Archives: August 2015

Press Release – The BOS Foundation in Samboja Lestari is Releasing More Orangutans

August 28, 2015. Posted in Article

Commemorating Indonesia’s 70th Independence Day and International Orangutan Day which occured in August, the BOS Foundation’s East Kalimantan Orangutan Reintroduction Center at Samboja Lestari is releasing another five East Kalimantan orangutans to their natural habitat.


Samboja, Kalimantan Timur, 3 September 2015. Commemorating our 70th Independence Day and the International Orangutan Day, both of which occured last month, five orangutans comprised of one male and four females are starting their journey back to natural habitat.  They will be transported overland on a 2-day road trip from the BOS Foundation Orangutan Reintroduction Program Samboja Lestari in East Kalimantan straight to the release area in Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kutai and Kutai Kartanegara Regencies.

Kehje Sewen Forest is managed by PT Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia (RHOI), which was established by the BOS Foundation in order to obtain an Ecosystem Restoration Concession (IUPHHK-RE) from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry for use as an orangutan release area. Since 2012, the BOS Foundation Samboja Lestari Program has released 31 orangutans back to natural habitat in Kehje Sewen Forest. With this new release, the number will increase to 36 orangutans returned back to the forest.

Coincidentally one of the orangutans to be released called Long, is a female retrieved from an area nearby Kehje Sewen Forest. She was handed over to BOS Foundation back in 2007 by a local person from Nehas Leah Bing village who claimed to have found her in the Wehea Traditional Forest located near Kehje Sewen. Now, at 9 years old, Long is ready to go home where she belongs. Only this time, she will be placed in a more secure and suitable forest where she can see out the rest of her life in safety.

This release is in collaboration with the East Kalimantan BKSDA (Natural Resources Conservation Agency), the government of East Kalimantan Province, the government East Kutai and Kutai Kertanegara Regencies. Furthermore, the BOS Foundation also greatly appreciates the moral and financial support from partner organisations including BOS Switzerland, and from the private sector including the Bank Central Asia (BCA), as well as individual donors, other partners and conservation organisations across the globe with an interest in Indonesia’s orangutan conservation efforts.

Drh. Agus Irwanto, Program Manager of Samboja Lestari says, “We still have an obligation to release more than 150 other healthy rehabilitated orangutans who are eligable for release. We also strive to provide a better quality of life for those individuals which cannot be released due to illness or injury. Support from everyone is desperately needed to prevent this magnificent species from extinction.”

Dr. Aldrianto Priadjati as the RHOI’s Director of Conservation adds, “This release is part of a very lengthy process. Our next challenge is to ensure that orangutans do well in their new environment and establish a new viable population in Kehje Sewen Forest. We also hope that our efforts in requesting more orangutan release areas through the Ecosystem Restoration Concession scheme, whether in East or Central Kalimantan, receives support from all parties, in order to enable safe release areas for all of the orangutans currently in rehabilitation centers.”

Between early 2012 and the end of August 2015, the BOS Foundation has reintroduced 186 orangutans; 155 orangutans from Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Center to Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest in Central Kalimantan and 31 orangutans from Samboja Lestari Orangutan Reintroduction Center to Kehje Sewen Forest in East Kalimantan.

To ensure high success rates of our released orangutans, the Post Release Monitoring teams both in Central Kalimantan and in East Kalimantan collect daily data on orangutan behavior to monitor and evaluate orangutan adaptation in their new habitat and to provide support to individuals where needed, at the earliest possible opportunity.

By the end of August 2015, a maximum of 92.5% of our released orangutans had survived and only 14 individuals, or 7.5%, had failed to adapt to their new environment. Eight deaths occurred in Bukit Batikap Conservation Forest (Central Kalimantan) and three in Kehje Sewen Forest (East Kalimantan) plus two individuals who were retrieved from Kehje Sewen Forest and returned to Samboja Lestari due to ill health or to alleviate potential human-conflict situations.

Head of East Kalimantan BKSDA, Ir. Y. Hendradi Kusdihardjo, MM. emphasizes, “We have to remember that orangutans and the forest as their habitat belong to us all, and are protected by the government. To protect orangutans means to protect the forest. Another thing we have to remember and apply in our land management system in Indonesia; all parties, including the central government must refer to boundaries and the legal process, while protecting and preserving the environment.”

