A few days ago, our PRM team from Nles Mamse Camp conducted a routine orangutan patrol in the Kehje Sewen Forest, and located Agus and Bong, two rehabilitated orangutans that were released in October 2013 and December 2016 respectively. Our team was lucky to get the chance to record behavioural data on these two orangutans in the forest, as both travelled far and have been difficult to track.
The team first spotted Agus, dangling in the top of a tree near the river bank. There was something different about Agus this time; he appeared to have gained some weight and his hair had grown long. He looked even more handsome, with growing cheekpads rounding out his face. The team were very pleased to have caught up with Agus and observe him in such good shape! Perhaps someday Agus will become one of the more dominant figures in the forest, like Rafli, the current King of the Kehje Sewen Forest.
It did not take long for Agus to realise he was being watched by the PRM team, and he quickly moved off through the forest. Along the way, he bumped into Bong, who was sitting on a branch enjoying young leaves. Agus seemed interested in Bong and tried to approach her, but she virtually ignored him. Agus refused to leave and persisted in following Bong wherever she went. He continued to follow her and ate etlingera shoots on the ground until Bong finally gave in and let him stay nearby.
The cool air and peaceful atmosphere of the Kehje Sewen Forest soon made the two sleepy. After savouring some shoots and forest fruits, they each built a nest and took a nap. During observations, they both spent most of their time high up in the trees, sleeping, foraging, playing and relaxing.
After their rest, Agus and Bong continued their journey through the forest and headed to the slope of a hill as the afternoon grew darker. The team tried to follow, but the steep rattan-covered slope and the fading light made it difficult to follow and monitor the pair from a distance. The team called it a day and returned back to camp, leaving Agus and Bong to spend the night together.
Even though observations ended before the two had constructed their night nests, the team was delighted to have caught up with Agus and Bong, both of whom appear to be thriving in the Kehje Sewen Forest. We can’t wait to meet them again and document their progress!
Text by: PRM Team in Nles Mamse Camp, Kehje Sewen Forest