After the successful release of Freet, Juve, and Britney on 18 February, our Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team from Lesik Camp in the Kehje Sewen Forest of East Kalimantan has found renewed vigour! The global pandemic had forced us to temporarily suspend many activities over the past 12 months. Thus, it was an exciting moment when we were finally able to start releasing orangutans again.
As soon as their transport cages were open, 28-year-old Britney, 27-year-old Freet and 25-year-old Juve instantly began to explore their new home, with our PRM team following close behind. However, running after orangutans is not easy. Despite their effort, the technicians quickly lost track of Freet and Britney as the two brachiated away in the tall canopy. Luckily, they could keep up with Juve and managed to monitor him all afternoon until he had built his night nest.
Our team noticed that Juve stayed at the very top of the canopy, where he enjoyed leaves and fruits. He was obviously hungry after his long journey to the forest and wasted no time satisfying his appetite. Once Juve had filled his belly, he began looking for branches to build his first nest in the Kehje Sewen Forest. What a milestone for him!
The next morning, three teams went out to monitor Juve, Freet, and Britney. Finding Juve was easy, as we knew where to locate him in his night nest. He again showed excellent foraging skills, judging from the variety of fruits and leaves he consumed.
Later in the day, Juve let out a long call, audible by the team that meanwhile had found Freet, not far from where the trio was released. This observation was a little on the rough side for our technicians, as Freet clearly was not happy with being followed and started to throw tree branches at them.
Busy with scaring off our team, Freet did not seem to pay attention to Juve’s long call. But after a while, he responded with a loud long call. This shouting contest occurred just before the two apes settled down to build their night nests.
On the third day, we finally located Britney while she was approaching Juve. As the two became comfortable with each other’s presence, Juve began to follow Britney wherever she went. Finally, he gave up and wandered off to explore the forest alone.
We are delighted to see how well Freet, Juve, and Britney are adapting to their new forest home. Keep enjoying your wild adventures, guys!