On the first of March a policeman of the Sabhara Sukamara Police , Brigadier Kiki Tobing, was visting the small village of Laman baru on his day off, intending to buy durian (a famous Indonesian fruit). He could of never expected what happened next…
As he walked through the village, resident came up to him and, recognising Tobing as a policeman, handed him a baby orangutan. The orangutan had been found in an oil palm plantation close to the village. Tobing named the orangutan infant “Keno”.
Orangutans enter into settlements and villages because much of orangutan forest habitat nearby is being destroyed, in this case due to a palm oil plantation. This kind of industrial encroachment has significantly contributed to an increase in the number of orangutans needing to be rescued and translocated in recent years. In addition, this particular plantation and village are near the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve border, the protected area in which the Orangutan Foundation work and release orangutans into the wild. In Borneo, human habitation and oil palm plantations are often side by side. Different types of land use can be in areas very close together. Here, areas of forest are close to oil palm plantations and often to villages. Unfortunately, this makes it easy for orangutans to find their way into areas of human settlement.
Tobing reported the situation to the police, who decided to bring the baby orangutan to the local police station. It was then decided to inform the discovery of this infant to the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA).
Due to this quick reporting and an organised system, the very next day, the Orangutan Foundation staff and BKSDA officers arrived (from Pangkalan Bun) to meet ‘Keno’ and it was decided to translocate him. He was kept in a transit cage at the BKSDA offices, and after a full health check and a few days to acclimatise. He was then moved to Gemini Camp (of the Orangutan Foundation camps), and Keno started his soft release programme. Staff saw that he was well and confident and so allowed him to get back into the trees again, as the staff keep a watchful eye. He had some minor bruising on his foot which has already healed up. He enjoys his diet of fruits from the forest. Now we hope to find a suitable surrogate mother for Keno. The ideal surrogate mother would either have an already independent offspring or no have no offspring at all. We'll make sure we keep you up to date with Keno's development and progress through his soft release!