Elisa and Wardah enjoying their freedom in the wild

June 05, 2017

Our team from Camp Lesik, the northernmost camp in the Kehje Sewen Forest, recently managed to observe Elisa and Wardah. They are two female orangutans that were released at the same time back in March this year and went their separate ways to explore their new home in the dense rainforest.

On the day of observation, we started tracking Elisa’s signal at around 8am, but couldn’t locate her for nearly two hours. After finally spotting her relaxing on a tree branch, she then quickly moved away after detecting our presence. We kept our distance and continued to observe her through the trees. Once she had settled again, Elisa stopped to eat some forest fruits.

Elisa relaxing in the trees

Then all of a sudden, Wardah appeared and approached her. Feeling threatened by the much younger Wardah (19), Elisa (25) gave a warning kiss squeak; her hair also stood up on end. Noting the unfriendly response, Wardah moved off away through the trees.

Wardah

However, it appeared that Wardah was not actually trying to make contact with Elisa, rather, she was just hungry and had been attracted to the food available in the area. After gathering herself, Wardah calmly climbed down to pluck and eat some shoots on the ground, then climbed back up to rest, seemingly contented.

Wardah in the trees

After a brief rest, Wardah moved off to continue exploring the forest.  We were unable to follow her, as we had our sights on Elisa, who was busily nourishing herself with forest fruits, bark, young leaves, and shoots. Elisa spent the majority of her time up in the trees, only climbing down to pick shoots, which she carried back up into the trees to eat high up on a branch. Elisa started to build her night nest at around 4pm and we waited until she was settled in for the night before heading back to Camp Lesik.

Elisa

We were really grateful to see these two females thriving and adapting well to their new home. They both appear to be enjoying life in the Kehje Sewen Forest, which we hope will continue to be an orangutan haven.