Six more orangutans set free in forest habitat

Six more orangutans set free in forest habitat

The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) released six orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) in the Kehje Sewen jungle, Kutai Timur, East Kalimantan. (ANTARA/Yudhi Mahatma)

Balikpapan, E. Kalimantan, (ANTARA News) - The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) has marked the country's 73rd Independence Day commemoration by releasing six orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) in the Kehje Sewen jungle in East Kutai district, East Kalimantan.

"The wildlife also are entitled to enjoying the Independence Day celebration especially orangutan, which is the wildlife species protected by the state," Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BOSF Dr Jamartin Sihite said here on Monday.

The six orangutans were the 19th group released since 2012. They had been years in the Reintroduction Center in Samboja Lestari, 47 kilometers north of Balikpapan taught how to live as wild orangutans.

Dr Sihite gave stress on the importance of preserving orangutans. He said wild orangutans have important contribution to preserving forest ecosystem. Orangutans are species which move around all corners of forests that the varieties of flora in forest area better protected sustaining their regeneration.

"They scatter flora seeds through their feces. Orangutans also open a bit the canopy of forests allowing the sun ray to penetrate the forest land, helping small trees to grow," Dr Sihite said.

In turn, protected forests will provide clean and fresh water and air, in addition to various forest products and keep conducive climate change, he added.

Not all of the six orangutans released came directly from the Samboja Lestari Reintroduction Center. Two of them, 11-year-old females Menur and Josta, lived for months in the Kehje Sewen jungle, a 82.84 forest area surrounded by wide ditch and river bordering on an oil palm plantations PT Nusaraya Agro Sawit in Muara Wahau, Kutai Timur.

The other four are males - Mads (8), Riva (7), Biber (7), and Restu (6).

In the past several years BOSF has involved many agencies and organizations in the preservation of orangutan.

"It is because the big conservation job could not be handled alone by BKSDA and BOSF," head of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) of East Kalimantan Sunandar Trigunajasa said.

Reporting by Novi Abdi
Editing by A. Saragih

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