The team has been busy in the forest as always, following the daily lives of our orangutans. During five days of nest-to-nest monitoring on Casey, the Post Release Monitoring Team recorded Casey eating a good, varied diet including many different food items; fruit, leaves, young shoots and termites. During monitoring she usually woke up at around 6 am, climbed out of her nest, descended the tree and onto the ground to look for food. Orangutans are generally supposed to forage arboreally rather than terrestrially, but Casey still often searches for food on the ground. That said, she also travels and nests in the trees and the team reported that her nest making skills have continued to improve. Having been up and about for 12 hours, Casey normally settled down in her new nest for the night at around 6 pm. Released in April 2012, Casey has now lived in the forest for over 2 years. She has adapted well despite the disability inflicted on her hand before she first came into our care. We are so thrilled that Casey is thriving in Kehje Sewen. UPI
Upi was only released recently and two weeks ago we received concerning news from the field that she seemed lethargic, had lost weight and was eating a lot less than normal. In response to the change in Upi’s behavior the Team focused on intensively monitoring her through nest-to-nest follows and data collection for 14 days straight. During the following days she regained her appetite and strength. She started eating more natural foods such as lianas, rattan shoots, termites, and figs. The Team could visually see her grow stronger and gain weight. Maybe she had eaten something that didn’t agree with her, as we have seen happen in other rehabilitated orangutans we have reintroduced or she was still struggling to find a range suitable for her. Whatever the reason, she seems to have overcome this and has improved daily. Upi was active and often moved between the trees though she, like some of our other orangutans, still also travels on the ground. Sometimes when the Team were close by, she would climb down and try to follow the observers. Having been fed and cared for by humans for many years before her reintroduction, she still likes human company. This is something we will have to overcome with Upi. On one occasion Upi was seen with Agus. Agus tried to approach her and copulate, but she refused his attempts. Soon after, Agus gave up and left her alone.
The Team found Agus along phenology trail 1000. As always, he doesn’t like seeing the Team and he threw branches and kiss-squeaked at them. Based on their observations, the Team reported that Agus was eating well and overall looked very healthy and well. Good job guys and we look forward to posting more news on our orangutans.
Text by: Bani, PRM Technician.