Four orangutans were finally released to their natural habitat in the Bukit Batikap Protection Forest in Murung Raya Regency, Central Kalimantan, on Tuesday (16/02).
The four individuals who were enjoying life in the wild, they departed from Nyaru Menteng by land route to Kuala Kurun City, Gunung Mas Regency, then flew directly from Kuala Kurun Airport to release points in the heart of the Bukit Batikap Protected Forest using a chartered helicopter from Hevilift.
President Director of PT Sawit Sumbermas Sarana Tbk. (SSMS) Vallauthan Subraminam said the release of these four individuals was the first release carried out since the Covid-19 pandemic. "In limited situations and conditions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are still working on the preservation of orangutans and their habitat, we are grateful to be able to carry out orangutan conservation activities by strictly implementing a number of health protocols," said Vallauthan.
The success of this release cannot be separated from the participation of various parties, especially the BOS Foundation, which has developed a new protocol to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in orangutan conservation activities.
Before being released, the four individuals had completed the rehabilitation process on the pre-release island, namely Salat Island. An island of ± 2000 hectares which is managed jointly by PT Sawit Sumbermas Sarana Tbk. (SSMS) and BOS Foundation (BOSF) are located in Pilang Village, Pulang Pisau Regency.
Of the three individuals, a male named Hugus (15 years), Bali (18 years), and Noel (15 years) is an orangutan who was rescued from an illegal breeding case and there is one female individual who was the result of a repatriation from Thailand, named Nenuah (19 years).
The four of them had the opportunity to take part in the pre-release stage on Badak Besar Island (Salat Island Cluster) on June 25-26 2019. There, they develop into orangutans who are skilled and good at socializing.
After one year on the pre-release island, finally Nenuah and the three other individuals were declared graduated and ready to be released to prove their abilities as true wild orangutans in the Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest.
With the release of these four individuals, 25 orangutans from Salat Island have been returned to their habitat. This proves that the use of Salat Island as a pre-release habitat for rehabilitated orangutans has been successful.
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