Category Archives: Guard posts and patrols

Herni – another orangutan rescued and released.

We have just received a report from our reintroduction manager, Azhari, about a recently rescued orangutan.


Herni is a young female orangutan with a tremendous wild spirit. She was handed over to the Indonesian authorities by a local community, near Sampit (Indonesian Borneo), at the end of June.  Herni was taken to the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, an area which the Orangutan Foundation actively protect with guard posts and patrols.  For three weeks Herni was looked after at Camp Siswoyo, one of six orangutan release camps, in the Reserve.


Camp staff report that she doesn’t make the tidiest nests to sleep in and sometimes she adds branches to old nests to fix them and make them stronger. As you would expect from an orangutan, she travels well through the trees rarely descending to the forest floor. On the 26th August, the Orangutan Foundation staff decided that Herni was ready for soft release. This means being monitored and followed by the camp staff from dawn to dusk for 20 days.  Not as easy as it sounds!


Reports so far show that Herni is doing really well, eating the correct foods and following adult females to learn from them what foods to eat. The daily ranging that Herni is doing is between 600m and 1km. The good news is while Herni follows the other orangutans, she rarely goes down to the ground. Sometimes, the staff lost her because she likes to move in the forest canopy, just like an orangutan should, whilst the staff are having to climb over tree roots and wade through swamps. Our staff are experts in the forests and so she doesn’t get lost for long.


Please consider making a donation to support our ongoing work protecting this important forest reserve and its precious inhabitants.


Thank you

Orangutan Foundation

New baby orangutan born in Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve

Dr Fikri, our vet, gave us a lovely surprise when he reported about the birth of an orangutan in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, in March.

The mother orangutan, Tiffany, was observed at  Camp JL, an orangutan release camp run by the Orangutan Foundation.  Staff tried to determine the sex of the new born but Tiffany was very protective of her son and fled when approached by field staff.  On one occasion the staff managed to see that the sex of the baby is male.  Up to now both Tiffany and her new baby are healthy and well.

Enjoy the pics!

Please help us to keep these orangutans save by supporting our Habitat Protection Guard Post Appeal

Young orangutan rescued

This post comes from our Indonesian vet, Dr Fikri.

On 18th April staff from the Indonesian Government’s Agency for the Conservation of Natural Resources (BKSDA SKW II) Pangkalan Bun office informed us that an infant orangutan (± 1 year) was at their Sampit office.

Dr Fikri and the rescue team drove the 5 hours to Sampit, along the dusty and pothole-ridden road.  After arriving at the Sampit office the team were shown the orangutan which was being kept in a holding cage. When approached, the orangutan was anxious and frightened and frequently “kiss squeaked” (the sound orangutans make when they are distressed).

Photo 1Orangutan in The Office BKSDA Sampit Area

Photo 2. Cage being lifted into Orangutan Foundation pick-up truck for the long jorney back to Pangkalan Bun.


The BKSDA staff said the orangutan was female and came from the community.  It was found in a public-owned rubber plantation near Patai village of Cempaga Hulu District, East Kotawaringin.  Bordering the rubber plantation was an oil palm plantation, PT. Tunas Agro Subur Kencana III.

Orangutan at the Office of BKSDA Pangkalan Bun

Dr Fikri examined the orangutan once back at the BKSDA office in Pangkalan Bun. After observing the orangutan we estimated her to be ± 3-5 years old, she was healthy and definitely still very wild!


 Examination by Dr Fikri finds her to be in good health.

On 23 April, the orangutan was taken from the BKSDA office to Camp Siswoyo in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.

Journey to the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve. First by truck and then by boat (below).


Arriving at Camp Siswoyo in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve

Transfer to holding cage

The orangutan will be observed and gradually released into the forest. We hope because she is still very wild at heart that she will have no problems coping by herself in the wild. We hope to bring you more news soon.

Please support our Habitat Protection appeal to keep these orangutans safe.

News of a tragic accident

We are deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Pak Anton Wahyudi who died, on Saturday 21st January, as a result of a speedboat accident whilst carrying out his duties responding to reports of illegal logging inside the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia Borneo.

Pak Anton was a highly respected colleague, who was head of the Indonesian Government’s Agency for the Conservation of Natural Resources Central Kalimantan section II (BKSDA SKW II) and he was the former Commander of the Brigade for the illegal logging Rapid Reaction Force (known as SPORC) in Sulawesi.

