.
The orangutan was successfully released in the area between Camp Gemini and Camp Siswoyo on the 17th – just last Friday! This site was chosen because the water level of the river is still very high, allowing the boat to access good release points. Dr Wawan was also able to put together some footage taken – watch a vital insight into our orangutan translocation work by clicking here ; "A 'hard' release on the 17th of July" (click this link to download short film here!).