5 November 2012

October orangutan update from Ketapang

From vet Silje Robertsen

Pedro enjoying a well deserved
rest after play fighting duties
In Ketapang we have had a busy month with big changes for some of the animals. Roy and Merah finished their quarantine periods and have been introduced to the babies in our Baby School area. Roy is definitely one of the biggest in this group now, and he play-wrestles for hours with Cemong or Pedro: he is obviously enjoying being out of the boring quarantine cage. Merah has a much wilder nature than the ones who have been kept for long periods in captivity, and does not yet trust humans, but his wounds from the chain have healed well and he stays in the cage with the other babies at night time and seems to enjoy the company of the group.  During the day he is in a big cage with a nice view over the play ground, so that he can get used to his new surroundings and the baby- sitters at a safe distance.

Jack in a contemplative mood
Bandut and Jack were getting tired of the small space in the Baby School playground and have been moved to the juvenile group in the transit area. After an initial period of hesitation Jack threw himself in the play activities and quickly made friends with Bunga and the rest. Bandut stayed close to the babysitter at the beginning, but showed no fear of the older and stronger orangutans and quickly made new friends.

Rocky and Rickina are best buddies now!

Rocky has also finished his quarantine period and has been introduced to the rest of the youngest babies in our baby school. He had a soft start as he was first introduced to Rickina in her hammock and the two of them hit it off instantly and played and tumbled around for hours. Rocky still has mental traumas and is very fragile as a result of his malnourishment. He will need special attention during his rehabilitation process, but he is already showing great progress and gaining weight - and he is no longer afraid of bananas!

Pelangsi is continuing to show good progress and this month he has undergone a new examination under general anaesthesia. The amputated arm is without swelling and the operation wound is healed, so the prospects are looking good for releasing him soon!

Little Galang peeps down at his rescuers
On the 30th of October we received a new young orangutan, a male called Galang of about two and a half years old. What his true background is we will probably never know for sure, but he was surrendered by workers at a palm oil company in the area Sukadana. They in turn claim to have received him from villagers who found Galang eating in their garden. The palm oil company then kept the orangutan for two weeks before handing him over to the forestry department, feeding him fried chicken and other human food items. Galang is in a general healthy condition, apart from a mild overweight probably due to the malnourishment. He is also very used to humans, indicating that his captive situation has been going on for much longer than two weeks. He is now in our quarantine area and will undergo a health screening after a period of acclimatizing to his new surroundings.  

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