The response to the reported illegal logging was a joint mission between the Orangutan Foundation and BKSDA. Pak Juhri (Head of BKSDA Conservation Resort) was also in the boat but thankfully didn’t sustain any major injuries and helped to rescue the other passengers. Two Orangutan Foundation staff, Pak Tigor and Arbani, were seriously injured but survived after Pak Juhri and Dr Fikri, our vet, managed to pull them out of the water, saving their lives. We wish them all a full recovery.

The Orangutan Foundation work in close collaboration with BKSDA SKW II, who are the Indonesian government authority responsible for the protection of the reserve. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Pak Anton, who leaves behind a wife and two children.

Pak Anton, head of BKSDA SKW II

Pak Anton Wahyudi, head of BKSDA SKW II, in December, delivering his speech at the closing ceremony of an EC funded grant

Earth Day in Central Kalimantan, Borneo

Earth Day came and went, and the Education team (from the Indonesian NGO Yayorin) from our EC funded project in Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve made sure it didn’t go unnoticed.

children wirh Yayorin mascots

Our theme for Earth Day was “Menanam Pohon Untuk Mengurangi Panas Bumi” or “Planting Trees to Decrease Global Warming”. We wanted to inform the community about climate change, and how we, as individuals and also as a community, can contribute to a better, sustainable environment.

The target for Earth Day was the community of Sukamara, a district of Central Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) and the youth group which the Orangutan Foundation facilitate, called Green Organization. The Education team spent a week in Sukamara prior to the event, to meet up with government and school officials to ensure that the Earth Day celebrations were a joint collaboration.

school children colouring

school children colouring up close

On Earth Daywe had a drawing competition for schoolchildren of various age groups at our EC-Lamandau project office in Sukamara. There were also environment games, including building a globe (out of sustainable materials). We encouraged the youth to build tree costumes out of boxes, and make up their own environment banners.

Earth Day and banner

 Teachers and parents kindly volunteered their time to assist with these activities. An Earth Day parade mostly comprised of the youth from the Green Organization was organized, and everybody brought pails of water, of which they would spontaneously water the trees planted by the roadside. The idea is to inculcate the feeling of social togetherness and caring for the local environment. The soils in Sukamara are quite poor, and sandy and therefore, any trees, shrubs or plants in the community were ‘celebrated’ for being there.

The day ended with 124 individuals comprising of youth, government officials and villagers descending to Danau Burung nursery (also a guardpost manned by Orangutan Foundation and Forestry Department staff, that borders the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve) to plant at least 250 indigenous seedlings.

Students planting

To thank the Green Organization youth who so enthusiastically volunteered their time to help and participate in Earth Day, we treated them to a well-deserved barbeque and an environment film screening.

Earth Day in Sukamara was hailed as a success by all, and we can’t wait to start planning for the next year!

Thank you,

June Rubis

Orangutan Foundation Programmes Manager

Curious orangutan

Pak Jakir, our Patrol Manager, was on a patrol recently and came across an orangutan hanging about near Pos Seberang Gajah, in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve . Jakir managed to take some fantastic photos and so we thought we’d share them with you.
Photo © Orangutan Foundation
Photo  © Orangutan Foundation
Photo © Orangutan Foundation
This guard post was established in 2008 to counterattack illegal logging in the eastern part of the reserve. The presence of orangutans is a good sign that the habitat is not being disturbed as it was in the past. It is most likely a rehabilitated orangutan, rather than a wild orangutan but nevertheless, if the habitat was still being continually disturbed, it is unlikely that we would see any orangutans.
Orangutan walking upright through the swamp forest – photo  © Orangutan Foundation

We also have news of another female orangutan, in the Lamandau River reserve, who has adopted an orphaned infant orangutan – news and photos to follow soon!
June  Rubis
Programmes Manager

Reforesting Orangutan Wildlife Reserve

Recently I accompanied a logistic run to one of our guard posts, Pos Danau Burung (or Bird Lake Guard Post – where the the recent fires were), in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

Logistics run to guard post

Getting supplies to Pos Danau Burung

We also had a surprise for them – lots of cake, from our previous meeting with government officials at nearby town of Sukamara. They were very happy with the impromptu tea!

Plant Nursery at Lamandau Wildlife Reserve

Post Danau Burung also happens to be one of our plant nurseries for reforestation at the Reserve. Our Reforestation Manager, Pak Isem, recently bought more seedlings from local villagers, totalling to about 20 different indigenous species of plants, including fruiting trees that will eventually help feed the orangutans and other wildlife in Lamandau.

Nursery Lamandau Wildlife Reserve

As you can see from the photos, the seedlings are doing very well. Currently, we are waiting for the wet season so we can plant these seedlings.

