Also from Java, Imam worked at Meratus for 3 months before he joined Wanariset (former name of Samboja Lestari) on September 25, 1999. Just like Firman, he began his career with the BOS Foundation working at the Herbarium where he learned about the flora and fauna of Kalimantan. “Kalimantan is so rich with abundant natural resources,” he said. “But sadly, very few people actually care about conserving and protecting these resources.”
Imam enjoys working at the Foundation. He claims that working here is never monotonous. Things happen quickly and the dynamics keep changing. It is challenging but also fun!
Releasing orangutans is a moment that he has been waiting for. Along with Firman and the rest of Samboja Lestari’s technicians, he hopes that release activities will continue into the future on a regular basis. “We hope that we don’t have to wait too long between this release and the next one and the next one after that and so on,” said Imam and Firman almost at the same time. “Because as good as a life that we can provide for them in a cage, it is always better for them to live and die in the wild,” he added. Imam believes that orangutans would prefer to die with dignity in the forest than in a cage. Imam also hopes that the orangutans will not be merely a commercial object.
Born on August 27, 1970, Imam is married and has a son and a daughter. His family is very supportive of his work and his passion for conservation, especially for the orangutans. Imam is also an excellent “sepak takraw” player. The phrase ‘alive and kicking’ takes an entirely new meaning when transplanted into the world of sepak takraw. This traditional sport requires acrobatic skills and agility of the players. It is basically a ball game with the objective of keeping the ball in the air for as long as possible. But the ball is made from rattan! Then, forming a circle to kick, a player shoulders or heads the rattan ball to an opposing player. It is a dazzling display of acrobatic twists, turns and body swerves. Exciting! One of these days, we should all come to watch Imam play sepak takraw.