The ultimate goal of all of BOS Foundation’s reintroduction efforts is to establish populations of orangutans who are self-sufficient, have babies and raise them to independence. Therefore, the best marker of success for us is when a female who had previously completed the lengthy rehabilitation process gives birth to a baby in the wild.
Recently, our Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team in the Bukit Batikap Protection Forest, Central Kalimantan, embarked on their usual patrol. They were expecting a typical day when they suddenly found Inung, a female orangutan we released eight years ago. And she was not alone: A baby was clinging to her body.
Immediately following this wonderful discovery, our PRM team conducted two full days of observations. During this time, Inung appeared to have a healthy appetite and was seen eating various forest foods, including meranti cambium and fruits, bay fruits, young lianas leaves, wild ginger pith and termites.
Meanwhile, her baby, whom we named Indie, clung to her body to breastfeed and occasionally stopped to sniff Inung’s food. We estimate that Inung must have given birth to her baby between July and October 2020, as Indie was old enough to boldly reach out and touch the branches that Inung was dangling on. The infant had also gained the skill of being able to cling to her or his mother’s back.
Inung and Indie both looked to be in good health and appeared to be thriving in the forest. This baby’s presence in the Bukit Batikap Protection Forest indicates that the population of rehabilitated orangutans works hard to create the next generation of wild orangutans.
Stay healthy, Inung and Indie!