We have exciting news from the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) at the Jantho orangutan release site in Aceh, Sumatra.
On 5 January, 2015, Gober, a formerly blind orangutan mother of twins was returned to a life in the wild in Aceh, Sumatra with her offspring Ganteng and Ginting. The release of Gober was only possible due to groundbreaking cataract surgery in 2012 that restored her eyesight. The twins turn four later this month and they joined the TOP adoption programme shortly after their very rare and special birth.
The release took place in the conservation forest of Jantho, in Aceh. Sadly, the plan to release Gober and her twins together did not work out entirely as hoped. All three orangutans were released at the same time. Ganteng did not take well to the forest environment and Gober struggled in the trees with two infants to watch out for. It was not long before it seemed too difficult for Gober and little Ganteng was left behind because he did not follow his mother and sister.
Gober and Ginting coped very well in the forest as they travelled through the canopy, found food and built a huge nest for the night. However, Ganteng spent his first night in the forest alone and wet and presumably confused and afraid.
The following day, after seeing that his mother and sister were not coming back for him, SOCP staff were able to give Ganteng food and managed to usher him back to the safety of the onsite cages later that afternoon.
Dr Ian Singleton, director of SOCP expressed that despite the obvious disappointment of Ganteng being separated from his mother and sister, he still considered the release a success. Gober and Ginting are now free in the forest and Ganteng is safe and will still get his chance at freedom in the near future. There is still the possibility that Gober will return to look for him in the next week. Staff will be monitoring all orangutans very closely.
TOP would like to thank all of Ganteng and Ginting’s adopters who have helped to make this chance at forest life possible. We will keep you updated on the progress of Gober and Ginting in the forest and hope that a family reunion may still happen.