Here’s is an update about infant orangutan, Joson, from our vet, Dr Fikri, in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.
Joson, a young orangutan stationed at Camp Siswoyo since October 12 2012, is undergoing a ‘soft-release’ program. She is keeping in good health. She is agile and cheerful like a young wild orangutan. Every day Joson is released into the forest and she is more confident to climb trees and move between trees, adventuring further away. She also makes nests in the trees.
One afternoon, Joson was resting in a nest that she has made. The nest was quite high so Edi, a member of camp staff, couldn’t see her. Joson stayed in the nest a while with Edi waiting under the tree. However, after a long time, Joson’s nest looked motionless. Edi called to her but Joson didn’t appeared. Concerned, Edi then climbed a nearby tree and then saw that Joson was laying in the nest, glancing at him in his tree. Feeling deceived by Joson, Edi finally laughed. He thought that he had lost track of her.
Every morning after eating and drinking in a cage, around 07.00 am, Joson is taken to the forests to learn through playing. She has been introduced to edible forest fruits and tubers. Now it is often seen that Joson eat some kind of fruit such as fig and guava. Joson also often go down to the swamp to take forest tubers. Joson also looks not afraid when she met with Baung, adult female orangutan, who has a male child named Alcatras. Joson kept busy with her own activity and did not seem concerned with the presence of Baung and Alcatras.
After Joson seems finished with playing in the afternoon, around 3 pm, she will return to the camp and go into her cage. Before bed Joson is given fruit and a drink.
Joson has shown a lot of progress. When Joson was first taken out of her cage and raised into a tree near camp, she was very slow while climbing. Before coming to the Reserve, Joson had stayed for quite a lot long time in a cage being kept as a pet by a villager. Her body was also rather fat. With her distended belly, Joson often look funny when slowly trying hard to climb trees.
At the beginning of her acquaintance with the trees in the forest, Joson often hesitated when climbing. Some time shortly after being up in the trees, Joson go down and walk on the ground and then climb another tree. . However, the direction of movement was often to return to the cage where she was staying.
Joson has undergone remarkable progress in soft-release program. It did not take long for Joson to climb proficiently, to be able to make a nest and find her own food. We have great hope that Joson someday will total release into the wild and be able to survive in nature.
Dr Fikri, Orangutan Foundation Vet.