The Orangutan Conservancy (OC) is emphasizing its commitment to wild orangutan conservation by offering for virtual adoption seven orangutans currently living in the Kutai National Park in East Kalimantan, Indonesia. By partnering with the Orangutan Kutai Project and the Kutai National Park authority, OC believes it can spur support and awareness of the wild orangutans in this fragile region.
Although a priority conservation area, the Kutai National Park was largely written off in recent years due to devastation caused by fires and human encroachment. The wild orangutan population was thought to have dwindled to as few as 30 living in the park. But a survey conducted in 2010 found between 1,000-2,000 orangutans in Kutai, doubly important because they represent the easternmost subspecies of the endangered Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus morio).
Right now, you can learn more about the Kutai orangutans featured below. Each is carefully monitored by researchers from the Orangutan Kutai Project, which was created in 2009 by OC board member Dr. Anne Russon. The project monitors a field site that runs about 4 km along the south side of the Sangata River, Kutai National Park’s northern boundary, an area that was chosen because censuses showed strong orangutan presence and the need for additional protection there
Adopt with a donation of: $120.00
Each virtual adoption packet contains a photo, a certificate, and the orangutan’s personal story, as well as information about OC. An adoption packet makes a great gift for a friend or family member who loves animals, and is an educational and exciting way for classrooms to fundraise while learning more about orangutan conservation issues. New individuals will be featured periodically.
(Please note: funding raised from this program goes to support the activities of Orangutan Kutai Project and the Orangutan Conservancy. Adoption does not imply ownership or rights to the individual orangutan.)
Darwin – Darwin has been a favorite regular since we found him early in 2011. We followed him almost monthly from Jan. to Aug. but then lost him until mid Dec. He still has the rounded body and face and the hairstyle of a juvenile, is mostly always alone, and eats continuously. In 2011, when we first met him, we estimated his age at about 8 years, making him now about 13. He has remained easy to find but contrary to expectations, harder to follow.
Chelsea – He was first thought to be a female (hence the name) but later seemed to be Uci’s son. Chelsea for three days in March, 2013, again in our riverine area, probably for the fruits that were available at that time. He is now a large, very sturdy and energetic adolescent that we estimate to be about 12 years old. He is increasingly difficult to follow because he likes to travel long distances and to travel on the ground.
Otoy – Otoy is a “cheekpadder”, a mature adult male with flanges, who resides in the center of the Kutai research area. He initially seemed intent on mating with Uci, but when she showed no interest (or was already pregnant) he chose to live alone. He sometimes forages and travels on the ground. Although reasonably tolerant of researchers, he does not like other male orangutans and chases intruders away.
Pur – Pur is Putri’s infant son. We estimate Pur is now somewhere between 5 and 6 years old. He still travels “with” Putri, and regularly shares her nest at night, but he spends much of his time 20-25 m away from her during the day and gets a lot of own food. See the large photo at top to get an idea of how much he has grown in the past few years.
Putri – Putri is an adult female with a son, Pur. Putri was first encountered in April 2010. Unlike other females, Putri is very uneasy when followed and alternately kiss-squeaks or throws branches at researchers, or hides in her nest. She is also clever at eluding humans. Putri travels farther than most E. Bornean orangutans are thought to travel, as that sub-species lives in nutritionally poor areas and have to minimize their energy use. But Putri has traveled over an area of 4-5 km2.
Uci – Uci is an adult female, the third found in the Kutai study area in 2010. She was initially accompanied by a young male (Ucock) that researchers thought might be her son; she also seemed to be pregnant. But Ucock was replaced by another young male (Chelsea) who seemed a more likely son, even nursing and sharing her nest. Uci disappeared after being followed by males for six months, and is thought to have given birth. She will likely return once the fruit trees bloom in 2011.
Tanjung – Tanjung is an elderly female orangutan – the oldest wild orangutan known in Kutai National Park. She is now at least 50 years old. Scientific estimates of the oldest living Sumatran orangutans are ca 53-58 years, so Tanjung’s age rivals theirs. She certainly looks her age. She is apparently blind in one eye, has wart-like growths on her face, and moves in the slow and rather creaky fashion of elderly humans. But she is still healthy, active, interested in mating with males (even if they aren’t keen on her), and travels skillfully through the canopy (even if she also often walks and sometimes sleeps on the ground). She lived through and survived both the extreme droughts and massive forest fires that destroyed much of Borneo in 1982-83 and 1997-98. Someone who has weathered those disasters deserves enormous respect and all the support we can provide her.