Our Post-Release Monitoring (PRM) team in the Hiran watershed recently observed Gonzales, a male orangutan the BOS Foundation team released in November 2022 in the Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park. What was he up to?
A two-person PRM team, consisting of Dandi and Darsono, left the Hiran monitoring camp at 4 a.m. to conduct a phenology survey in the forest. They headed toward the KL transect and found a nest belonging to Gonzales on a tree branch about 15 metres above ground level.
Also read: ‘500 Orangutans Released’
During observations, Gonzales did a lot of walking and climbing but not much eating. Even so, he still managed to consume some natural foods, including orchid leaves (Orchidaceae), several types of plant piths, ketepeng leaves (Cassia alata), and even termites (Isoptera). He appeared to be in very good health. The day’s observations ended at 5 p.m. when Gonzales started building his night nest in a kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra) around 20 metres from his previous nest.
Gonzales was nowhere to find
The team decided to return to Gonzales the following day to continue observations. However, this time, a PRM team consisting of Andrianto, Dandi, and Darsono did not find Gonzales in the nest he had built the night before. So they made a detour and navigated the KL transect, still on the lookout for Gonzales.
Unable to find Gonzales, the three redirected their search back to the nest he had previously built. But the male was still nowhere to be found. That was until just before sunset, when the PRM team finally located Gonzales, chewing on leaves.
Upon seeing the three humans, Gonzales let out a long call. Visibly annoyed by the disturbance, he slipped away into the forest searching for a more private place to build his night nest. It began to rain, so the team returned to the monitoring post.
We are relieved to know that Gonzales is doing well and finding his way around the forest!