Casey’s Photo Update

(photo 1) Casey, the gorgeous red-haired orangutan, increasingly looks more and more radiant. Her hair looks longer and thicker. She has also gained weight, indicating that she has been eating well!

(photo 2) Casey also enjoys playing in Macarangi pearsonii tree. Macaranga pearsonii is an endemic plant from Borneo. It is locally called Nangsang Batu. This tree can grow up to 40-meter tall, providing an ideal playground for Casey as she can swing among its branches in the high canopy. The fruit of this tree is Casey’s current favorite food, and luckily for her, it is fruiting season now in the forest!

(photo 3) Casey makes good friend with Lesan. They always spend time and play together. Often they are seen enjoying fruits up in a tree, at a height of 15 meters above the ground. They also often share food. It’s fun to see them sharing food and playing together in the forest canopy. It is very heart-warming. In this photo, it looks like they are enjoying young rattan leaves together.

(photo 4) Casey and Lesan also share the same ‘enemy’, Berlian. If Berlian approaches, they will immediately move away.

We are very pleased to see their friendship. They teach each other good habits. Both seem to enjoy freedom in the forest. Watching them play and swing in the trees confirms that they have become real orangutans who happily live in their real home.

(*) All photos taken by: Wulan Sari

Hamzah is Back (Part 2)

photo by: Fitri Basalamah

In the previous story, we have managed to find Hamzah after he had disappeared from our supervision for a few days.

When we found him, he was eating fruits in the forest canopy. As usual, Hamzah loves to play in tall trees. Rarely we found him playing in the lower limbs or even on the ground. When we approached him, Hamzah made a “kiss-squeak”, a typical noise when an orangutan becomes annoyed. It is produced by pursing the lips; sometimes they also use leaves.

Not only that, Hamzah also threw twigs and branches at us. Such behavior is common in wild orangutans as a sign of rejection to repel the presence of other individuals around him, both other wildlife and humans are considered as threat. When threatened, orangutans will move away very fast, so we had to move quickly to keep up with them.

From our observation, the physical condition of Hamzah is very good. He is growing very rapidly. Based on his body size, he looks more plump and muscular. His hair looks longer, especially in the arms, legs, and back. His beard has grown, too. Meanwhile, the hair on the back appears darker.

We are very happy to meet Hamzah again. We love to follow him wherever he travels through the forest. That day, we followed Hamzah up to the transect near the Lembu River, which is located around 7 km from our main camp in Kehje Sewen. So far Hamzah’s growth is very impressive. This proves that he is able to adapt and survive well in the Kehje Sewen Forest. Keep in touch with us, Hamzah!

Hamzah is Back (Part 1)

We were very excited today as we aimed to find Hamzah whom we had not been able to monitor for the past few days. As a young male orangutan, Hamzah is highly adventurous and curious. Hamzah also has the ability to move from one tree to another quickly and nimbly almost silently, sometimes even unnoticed by the observers who are close to him.

The young adventurous and curious soul inside Hamzah encourages him to explore the Kehje Sewen forest. In fact, a few days after being reintroduced, Hamzah had sped away to the border of RHOI and a protected forest, which is located ±5 km from the habituation cages (the release point). Later, we found him crossing the Lesik River and crawling away to the Lembu River. And today, we got a clear signal indicating Hamzah was around!

Searching for Hamzah’s signal

We started monitoring by following Hamzah’s signal on the main transect for around 1.5 km. We crossed the Soh River that was fortunately very calm that morning. Then, we climbed a hill across the Soh River. We continued to monitor the presence of Hamzah using radio telemetry. After a while, we finally got a signal indicating the exact position of Hamzah. He was just across the river.

We had to go back down the mountain and crossed the Soh River for the second time. Once we were there, we lost the signal again! But we did not give up. We continued tracking through an old road and climbed a hill to get better signals.

And sure enough, we heard some signals again. Our spirits rose and we hurried to carefully follow these signals. By midday, we finally managed to find Hamzah who was in fact at the top of a hill with an altitude over 850 meters above sea level (m-asl). As usual, Hamzah was always in the move, swinging happily high in the canopy so it was quite difficult to photograph him. So please excuse our photos. However, we were delighted to meet him again. Hamzah is back!