Rescued raptors and primates find freedom in Indonesia
At the beginning of May IAR’s team in Indonesia relocated and released eight white bellied sea eagles, three Brahminy kites and five macaques on the islands. The birds had been living in the very basic rescue centre of Sukabumi. The macaques had originally been rescued in Jakarta and brought over to the centre in Sukabumi to be socialised in 2006.
The team left the centre at midnight and arrived in Jakarta at 4am. They welcomed the national park officers and media at 7am in the harbour in Ancol, Jakarta. The media included TransTV, newspapers Kompas and Jakarta Post and Asian Geografic.
The birds were taken to Kotok island for release. Of the eight Brahminy kites, one had been in the team’s care for three years, while their newest arrival had been with them for five months. They were all ready for release after being extensively monitored and observed by volunteer students, some of them from the University of Biology in Jakarta.
It was some while after the cage was opened before any of the raptors made their first flight to freedom, and in fact the last bird didn’t leave until the following day - long after the media had left!
It took another three hours by boat to reach the release site for the macaques. They were put in a release cage in the northern part of the island where they spent three days adapting to the new environment and getting used to the different foods. When the time was up, the cage was opened and they had their first taste of freedom.
Femke den Haas of IAR Indonesia was in charge of the release operation. She spent eight days on the island after the macaques were released to observe them and monitor their progress.
She says: "They all adapted so well to their freedom and spent their time exploring, swimming, grooming and playing, just as wild monkeys do. Now a new team is in place which will continue to observe them for some time yet and ensure they are all settled in their new environment. It is such a great joy to release animals and birds that we have rescued from captivity - most of them with no experience of life in the wild - and see them coping so well with their new surroundings and living and behaving as nature intended. That is real job satisfaction!"