When our Post Release Monitoring team recently observed female orangutan Desi, they made an exciting discovery.
Desi is currently the only rehabilitated orangutan living on the pre-release island of Juq Kehje Swen in East Kalimantan. The forested island covers an area of 82 hectares and is rich in biodiversity. Thus, it is not surprising to see wild orangutans living there and in the surrounding forest areas. With the presence of wild orangutans, our team can compare the development of the ones undergoing rehabilitation directly to their wild counterparts.
Our team was expecting to find Desi by herself. However, upon arriving at the island, they saw two orangutans brachiating towards the riverbank. Desi had company! But who was with her?
The technicians identified the second female as Kimi, a wild orangutan they haven’t spotted for quite some time. The additional food delivered to the feeding platform – intended for Desi – seemed to gain Kimi’s interest. She moved closer and snatched some bananas from Desi’s hand. However, the banana theft didn’t seem to bother Desi because shortly after, the two were happily eating together.
Without wasting any precious time, the team immediately began observing and taking notes on the two. During three hours of observation, the technicians noted that Kimi brachiated from tree to tree, socialised and shared food with Desi, and ate a significant amount of leaves and fruits straight from the trees. The two stayed close together the whole time.
It is fascinating to watch Desi interacting directly with wild orangutans. We hope she will continue to spend time with Kimi and learn from her to further develop her survival skills, just like a wild orangutan.
Keep on exploring and thriving, Kimi and Desi!