Orangutan release programs must proceed as planned in the Indonesia Orangutan Conservation Strategy and Action Plan 2007-2017. This action plan was proclaimed by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during the Climate Change Conference in Bali in 2007, stating that all orangutans in rehabilitation centers must be released to natural habitat by 2015 at the latest, and to be supported by government agencies at both provincial and regional levels.

Dr. Jamartin Sihite, BOSF CEO underlines, “Supervision, monitoring, and law enforcement is crucial to protect animals—in this case, orangutans—and their habitat. Therefore, the role of the East Kalimantan BKSDA and local authorities is extremely significant. Nevertheless, we also need real and serious commitment from the local government, especially the government of East Kutai Regency and Kutai Kartanegara Regency, to make this a reality. Only through law enforcement and commitment will we be able to achieve freedom and protection for orangutans, and other biodiversity which needs to be preserved to sustain the life cycle on earth.”

This release is an appeal for all the stakeholders to capitalize real actions in orangutan conservation for the mutual benefit and a better future for life on earth.



Paulina Laurensia Ela

Communication Specialist



Communication Staff Samboja Lestari



Editor’s Note:


Founded In 1991, the BOS Foundation is a non-profit Indonesian organization dedicated to conservation of Bornean orangutan and its habitat, working together with local communities, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia and international partner organizations.

Currently the BOS Foundation is rehabilitating more than 700 orangutans with the support from 400 highly dedicated staff and experts in primatology, biodiversity, ecology, forest rehabilitation, agroforestry, community empowerment, communications, education, and orangutan welfare. For further informations please visit



PT Restorasi Habitat Orangutan Indonesia (RHOI) is a company that was established by the BOS Foundation on April 21, 2009, solely to acquire the Utilization of Forest Timber Products through Restoration of the Ecosystem (IUPHHK-RE), also known as an Ecosystem Restoration Concession (ERC).

As a non-profit organization the BOS Foundation is not allowed to apply for this license due to government regulations. Hence, RHOI was established. This permit enables RHOI authority on managing a concession area—in this case, a forest area—the most important aspect in an orangutan release process.

On August 18, 2010, RHOI was issued an ERC permit, giving them the authority to use and manage 86,450 hectares of rainforest in East Kutai and Kutai Kertanegara Regencies, East Kalimantan. This concession provides a sustainable and secure habitat for orangutans for at least 60 years, with the option of extending for another 35 years. Issued by the Ministry of Forestry, this ERC license cost around US$1.4 million, which was funded by generous donations from donors and the BOS Foundation’s partner organizations in Europe, Australia and the USA.

RHOI named this forest KehjeSewen, which translates as ‘orangutan’ in the local DayakWehea dialect. By name and nature, the KehjeSewen Forest became a forest for orangutans. For more information, please visit


August 27, 2015. Posted in Article

In commemoration of the International Orangutan Day on 19th August, BOS Foundation will release another 5 orangutans from Samboja Lestari to Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan. Here are their profiles



Ajeng is a female orangutan who was confiscated by the East Kalimantan BKSDA (Natural Resources Conservation Authority) from a local person in Samarinda, East Kalimantan. She arrived in Samboja Lestari on August 9, 2007, when she was 1 year old. Ajeng was in good physical condition and still retained her wild behaviour as she expressed her dislike of human presence.

Over time, Ajeng became a smart and willing student, gladly learning everything her babysitter taught her. In the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, Ajeng is considered as one of the smart orangutans in Forest School Level 2. She is quite independent and very good at identifying natural foods. She is also a good explorer and very active in the trees. Compared to her peers, Ajeng is a dominant female.

Now Ajeng is 9 and weighs 33 kg. This beautiful orangutan will be able to prove her independence back in her natural habitat in the Kehje Sewen Forest.



Long is a female orangutan found by a local person from Nehas Liah Bing and handed over to the BOS Foundation Rehabilitation Program at Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan on August 8, 2007. She arrived as a 1 year old wild baby orangutan who still retained her natural behavior; she didn’t like to be touched and hugged by humans at all and would react aggressively if anyone tried to touch her. She was found in the Wehea Dayak Traditional Forest and this location is not too far from the Kehje Sewen Forest in which she will soon be released. The upcoming release activities is literally a homecoming trip for her; she will be going home!

