Tag Archives: Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve

Wild Bornean orangutan and 4-year-old offspring rescued and moved to safety.

Our Orangutan Veterinary and Rescue Team were called to Pendulangan Village again last week to check the reports that an orangutan had entered into a community settlement. A large adult male orangutan (named Gagah – read past post) was rescued from the same village in November.

It turned out that the one orangutan was actually a female aged about 12 years with an infant, also female, aged 4 years.  Four Orangutan Foundation staff were assigned to spend the night in the village to monitor the movement of the orangutans. After two days it was decided to translocate the mother and infant to the nearby wildlife reserve. The two were captured and were immediately taken and released in the area of Buluh River near the feeding platform of Camp Buluh in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.

The following day after the mother and infant were translocated to the reserve the team went to Kumpai Batu Village to check on reports from villager that there were three adult orangutans hanging about an oil palm plantation of about 20 hectares. The orangutans are thought to live in the remaining forest about 100 meters wide, which is claimed by the community.  More news on this to follow soon.

Sorry for the lack of photos, we hope to upload some up soon.

Thank you,

Orangutan Foundation

Please consider a donation to support our work – donate here

Update on Aan, orangutan who was shot over 100 times.

Dr Fikri has sent the update below on how Aan, the female orangutan who was shot over 100 times, is recovering. Aan has been living in a temporary enclosure in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve. We are currently building a permanent and larger enclosure for her. However, we still have meet the costs of her day to day care and we need to secure additional funds to assist us with this. Please consider a donation to help us (click here to donate).

Update from Dr Fikri

‘In general, Aan’s health has improved. She is always on the move and loves playing with the ropes and tyres in her cage. She rarely goes down to the floor of the cage, especially if there are other orangutans outside or in the evening when pigs might come near the cage.

Aan, blind female orangutan, playing on the ropes and tyres

When camp staff have to enter the cage to clean it, Aan always moves away to the far corner. She often moves by holding the walls of the cage so the camp staff think she looks like Spiderman.

Aan is totally blind having lost her sight to air gun pellets that were fired at her. Despite having several pellet still lodged in her ears, thankfully Aan can hear. In fact as she suffered blindness, the ability to hear seems better and tends to be more sensitive than other healthy orangutans. Therefore, for now, we have decided not to undertake further surgery to remove the pellets.

Aan reaching out for food

When feeding, the camp staff will call her name while sometimes knocking the cage wall to encourage Aan to come closer. Unlike the other orangutans, Aan is very picky about food. She often leaves unripe or less mature fruit. If the fruit given is ripe, Aan will definitely eat it. She really likes mango and pineapple. If both fruits are available, Aan will not eat bananas instead she will throw them away.’

On behalf of everybody at the Orangutan Foundation I would like to thank you for your support this year.

Season’s greetings,


Ashley Leiman (Founder and Director Orangutan Foundation)


Wild male orangutan, Gagah, moved to safety of Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve

Support our work and have your donation doubled at 10am on the 6th, 7th and 8th December at http://new.thebiggive.org.uk/project/HabitatProtection

Gagah – wild male orangutan rescued and released. Photo by Orangutan Foundation

The wild male orangutan, who was captured last week in the village of Pendulangan (read previous post), has now been moved to the safety of the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.  Our vet, Dr Fikri, and our Reserve Manager, PakTigor, said the orangutan (who they have named Gagah – meaning handsome) was very agile, nimble and smart and so trying to dart and capture him was very challenging. Fortunately, Pak Uduk, our Assistant Manager, is a very able tree climber and is a good shot with the anaesthetic blowpipe. Eventally, he darted Gagah at the top of a tree. After a few minutes, when Gagah started to look weak, Pak Uduk and the team approached and managed to reach the orangutan’s hand. They led him slowly down from the tree.

The next day, Gagah was examined by Dr Fikri at the BKSDA office in Pangkalan Bun. Gagah is thought to be ± 20 years old and his cheek-pads are about 7 cm wide.  He is certainly one very handsome orangutan!

Examination of Gagah by Orangutan Foundation vet, Dr Fikri – photo by Orangutan Foundation

Gagah was given a clean bill of health and it was decided to release him in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve. During the journey Gagah looked nervous, often sound and shaking the cage, the whole time looking at the surrounding forests.

Transferring Gagah’s cage from speedboat to the Reserve. Photo by Orangutan Foundation

By late morning, the team had arrived at Camp Buluh, the site where Gagah was to be released. Due to heavy rains, Gagah had to wait in his cage for a few hours. Eventually the rain eased off and Gahah was finally released.  He immediately ran, very fast, to a tree and then moved to a more distant tree to leave the release team behind. In a very short time he was out of sight.

Gagah released and running for the nearest tree. Photo by Orangutan Foundation
Male orangutan Gagah disappearing into the forest. Photo by Orangutan Foundation

Please help us safeguard the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve to ensure a future for Gagah. Your donation can be worth double with the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2012!

