Chiko, an orangutan who is often found around the Pit Hatari office area of PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC), has moved into his new home in the Sungai Lesan Protection Forest (HLSL), Kelay District, Berau Regency. Wednesday (20/10/2021) was Chiko’s last day in Sangatta.
The reason is, Chiko’s behavior, which has changed to be more comfortable interacting with humans, has a high potential for conflict. For this reason, KPC together with the East Kalimantan Natural Resources Conservation Center (BKSDA), the Center for Orangutan Protection (COP) and the Berau Barat Production Forest Management Unit (KPHP) released Chiko to HLSL, Thursday (21/10/2021).
“Chiko is already too comfortable interacting with humans, that’s why we contacted the BKSDA to move Chiko from the KPC area,” said Wahyu Wardana, KPC Superintendent Reclamation Operation.
The translocation preparation process was carried out a week earlier, involving the KPC Environmental Department and Kalimantan Timur BKSDA teams, KPC veterinarians and veterinarians from BKSDA. “During the quarantine period in the transit cage, Chiko’s health condition was controlled by veterinarians from the BKSDA and veterinarians from KPC,” said Agung Febrianto, Superintendent Reclamation Planning KPC.
The translocation went smoothly. As soon as the cage opened, Chiko went straight out to the nearest tree and climbed high to explore the forest canopy of the Sungai Lesan. The smooth release was greeted with a standing ovation by Chiko’s translocation team.
Head of Central Kalimantan BKSDA Dr. Ir. Ivan Yusfi Noor M. Si, guarantees that Chiko will be safe in HLSL. This is because the forest with an area of more than 12 thousand hectares has a good carrying capacity for the life of Orangutans.
“We (BKSDA, ed), together with NGO friends and KPHP have conducted a study in this HLSL. The conclusion from the study is that this HLSL has the ability to support the life of Orangutans. So it is feasible to move Chiko who we rescued from the KPC area, “said Ivan is the nickname of the Head of the East Kalimantan KSDA Office.
Ivan further said, HLSL fulfills all aspects needed for the survival of the Orangutan. These aspects include security and environmental carrying capacity.
From the security aspect, according to Ivan, HLSL has a manager, namely the Berau Barat Production Forest Management Unit (KPHP). Meanwhile, the aspect of environmental carrying capacity, has a source of food and is the original habitat of wild orangutans with low density so that it is still possible to accept other orangutans.
“From the survey we conducted together, we can still find wild orangutans in this HLSL. In addition, HLSL is safe because it is managed by the Berau Barat KPHP. We believe Chiko will be safe here,” said Ivan.
Ivan hopes that the male Chiko can find a partner and breed, so that the orangutan population continues to grow. “We hope that Chiko will find a partner so that she can breed in this HLSL,” said Ivan.(*)