Ramadhan doesn’t Let Us Down


The dashing, Leo

20 days of Ramadhan have passed by. As Moslems, fasting is an obligation but it doesn’t become an obstacle for our orangutan monitoring routine. We are happy and very excited to do both; fasting while monitoring the orangutans.

In the month of Ramadhan, we have to wake up at 3 am to have sahur, an early breakfast before sunrise. After sahur, we started to prepare all the gears for monitoring activity. Our schedule that day was to follow Leo.

We left Camp 103 at 04.30 am, walking as far as 3.1 km to Lembu River where Leo is usually around. After almost an hour of walking, we finally reached the location. Leo was there, still sound asleep. We decided to take some rest while waiting for Leo to wake up.


Leo finally woke up at around 07.30 in the morning. We started to observe and write down all of his activities. We didn’t want to miss a thing. Although the morning was very cold and some of us felt very sleepy, but seeing the active Leo made us very excited too!

Ari Firmansyah

That morning, Leo played happily up on the trees, moving from one to another all the way up to the hill. We kept following him no matter what since we need to write down all of his activities orderly.

Around 3.45 pm, the weather gradually changed. The blazing sun started covered with clouds. We took out our raincoats and prepared some plastics to cover our notes. Meanwhile, Leo was enjoying barks of jackfruit trees (Artocarpus sp.) when rain finally poured really hard. Nevertheless, we still managed to observe and collect the data.


At half past five, it was still drizzling but Leo started to build his nest anyway. We observed him as carefully as possible. After 20 minutes, the nest was ready. Leo crawled into his nest and slept right away. We left Lembu River after made sure Leo was asleep and not going anywhere else.

In the middle on the way back to the camp, we stopped for a moment for iftar, breaking our fast. We took a rest for a while and drank water. The journey then continued and we had iftar meals together at Camp 103. As usual, we only had light meal for iftar, continued with normal dinner after the prayer. With our energy fully recharged, we proceeded to do tarawih prayer together. It was a very pleasant feeling to be able to fulfill religious and spiritual deeds while being surrounded by nature. We are indeed having a unique Ramadhan experience here in the forest!

Text and photos by: Putri Wulansari (PRM Coordinator)


Love Story from Kehje Sewen

Good news from Kehje Sewen! It’s a love story between Leo and Titin, who were reintroduced to the forest last April. Based on our observations, it’s concluded that Leo and Titin seem to be attracted to each other. We are very happy to share this great news with you.

That morning, as usual we conducted our daily patrol. We left Camp 103 at six in the morning and walked as far as 3.1 KM towards the north of Lembu River. The journey to get there was not easy, because in addition to the steep cliffs, we also had to cross some creeks. However, we managed to overcome the heavy terrain by sharing stories and laughters along the way.


Two of the team members walked towards Lembu River.

When we finally reached Lembu River, we turned the radio telemetry on to receive Leo’s signal. After checking a few times, we detected Leo’s signal. We rushed to follow the signal, ran towards a hill nearby and found Leo was hanging and swinging between trees. At first, Leo looked calm but as soon as he was aware of our presence, he started to kissqueak and threw small branches at us. Leo seemed unhappy  and did not feel comfortable with our presence. Leo’s behaviour  was somewhat surprising. We decided to step back and observed his activity from afar.


Leo seemed unhappy with our presence.

While we were observing and recording Leo’s activity, one of our team members saw Titin. She was right under the tree where Leo was standing. We thought that’s the reason of Leo’s behaviour towards us. He tried to protect Titin and he didn’t like us being around and scaring Titin. That’s why Leo wanted us to leave.


Titin was right under the tree where Leo was standing.

We finally stepped back a little bit farther and found a place to record their activity without disturbing them. Leo looked relax and enjoyed their togetherness. They climbed a tree and fed on fruit for the afternoon. Even on that day, we saw the couple copulated.

Having enough data collected for the day, we finally packed our gears and walked back to camp 103, leaving Leo and Titin together in their solitude. It was nice to know they are both showing interest and growing romance with each other. We will continue to observe their ‘love story’ 😀

See you later, Leo and Titin!

Text by: Ahmad Abidin, PRM Technicians 

Photo by: Putri Wulansari, PRM Coordinator