This morning the Orangutan team search for the whereabouts of Gracia, an orangutan in her 40s. In our previous article it was reported that Gracia was heavily pregnant and about to give birth.
The team wanted to confirm Gracia’s condition and at 5am, when the sun was still reluctant to shine, the team entered the forest walking across wooden footbridges in the Natural Laboratory of Peat-Swamp Forest (LAHG, Indonesian acronyms), a special zone in Sebangau National Park. Here signs began to appear, the sound of tree branches snapping.
“Look, there’s a female orangutan eating,” said Jalil, Orangutan team member, while pointing to a pisang-pisang (Mezzetia leptopoda) which is the same height as a three-story building, 12 meters high.
He immediately asked teammates to keep their distance because the female orangutan started giving ‘Kiss Squeak’, which meant she was uncomfortable with the team’s presence. After looking carefully, it turned out that the individual orangutan was Gracia and there was a baby attached to her body.
“Thank God, she has given birth,” said Jali, who is also on the Orangutan team. Jali added that the baby might still be two weeks old. It can be seen from its physical shape, especially in the eyes.
“Usually, if they are only 1 week old, their eyes are not yet open, but this child from Gracia has already opened its eyes. “Last August we met Gracia but she hadn’t given birth yet,” he added.
BNF Indonesia’s Orangutan Coordinator, Azis, said that he had not been able to identify the gender of Gracia’s newborn child because visibility was covered by leaves.
Azis also explained that this baby is Gracia’s fourth child after Georgia, Gretel and Gara, they are the next generation of Indonesian orangutans.
Also read: Orangutan’s family tree!
It has been difficult to follow orangutans with the smoke being thick due to forest fires that have occurred in the last few weeks in Palangka Raya City.
“The birth of baby orangutans increases the number of orangutan populations in the wild, a huge positive given their endangered status,” said Risfatul Ulya, BNF’s Primate Scientist.
Written by Yohanes Prahara, Content Creator and Media Liaison