Long has grown into a dominant female orangutan with a superb skillset and also a soft motherly touch. In Forest School, Long decided to take on responsibility for a young male orangutan, Arief, and has subsequently become his adoptive mother. Everywhere Long goes, Arief will follow; and Long spends hours playing and feeding together with him. Long is frequently seen showing the younger orangutans how to explore the forest, identify their natural foods and build their nests.

Now, this beautiful female orangutan is 9 years old and weighs 34 kg. She is ready to live once again as a true wild orangutan in the Kehje Sewen Forest, but she won’t be going alone; Arief is going with her!



Arief is a young male orangutan who was confiscated by the BKSDA (Natural Resources Conservation Authority) Tenggarong unit from a local house in Tenggarong Sub-regency, Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan. The young 2 year-old had lost his mother and has been taken care of in the BOS Foundation’s Rehabilitation Center at Samboja Lestari since March 2013.

Whilst in Forest School, Arief met Long, a-9 year old female who became his surrogate mother and loves him like her own son. The story of the special relationship between Long and Arief began with an encounter in Forest School Level 1. Long—then a student of Forest School Level 2—however ranged further than normal and ended up visiting Level 1, where Arief was playing. She spotted Arief for the first time and her maternal instincts must have kicked in, as Long instantly lifted Arief into her arms. Arief, being a very young orphan in need of motherly love, naturally accepted her attention. Since then these two have been practically inseparable.

Arief has grown into an astonishing male individual thanks to Long’s loving care. He is now 5 years old and weighs 14 kg. Arief, with his adopted mother, Long, will together return to their true home in the Kehje Sewen Forest.



Erica is a female orangutan confiscated by the East Kalimantan BKSDA (Natural Resources Conservation Authority) from a local person in Bengalon Sub-regency, East Kutai Regency, East Kalimantan. She arrived in Samboja Lestari on April 17, 2006, when she was just 10 months old and in desperate need of care from our babysitters.

Erica and her peers learn and play together everyday in Forest School Level 2 and her progress is growing more impressive by the day. She is considered an independent individual, very active in the trees and with a love of exploring.

After the wonderful time of living at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, the beautiful Erica is now 9 and weighs 23 kg, and will soon return to her natural habitat in the Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan.



Leonie is a female orangutan handed over by a local person in Sangatta, East Kalimantan to the BOS Foundation Rehabilitation Center at Samboja Lestari. The person who found her said that she was lying by a coal mining area near to the local village. Leonie arrived at Samboja Lestari on November 8, 2006 when she was only 2 years old and very afraid of human.

Leonie, who has bright brown hair and a big posture, is known as the smartest student in Forest School Level 2. She always encourages her friends to accompany her in exploring and roaming the forest. She also teaches them which natural foods to eat in the forest. In the Forest School, she regularly shows her contempt for her human carers. She is indeed growing up and has become independent!

With her superb wild skills, Leonie, who is now 11 years old and weighs 34 kg, is ready to enjoy her freedom in Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan.

Observing Yayang and Her Two Children

August 20, 2015. Posted in Article

Last Sunday, we focused our efforts on nest-to-nest observations of Yayang and her new baby. (Read the full story here: Yayang’s second birth was very special as this newborn is our first wild born orangutan in the Kehje Sewen forest. Yayang herself was released into Kehje Sewen forest in December 2013 together with her first child, Sayang.

Nest-to-nest observations are conducted so we can record in-depth information on a particular individual.  To ensure we capture the orangutans activities from the moment he or she awakes, we need to leave Camp Lesik at dawn in order to search for the individuals night nest, then follow and record all his/her movements and activities at two minute intervals up until he/she constructs their new nest at dusk. We usually conduct nest-to-nest surveys for several days although in some particular cases we might continue for weeks.

At 4.30 am, it was still dark and the team comprised of Usup and Rusda, departed from Camp Lesik. Following a feeding trail from the previous day’s observations, they tried to find Yayang’s newest nest. However, to reach that particular location, they had to hike up a 45 degree slope; not an east feat in the dark.

Yayang and her baby were seen leaving their nest at six in the morning and the team also recorded that Sayang, Yayang’s first child, was with them and had apparently slept close by. Data recording commenced in earnest.

Yayang and her new offspring.

During the day, Yayang carefully holding her baby, frequently descended from the trees to eat Zingiberaceae shoots and during the day all three of them including Sayang, slowly moved away from the main track.