Save the date: 10am (UK time) 6th, 7th and 8th December

Your donations can only be doubled, online, at the link below:



Clouded leopard cub back in his natural habitat

Last month we blogged about a clouded leopard cub that was rescued at the end of April.

We are happy to tell you he is doing very well.  It was touch and go when he was first rescued and we thought he had a problem with his hind legs.  The leopard, who is now about 4 months old,  is healthy, active and playful and has put on a kilo since he was found.  The villagers, who discovered the cub named him Bombom and we have kept that name as it seems to suit him.

Pak Tigor, the manager of our activities in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, arranged to have a temporary enclosure built for the cub.  It is at Camp Gemini where we also have a small vet clinic.

Above and below – Bombom, being transferred to the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve by speedboat

The enclosure not only gives him space to play but also allows him to get re-united with his natural surroundings. As soon as Bombom was in his enclosure he ran about and climbed all over it. Clouded leopards are thought to be predominantly nocturnal and so a member of the camp’s staff has been assigned to keep an eye on him at night.

Photos above and below – Bombom in his new temporary enclosure




Photo above – a playful Bombom

We hope to bring you more news on Bombom soon but in the meantime please consider a donation to support our vital work in Borneo.

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

Meet Sampito, a male orangutan who recently arrived at Camp JL, in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, Central Kalimantan, Borneo.

Sampito, 3 year old male orangutan at BKSDA eating rambutan

Sampito, 3 year old male orangutan at BKSDA eating rambutan

Sampito is thought to be about 3 years old and was rescued by the Indonesian Government’s Agency for the Conservation of Natural Resources (BKSDA SKW II) from a village near the town of Sampit.  Sampito’s mother was most likely killed as their forest habitat was cleared to make way for oil palm plantations or because she was considered an agricultural pest.

Dr Fikri with Sampito on speedboat to the reserve

Dr Fikri with Sampito on speedboat to the reserve

After a few days of checkups and monitoring at the local BKSDA office in Pangkalan Bun, Sampito was taken by the Orangutan Foundation’s vet, Dr Fikri, to the Lamandau River Reserve.

Dr Fikri arrives at Camp JL with Sampito

Dr Fikri arrives at Camp JL with Sampito

Sampito peering over Dr Fikri's shoulder at his new surrounding

Sampito peering over Dr Fikri's shoulder at his new surrounding

Samput being put into his holding cage.

Sampito being put into his holding cage.

Sampito eating rambutan and bananas

Sampito eating rambutan and bananas

Sampito with peeled rambutan in his mouth

Sampito with peeled rambutan in his mouth

When Sampito reaches his ideal body weight and is considered fit and healthy by Dr Fikri he will be gradually be allowed out into the forest to play and explore.  He will be returned to the holding cage at night.  Once the Foundation staff are happy that Sampito can find enough food to eat and that can make a nest to sleep in then he will no longer return to his cage. Field staff will follow and monitor Sampito to ensure he copes with living in the wild without his mother.

We would like to thank Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild Fund for their support of our Vet Programme.

More news  to follow soon….

Thank you,

Orangutan Foundation

Bornean orangutans back home in the forest

We have received news from Pak Tigor, our Orangutan Release Manager, that the two Bornean orangutans, Kevin and bobby, who were brought back from Sumatra last month, have been released back into their forest home.

They have been in holding cages at Camp Gemini, in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve, since they arrived back in Borneo.  Last week after being closely monitored, Dr Fikri and field staff decided that they should be allowed out of their cages.  At around 16.30, an hour or so before it gets dark, the doors to Kevin and Bobby’s cages were opened.

Bobby (Bornean orangutan) staying close to his cage door

Bobby (Bornean orangutan) staying close to his cage door

Kevin immediately went onto the top of his cage, looked around taking in the situation. He eventually climbed off and gathered some branches which he took back to the top of his cage where he then made a make-shift nest.  We waited until about 18.30. Kevin stayed sleeping in his nest all night. The next day two field staff stayed close to Kevin, following him as he moved off into the forest. At the end of day he made a nest in a tree and went to sleep. He seems very at home back in the forest.

Bobby in climbing in trees after his release Bobby in climbing in trees after his release

Unlike Kevin, Bobby was more hesitant to leave his cage.  He just sat on the cage door, then climbed down to the ground and walked around the cage, back and forth for quite a while without any obvious purpose. He did try to climb into a tree, but as he did so he fell back and then returned to his cage door.

Bobby returns to the security of his cage Bobby returns to the security of his cage

The Orangutan Foundation team waited until 18:00 and decided it was better for Bobby to go back into his cage for the night because is very dangerous for orangutans to sleep on the ground due to wild boar in the surrounding forests.

The next day Bobby was taken to the feeding site, where supplementary food is offered. Bobby climbed the trees and moved between them. Bobby did eat fruit from the forest but only one type.