As well, we do need your support to help run our various programmes in Lamandau. With only US$15, you ensure that our field assistants are well-equipped. A donation of US$30 strengthens morale in our camps, with staff uniforms. Take a look at our donation box, and see what you would like to support! Thank you very much Matthew K, Brigitta S and Tal B for your monthly donations.

Thank you,


Fire Fighting – Just a Duty or Dedication?

Last week the Central Kalimantan Agency for Conservation of Natural Resources (BKSDA) held motivation training sessions for their Forest Fire Brigade. They asked Orangutan Foundation staff to facilitate with this after the dedication they showed when tackling the recent fires that broke out in Sungai Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

Forest Fire Fighting Award Ceremony

Pak Eko Novi, the Head of BKSDA SKW II Kalimantan Tengah, awarded a Manggala Agni (Forest Fire Brigade) Pin, to our staff at Danau Burung Post (Bird Lake Guard Post) because of their dedication and participation in tackling the fires.

Isam represented other KPEL (Partnership for Local Economic Development) staff (Sias, Amat, Fendy, Aris dan Jakir) at the award ceremony. It is hoped the award will help motivate other staff, BKSDA staff and the local community to have more responsibility and participation concerning the conservation of the Sungai Lamandau Wildlife Reserve.

At last week’s training session we aimed to build team cohesion and lift the spirits of the Forest Fire Brigade. We hope it will instill a sense of honour and the brigade will feel proud about their duties and their job. Fire fighting is not just a “job” but is “dedication” for nature conservation.

Motivation and team Building Session

Pak Hudi leading the motivation and team building session.

The team building and motivation sessions included various games:

Carry a Bomb. Each team must carry a bottle (as a bomb) with limited tools from one place to a target. The aim is to encourage teamwork, strategy, and role distribution within the team.

Team building exercise

Courier. Each team must deliver a message (a stick) from one place to another place only using their neck’s. This game has aim to build team work, strategy and the “quick think” response.

Team building exercise

O-O Game. A pair of participants must save themselves from plastic rope that binds their hands. This game has the aim to build problem solving strategy.

Thank you,

Pak Hudi

Programme Coordinator, Orangutan Foundation UK

Fire breakout near border of Wildlife Reserve

At the end of April, there was another fire breakout, near the Pos Danau Burung (or Bird Lake Post) that borders the western section of Sungai Lamandau Reserve.

Map Lamandau Wildlife Reserve -Bird Lake Post

Map showing Bird Lake Post on the Reserve Border.

Thankfully, at that time, our Programme Coordinator, Pak Hudi, was visiting the area with the Section Head (II) of the Central Kalimantan Agency for Conservation of Natural Resources (BKSDA), Pak Eko Novi. Along with our ever-ready Patrol Manager, Pak Jak, they raced to assist our field staff at Pos Danau Burung.

Danau Burung (Bird Lake Post) Fire fighting Team.

Field staff from Pos Danau Burung who made up the fire-fighting team

Face to face with the fire wall

Face to face with the fire wall

Fire breakout - forest in the background

Trying to stop the fire – forest in the background

Fire breakout

Beating the fire

Caught unaware they had to grab whatever was at hand to beat the fire.

They slogged to beat out the fires for many hours under the hot sun. We appreciate the hard work of our field staff, whose primary role is to replant the western part of the Reserve but would not hesistate to switch roles as fire-fighters when needed.

Tears for nature
Tears for naturetired and emotional.

Pak Eko Novi was also very appreciative of our staff’s dedication that he organized a special ceremony for the field staff, in which he presented pins from the Fire-Fighting section (Manggala Agni) of BKSDA Section II. It was truly an honour, and much appreciated!

It does not stop there for our hard-working Programme Coordinator, Pak Hudi. Today (13th May), under a special invitation from Pak Eko Novi, he will be giving a team-building exercise for the Fire-fighting team of BKSDA Section II, Central Kalimantan.

Hopefully, we will have a post from Pak Hudi himself about this experience!



Programmes Manager

Orangutan gaining weight

Dr. Fikri, our new vet who works specifically for the released orangutans in Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, put orangutan Zidane on a special weight gain diet last month. We are happy to tell you that Zidane has gained 3 kg and he is getting stronger each day.

Our on-going protection for Lamandau continues with regular patrols, and this month, the patrol team led by Pak Jak (Patrol Manager of Lamandau Ecosystem Conservation Partnership) installed billboards on all the Lamandau guard posts to help enforce no-burning in the Reserve. (This short update was sent by June Rubis, who is taking over from Stephen this month)

Matthew K, thanks as always for your monthly donation.

Many thanks,

Cathy – Orangutan Foundation