Sayang showed her irritation at our team’s presence by frequently producing kiss-squeaks and throwing twigs and branches at them.

Sayang always keeps a close distance with Yayang and her new sibling, tries to protect them

By the afternoon, rain started to pour down, but this did not deter our team from their observations.  They had to make sure that the orangutans built their nests before they left them, to enable them to start at the right place the next day. Around 5.30 pm, Yayang started to construct her nest to shelter herself and her baby from the pouring rain. In the meantime, Sayang was seen building her own, indicating that she is now independent from her mother, Yayang who has her new child to take care of.

After the team saw that Yayang and her children safe and sound in their nests, they headed back to Camp Lesik.

Yayang, Sayang, and the little baby.

Mona Visits the Camp!

Meanwhile, the Lembu river phenology survey team reported that they had met Mona near to their camp. Mona arrived at camp at six in the morning, but then left shortly afterwards. Mona was alone this time. This was different from the last observation when she was seen together with Juminten (read the full story here: A Reunion with Mona and Juminten –

Based on our observations, Mona looked healthy and was actively moving through the trees.

Mona in the dark (image over exposed)

In summary, we are delighted with our observations this week. Yayang and her two children look very healthy and seeing Sayang build her own nest and showing some closeness to her young sibling  is great news. And seeing Mona was also a great result. This beautiful female orangutan seemed healthy and was actively moving from one tree to another.

Nest-to-nest observations are indeed really hard work; starting very early in the morning for a full days monitoring and searching for nests in the dark, but those challenges don’t deter us.  Our goal is to observe every orangutan that we have released in the Kehje Sewen forest. They are just too priceless.

Text by: PRM Team at Camp Lesik, Kehje Sewen Forest

You can support our team and its monitoring activities too. DONATE NOW to the BOS Foundation and keep our spirits high!

Meeting with Lesan and Casey

August 5, 2015. Posted in Article

Apart from focusing on nest to nest observations of Yayang and her new baby, the Post Release Monitoring (PRM) team is responsible for conducting regular patrlos and monitoring for the other orangutans we have reintroduced into the Kehje Sewen Forest. Conducting nest to nest observations means an early start for our team and making sure we leave camp well before sunrise so we can reach the individual orangutans’ nest before he or she wakes.

Once the orangutan commences his/her activities, we record data every 2 minutes on everything from what he or she eats, to when they rest or play or meet up with other orangutans; everything is recorded. We do this until late afternoon when that individual orangutan builds a new nest to sleep for the night. This allows us to assess their adaptation and behaviour in comparison to wild orangutan.

Reunion with Lesan

Lesan is one female teenage orangutan whose signals had not been detected by the PRM team for at least the previous 4 months. The last time we encountered her was when she was with Casey and Hamzah playing near (read the full story here: The Look of Casey, Lesan, Hamzah, and Mona).

But on that day, several weeks ago, we saw Lesan spending time on a tree in front of Camp Lesik. It seemed like she came from the direction of Ariyo transect.

ribbet Lesan by rusda (2)

Lesan looked busily eating Piper aduncum fruit while occasionally took a glimpse at us taking notes on and observing her activities for 2 hours.

ribbet Lesan by rusda (3)

Finishing her meal, Lesan went to leave Camp Lesik by swinging from one tree to another.

The Healthy Casey

A week after meeting Lesan, the PRM team conducting patrol on the Mobil Mogok transect accidentally met Casey. We were trying to find a better orangutan transmission by climbing up the ridge in Mobil Mogok transect, when suddenly Casey appeared from behind the bushes near us, and really took us by surprise.

ribbet Casey by Luy (3)

For the next 2 hours of observation, we saw Casey eating a lot of shoots, climbing up trees several times, and resting.

ribbet Casey by luy (2)

After finishing the observation, we took off and carefully leave Casey not trying to disturb her activities. It was getting dark, so we head back to Camp Lesik.

It is overwhelming to see the two females clearly thriving and passing a 3 year milestone in Kehje Sewen Forest. We continue to hope that all the released orangutans will keep on living a happy and prosperous life in their true home of Kehje Sewen Forest.

Text by: PRM team in Camp Lesik, Kehje Sewen Forest.

You can support our team and its monitoring activities too. DONATE NOW to the BOS Foundation and keep our spirits high!