Monkey translocation

Monkey translocation

The Great Orangutan Project

The Great Orangutan Project

7 - 28 Nights from $994.00

Volunteer with orangutans on this award-winning orangutan project at Matang Wildlife Centre in beautiful Borneo!

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Volunteer’s Achievements at Samboja This Month

Volunteer’s Achievements at Samboja This Month

This month, volunteers at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project have made some incredible achievements! They’ve renovated a platform for Fleur, the sun bear, and made significant strides in renovating the new orangutan island, where Jeffrey and Yuyun will soon make their new home.

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It’s Orangutan Release Time!

It’s Orangutan Release Time!

12 more orangutans have been successfully released back into the wild from the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary and the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Sanctuary thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF). Check out the release video in today's blog!

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Meet 12 orangutan candidates up for release!

Meet 12 orangutan candidates up for release!

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF), 12 more orangutans are set to be released back into the wild from the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary and the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Sanctuary this month. Read today's blog to find out each individual release candidate's story.

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Posted by Michael Starbuck on 9th Feb 2012 3 mins

Last month Matang staff were called to help a proboscis monkey that had been sighted close to the stadium in Kuching city. Driving to its location, we had no idea what we were going to see – young or old, male or female, wild or perhaps someone's escaped pet.

We were hoping it was not the latter – proboscis monkeys can be very hard to care for in captivity, as their dietary requirements are very specific. They are folivores, eating leaves of plants only found in mangrove or peat swamp forests. Ingesting complex sugars can kill them, as their digestive tracts cannot process these compounds.

If animals have been kept as pets, it is incredibly difficult to simply release them back into the wild, as in captivity they quickly become dependent on the easily provided food, they habituate to the routine imposed by the humans keeping them and they lose their fear of people. Unfortunately in the media the process of rescue and release to wild is often portrayed as being carried out in a couple of quick and easy steps, but this is often to satiate the public's enjoyment of success stories with happy endings rather than divulging the complexities of rescue and rehabilitation. There are also issues such as disease transmission to consider.

Thankfully, this proboscis monkey was a wild male, perhaps driven out of his troop by a stronger male or perhaps just wandering too far in search of food. Proboscis monkeys live in large troops, mostly composed of females with their offspring, with just a handful of males. It is the adult males that possess the huge noses this species is famous for. Both males and females have somewhat of a pot belly, due to the incredibly long digestive tract required to process and digest the plant material they consume.

On paper, these monkeys sound ridiculous, and it is by only seeing them in real life that their majesty is so apparent. Matang staff were able to easily trap this male in a carry cage and prepare him for relocation to a suitable habitat.

He took a journey in a car, then on a boat, to Kuching Wetlands Park, the same site where Boboy the macaque was released two years ago, along with other macaques a few months ago. This area has wild proboscis monkeys in situ, there is plenty of suitable foliage for consumption and due to the swampy nature of the habitat, there are no human settlements; in other words, an almost perfect area for relocation of this monkey.

We hope he has negotiated his way into another troop and is settled into his new home. Volunteers often take boat trips in this area as it is good for spotting wildlife, so hopefully he will be among the animals spotted in the future.

Natasha Beckerson

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