In May, the BOS Foundation successfully conducted its 25th orangutan release in East Kalimantan. Immediately after, the Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team started their nest-to-nest observations on the five orangutans, paying particular attention to Mayer and Elaine.
Three PRM team members and one veterinarian split into two teams to monitor Mayer and Elaine’s recent activities. Their task began early in the morning, so they could locate Mayer and Elaine as they rose from their night nests.
Nest-to-nest observations for over a month are crucial to ensure the released orangutans adjust to their new surroundings and to collect behavioural data. This data is then evaluated and used to assist with future releases.
The PRM team members discovered Mayer and Elaine in an area known as persemaian. They saw the two moving through the trees and enthusiastically socialising together, engaging in many brief copulations. Between the action, both were consuming young leaves and the cambium beneath the bark of various lianas.
Elaine seemed aware of our PRM team’s presence but did not appear to be bothered by it. On the other hand, Mayer was disturbed by the humans and tried to scare his observers away by shaking branches. Mayer was seen and heard sneezing a few times, likely due to the cooler weather from recent rainfall and lower temperatures in the forest.
One day when returning to monitor Elaine and Mayer, the two orangutans were no longer at their last known point, so the team checked nearby transects #29 and #41. They decided to split up and search for signs indicating Mayer and Elaine’s location but were unsuccessful. As it started raining and the temperature dropped, they returned to camp and finished the day’s monitoring early.
The PRM team believes the two orangutans have moved deeper into the forest. They can’t wait to catch up with them again sometime soon.
It’s heartwarming to see the couple in such great condition, happily enjoying their new life in freedom. Way to go Elaine and Mayer!
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