Bobby playing with ex-captive orangutan Amoi and her infant Bobby playing with ex-captive orangutan Amoi and her infant

He also interacted with ex-captive orangutans, Ebony a female adolescent and Mantra a female orangutan with infant, spending a long time playing. Bobby didn’t attempt to make a nest and so he returned to his cage again for the night. We will continue to take Bobby out and hope that he will eventually become fully independent.

Bobby getting used to living up in the trees Bobby getting used to living up in the trees

We will have more news on Kevin and Bobby soon and hopefully some video footage too (so long as the internet connection remains good!).

Please support our work in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve by donating today.

Thank you.

Bangkal – a gentle giant

I’d like to share with you a lovely story…

In October 2000, I went to Tanjung Puting National Park, Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo to join the Orangutan Foundation Volunteer Programme .  Back then, illegal logging of the national park was in full flow and because of this our group of 12 volunteers found it hard to keep our spirits up.  The whole reality of the situation came crashing down on us one day when we heard that an injured orangutan had been found close to where we were working.


Bankal in 2000 just after he was found.

Bankal, a sub-adult male aged about 11 years old, was found injured and weak. He had an open wound across his face and a horrible burn down the side of his face and neck. The cause of his injuries was all too clear, boiling oil had been thrown over him by illegal loggers. No one else would have done this.  It is probably one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever witnessed.  He was rushed to the Orangutan Care Centre and Quarantine Facility, run by Orangutan Foundation International, where he was given emergency surgery. 

Despite all he went through, Bankal remained incredibly gentle and trusting. During his recuperation, he developed a unique way of protecting himself from annoying insects, by using a blanket to cover his injured face. He would lift the blanket to allow people to feed him. 

Sadly, this was not the first tragic encounter Bankal had had with humans. It is likely that his mother was killed when he was still an infant.  He was caught, and may have been sold into the illegal pet trade.  Luckily he was discovered and confiscated by the Indonesian Authorities.  He then began the long, slow process of rehabilitation.  Bankal was a quick learner and his gentle, intelligent manner made him a favourite with everyone who cared for him.  He was first released into Tanjung Puting National Park and he became more and more independent and rarely needed to come to the feeding station.

Bankal recovered from his burn injuries and he was eventually released again in 2003, but this time into the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve.  This June, almost 11 years after my first encounter with Bankal, I unexpectedly saw him again – this time in much happier circumstances.  I was leading a group of our supporters, from Steppes Discovery, which had been given permission by the Agency for Natural Resources Conservation (BKSDA) to visit the reserve for the afternoon.   As we walked through the forest an Orangutan Foundation staff member pointed out an orangutan on the forest floor. It was hard to make him out but when they said it was Bankal my heart jumped.  I was so thrilled to meet him again and see what a beautiful, magnificent adult male he had grown into.

Bangkal in forest Jenny Aundrews

Bankal in 2011 – photo by Jenny Aundrews

I am confident that Bankal will spend the rest of his life in the wild. His habitat is being protected and this we owe him. With a new vet programme in place we continue to monitor the orangutans that have been released.  With local communities, the Agency for Natural Resources Conservation and a local NGO, Yayorin we are safeguarding the future of this reserve for orangutans, forests and people.

Please consider a donation to help us continue our vital work.

Thank you,


Orangutan Foundation

Another Orphaned Infant Orangutan Adopted by Orangutan

I was recently in the Lamandau River Wildlife Reserve to visit the guard posts and I dropped by Camp Rusak to check on orangutan Joanna and her new adopted baby last Friday (16th April 2010). Dr. Fiqri (the Foundation’s vet) and Tigor (Orangutan Reintroduction manager) had told me that they were planning to release Joanna and her baby that day, and invited me to drop by – so I felt that it was a good opportunity to report back to this blog.

All photos were taken by Pak Jakir, our guard post supervisor.

Orangutan, Joanna and adopted baby

female orangutan, Joanna and her new adopted baby © Orangutan Foundation

It only took one month for Joanna and the orangutan baby to bond – Dr Fiqri is very happy and felt confident that they would do well on their own.  She is very protective of her baby, yet also comfortable with Dr Fiqri and the rest of the camp staff .  When the orangutan baby first arrived from BKSDA, who had confiscated it from the owner, it only weighed 2 kg and it was 2 years old! It was malnourished, however, it thrived under Joanna’s and Dr Fiqri’s care, and as you can see, it has put on weight.
orangutan Joanna and adopted baby 3

© Orangutan Foundation

Joanna and baby in cage

Being released into the forest © Orangutan Foundation
Female Bornean Orangutan Joanna and her adopted infant

Female Bornean Orangutan Joanna and her adopted infant

We will continue to do our best to secure a safe future for Joanna and her new baby and we will be keeping a close eye on how they get on.

Please consider supporting our protectmeandmytree appeal – helping to keep orangutans in the wild.

Thank you,

June Rubis

Programme’s Manager

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