Updates from Kehje Sewen: The Friendship between Upi, Casey and Noel and the Search for Leo

Upi, Casey and Noel Meet Up

Upi has made a full recovery, regained her appetite and is spending most of her time once again foraging for food.

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More than half of her day is spent foraging and she is eating various forest fruits, lianas, shoots and Scleria (commonly known as nutrushes). She usually wakes up at around 7.30 in the morning, climbs out of her nest and begins her search for food. She has occasionally been seen to prefer to eat inside her nest and some mornings will reach out, grab a liana to eat and start munching away whilst still comfortably in her nest. Generally though she tends to roam far throughout the forest to find her preferred foods. At the end of a day spent foraging, Upi either returns to her old nest or build a new one nearby.

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Upi and Noel are having party.

Upi, Noel and Casey were recently observed together. They ate together, but avoided any physical contact amongst themselves. When it started raining Upi made a cover for her head, while Casey chose to build a nest and Noel sheltered under the leaves. Sitting in the rain is pretty miserable and during other observations Upi has been seen to idle the time away in her nest until the rain ceases and she can again commence her activities.

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Casey, drinking water from the river.

The three of them ate well and played together and while Casey and Upi sometimes fight over food, it seems to be half-hearted. On the whole Upi and Casey’s relationship has improved tremendously after their initial conflict.

Leke was found by the team on a rainy day along phenology transect 1081. Upon noticing the team Leke approached them briefly before leaving to continue looking for food. She must have been hungry that day as she ate for two hours without a break!

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The next day however, she behaved differently and tried to avoid the team. She kept moving from one tree to another and chose not to come down to the ground which is a good sign. Her appetite was as healthy as before though and she ate fruits, bark, Etlingera shoots (a herb from the ginger family), ficus leaves and termites.

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It was lovely to see Leke and Upi interacting as well; they were observed eating together very harmoniously.

Looking for Leo

Leo was too fast for the team to observe and it took them a while to finally catch up with him along the phenology transects. He was absorbed eating figs and though he seemed to notice the observers around, he chose to continue eating after just a glance. Not that far away the team also spotted Jumiten and Mona having fun in each other’s company and it was great to see them interact so well together.

The next day, the team detected both Leo’s and Mail’s signals along phenology transect Lembu River 1000. Unfortunately, inspite of a long pursuit neither of them could be tracked and observed.

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Juminten and Mona’s signals meanwhile, showed that they were still around and together and the team decided not to observe them as daylight was fading and it was time to call it a day.

The team is already planning an overnight stay in the Lembu phenology area to search for Leo and we are sure that we will be able to find him soon!

Look forward to our next update!

Text by: Bani, PRM Technician.


One thought on “Updates from Kehje Sewen: The Friendship between Upi, Casey and Noel and the Search for Leo

  1. Thank you for this Wonderful update about the orangutans!!

    So happy to hear that Upi, Casey, and Noel are getting along well & hanging out!

    Also great to hear that Upi is also spending time with Leke! Is Leke doing alright? What caused the drastic difference in behavior between the first day (when Leke came to interact with the monitoring team) and the next day (when Leke stayed up in the trees and moved from tree to tree but did not come down to be with the team)? Is Leke’s health fine? (I pray Leke is completely Healthy!).

    As for Juminten, Mona, Leo, and Mail, I’m so happy to hear they are doing well and look forward to the monitoring team’s more detailed, direct monitoring + observation of them! Wish them the best & can’t wait for more updates on them!

    Praying for All the orangutans named in this article & ALL orangutans on Earth to live Long, Happy, Healthy, & SAFE life!!

    P.S. Praying this release forest is 100% safe from poachers, poaching traps/snares, palm oil, and dangerous human intrusions!

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