Herni is a young female orangutan with a tremendous wild spirit. She was handed over to the Indonesian authorities by a local community, near Sampit (Indonesian Borneo), at the end of June. Herni was taken to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, an area which the Orangutan Foundation actively protect with guard posts and patrols. For three weeks Herni was looked after at Camp Siswoyo, one of six orangutan release camps, in the Reserve.
Camp staff report that she doesn’t make the tidiest nests to sleep in and sometimes she adds branches to old nests to fix them and make them stronger. As you would expect from an orangutan, she travels well through the trees rarely descending to the forest floor. On the 26th August, the Orangutan Foundation staff decided that Herni was ready for soft release. This means being monitored and followed by the camp staff from dawn to dusk for 20 days. Not as easy as it sounds!
Reports so far show that Herni is doing really well, eating the correct foods and following adult females to learn from them what foods to eat. The daily ranging that Herni is doing is between 600m and 1km. The good news is while Herni follows the other orangutans, she rarely goes down to the ground. Sometimes, the staff lost her because she likes to move in the forest canopy, just like an orangutan should, whilst the staff are having to climb over tree roots and wade through swamps. Our staff are experts in the forests and so she doesn't get lost for long.
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