Four Friends Embark on First Day of Forest School

The orangutans that end up in BOS Foundation rehabilitation centres usually arrive when they are still very young and vulnerable. Following a routine quarantine period, the youngsters are first placed in the Nursery Group to be nurtured and cared for by our dedicated team of babysitters. After developing basic survival skills and a sense of independence, they then leave Nursery Group to join the first level of Forest School. Recently, Nyaru Menteng’s Forest School Group 1 welcomed its newest members: Hanin, Timpah, Yutris and Momot.

Several things must be taken into consideration - including the advice and input from medical team members and babysitters -prior to moving babies from Nursery Group to Forest School Group 1. Prospective candidates should have adequate physical and social skills, such as the ability to climb trees and mingle with others, and a willingness to learn new things. They should also be in the appropriate age bracket and in good health. Since Hanin, Timpah, Yutris and Momot had progressed in terms of skill level and social behaviour, it was decided they were ready to enter Forest School Group 1.

First Day
On March 15, Hanin, Timpah, Yutris and Momot left the Nyaru Menteng clinic accompanied by babysitter Estratuti, vet Agus Fachroni, vet Lia Kristina, and paramedic Yati.

[L-R] Estratuti, Dr Lia, Yati, and Dr Agus Fachroni

Not unlike human children on their first day of school, the four toddlers initially felt out of place when they arrived at Forest School. Hanin hugged vet Lia tightly and would not let her go for several hours. After some time, Hanin calmed down and released her tight grip, then slowly moved off to climb a tree on her own.

Hanin holds on tight to Dr Lia

Hanin finally climbs a tree on her own

Momot, Timpah and Yutris, however, seemed to adapt much quicker; It didn’t take long for the three to start eating fruits together, climb trees, and explore with other orangutans already in the group.

Babysitter Misnawatie offers fruit to the new group members

In Forest School Group 1, Hanin and her friends will add to the arsenal of skills they have already acquired during their time in Nursery Group. They will also learn how to forage for natural foods such as bark, forest fruits and termites; learn how to identify and avoid predators; and learn to identify plant species other than those they encountered in Nursery Group.

Hanin, Timpah, Yutris and Momot are just beginning their long road to freedom. Someday, with a highly-developed and well-honed skillset, the four friends will complete all levels of Forest School and advance to the final stage of rehabilitation;life on a pre-release island, prior to finally being released to the wild.

Text by: Hermansyah, Communication and Education Staff of BOSF Nyaru Menteng

Find out how you can help more orphaned orangutans through Forest School here