Mona Encounters a Snake
Text by: Agus, PRM Technician
The monitoring team left Camp 103 at 04.35 and thick fog still covered the Kehje Sewen forest. At 05.20, we reached Mona’s night nest, but she was still fast asleep. Waking up at 06.19, she sat up in her nest, yawned several times and rubbed her hands for a while. Pretty much just like we humans do on a working day. A minute later, Mona climbed out of her nest and sat on a fallen Macaranga pearsonii tree. She sat there looking relaxed and gazing at the Telen River to the north. After a while, she spotted the team and climbed down the tree making movements towards us. Mona stopped after seeing us withdraw.
Despite her great adaptation to her new environment, Mona’s curiousity still sometimes gets the better of her. Therefore, we always make sure to keep our distance.
At 08.10, Mona started moving towards the foot of the nearby hills and eating Lhitocarpus gracilis (Fagaceae). Seemingly having eaten her fill, she started jabbing a rock into a Shorea parvifolia root as if she was harvesting some sort of food item. Seeing that she didn’t eat anything in the end, she was probably just curious.
Done with abusing the unfortunate rock and root, Mona approached us again. But after only a few steps, she ran in the opposite direction and hastily climbed up a tree, hanging on and looking afraid. Apparently she saw a snake near us and ran away to save herself.
Mona made a nest at 10.09 to rest for a bit, and all the while we were still observing from a safe distance. It wasn’t long before she got up again and started foraging once more. This time, she found she focused her feeding efforts on cambium.
At 16.00, the rain started to fall. Mona who was now eating Macaranga pearsonii ran quickly to the nest she made earlier. She made a few little adjusments to it and lay down. Since the rain was getting harder we decided to go back to Camp 103, but not before we made sure there was no more movement from Mona’s nest.
Agus, We Meet Again!
Text by: Fajar, PRM Technician
We departed from Camp 103 for Gunung Belah, filled with confidence that we would immediately find the orangutans we were searching for. We started to track orangutans using the radio receiver, however by 13.00, we still hadn’t located a single orangutan. After a short break, we finally picked up Agus’s signal which we followed only to find him not very happy with our presence. He kiss squeaked and threw branches down towards us.
After two hours of direct observations, Agus suddenly decided to quickly depart and he moved down the hill rapidly. The Team tried to follow him, but through the trees and thick rattan, it was impossible to keep sight of him. We lost him at 15.47 and were unable to pick up his signal again. All searches were in vain. During previous monitoring observations, we have recorded that Agus has a wide and varied diet. He has been recorded consuming fruit, tree bark, wood, leaves, ants etc. He also does spends most of his time in tall trees most of the time. Agus is one of the best orangutans under our observations and we are confident that we will observe him again soon.
Accidentally Met Casey
Text by: Arif, PRM Technician
Our plan for the day was to observe Siwi, but instead we met Casey at the “broken car” area. Casey looked healthy and was going about her business as usual. She spent time eating and traveling through the trees. She also chased us away several times and in the end the Monitoring Team, consisting of Arif, Bowo, Holit, and Handoko ran for safety and observed her from a distance.