Six orangutans released back into wild

Six orangutans released back into wild

Palangka Raya, Central Kaliman (ANTARA) - Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan (ANTARA) - Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation in cooperation with Central Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Office (BKSDA) and Bukit Baka Bukit Raya National Park (TNBBBR) authority released six orangutans into the park, first of 2019's planned releases.

Preserving wildlife in its natural forest habitat was a vital step in ensuring that conservation efforts were successful in the long term, Agung Nugroho, the TNBBBR head, stated here on Thursday.

The orangutans were released after having completed years of rehabilitation. They had to endure an approximately 10-to 12-hour-long journey across both land and river to predetermined release points in the TNBBBR forest.

"We, at the TNBBBR Authority, along with the BOS Foundation are responsible for ensuring the safety and welfare of these orangutans. We all hope that the released orangutans would form a new, independent, and sustainable wild orangutan population,” he emphasized.

The six orangutans comprise three males -- Rosidin (aged 20), Tristan (16), and Borneo (1) -- as well as three females -- Borneo’s mother Buntok (12), Paijah (15), and Danida (13).

“Humans benefit enormously when the natural world is sustainably maintained. Therefore, we should work together to make this happen. All stakeholders must work extremely hard to prevent land clearing, hunting, and the illegal trade of wild flora and fauna. In areas where these illegal activities are happening, the culprits should face the full force of the law. We strongly believe that tougher law enforcement will support the preservation of the wild orangutan population,” Jamartin Sihite, the BOS Foundation CEO, remarked.

To ensure a successful conservation effort involving all stakeholders, the BOS Foundation continues to work closely with the Government of Indonesia at all levels, including the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, the Central Kalimantan provincial government, the governments of Katingan and Pulang Pisau regencies, the Central Kalimantan BKSDA, and the TNBBBR Authority, according to Sihite.

The six orangutans being returned back into the wild marks the 15th release for TNBBBR since the first one conducted in the park in August 2016 and the 28th release by the BOS Foundation Orangutan Reintroduction Program in Central Kalimantan since 2012. This brings the total number of orangutans released by the BOS Foundation in the TNBBBR area of Katingan District to 120.

Adib Gunawan, the Central Kalimantan BKSDA head, noted that his office had continued to cooperate closely with several parties actively engaged in environmental conservation efforts.

"The BOS Foundation is helping to rehabilitate victims of deforestation and has been regularly releasing orangutans back into natural forest habitats, as managed by our colleagues from the TNBBBR Authority," he remarked.

He expressed hope that this effort would be replicated or developed further by other stakeholders for the sake of natural conservation in the province.

All six of the orangutan release candidates have come from Badak Besar Island—a forested island in the Salat Island Cluster in Pulang Pisau District, which is currently being used by the BOS Foundation as a pre-release island.

Reporting by Rendhik Andika, Fardah
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