February 2019

Potential candidate!

Not only Oscar, but also Terra has also greatly improved her forest skills since joining forest school at Tembak. She can make nests, although sometimes she sleeps in one nest with Oscar (yes, there is good social behaviour between her and Oscar). She is also good at finding forest food and she knows at least 20 natural foods at forest school.

Based on the orangutans observation data compiled by our behaviour staff, Oscar and Terra have become potential candidates to be released in 2019. ®text and pictures provides by Masarang.hk and Sintang Orangutan Center

Red Alert!

One day in forest school, when Terra and Oscar explored the forest together, our caretakers kept watching them from the distance to observe their behaviour. After explored the woods and ate forest food, both of them took a rest for a while and played together.

Suddenly Terra made a loud noise and looked afraid of something as if asking caretakers to come closer and climbed a tree nearby. Quickly our caretakers came closer to check what happened. There was a big centipede around them on the forest floor. This is the kind of centipede could hurt other animal even human by its sting. Not long after the centipede left, they continued their forest school activities for the rest of the day.

It is good to know that Terra knows about a kind of venomous forest animal while forest schooling.

(Text provided by Sintang Orangutan Center ®www.soc.or.id)


Helping is learning

Social interaction between orangutans during the rehabilitation process helps the orangutans develop their skills by learning from each other..

The other day Terra saw Oscar starting to reuse a nest, by added some new branches and leaves to customise this secondhand nest. Terra climbed over towards Oscar and started to join Oscar renovating the nest. She also collected some branches and leaves and together with Oscar they made a good big nest.

After she finished helping Oscar, Terra climbed up towards another old nest. Apparently she was in the mood and still keen to renovate another old nest. After she finished renovating though, she changed her mind and chose cozyness over her own private nest and climbed down again to join Oscar in his nest.

Compared with the other babies, is very dilligent in finding her food herself in the forest, although her taste for young leaves was getting slightly less the last few months. The other babies can find food as well, but they seem to be less active in looking for it and would often rather wait until someone else finds it for them.

Although not as advanced as Oscar´s nesting skills, hers ist adequate and she likes to play with leaves, collect and organise them in some kind of nest shape.


Do you know that unpleasant felling called jealousy- When you really want something that someone else has? Orangutans also sometimes feel that way towards others or even caretakers.

One morning on route to forest school with the babies, one of the caretakers wanted to carry Viko from the enclosure to the forest. All of a sudden, Terra came closer and bit Viko´s hand that was held by the caretaker. Terra tried relentlessly to separate them, but Viko held on to the caretaker´s hand tightly, while making loud noises as she did not want to be separated. It was her turn to go to forest school with the caretakers, and she wasn´t planning on giving that right up so easily.

Terra wasn´t happy about the fact that she had to wait her turn to go to forest school and was very jealous that it was Viko´s turn and that she would receive all the attention from the caretakers.

It is an unfortunate fact for the orangutans, that one caretaker can only take two babies at a time, for he or she can only keep a close eye on each one and be able to help them when needed.

Yooohooo caretaker, where are you??

When Bos Benni just arrived in the quarantine facilities at SOC, he would often cry and make a loud noise, which was a great concern for the caretakers and medical staff. However, when they came to investigate what was wrong, he immediately stopped crying and was back to normal. As soon as they left, the same thing would happen.

Bos Benni was just very unhappy alone, in a new environment and just needed some friendly company. Every orangutan needs different things, some are like Benni and need company to be comforted, others get scared of people and prefer to hide under a towel or leaves for the first few days after arrival. They all arrive with their own trauma that we have to take care of and make sure we provide them with the best help possible during this very sensitive transition period.

Benni is doing a lot better now, but is still kept separete from the others, as he is currently receiving treatment for his intestines that are not completely healed yet. We hope to be able to introduce him to his peers soon.

Baby Victoria has gotten quite friendly with the keepers and now enjoys playing, even though it wasn´t that long ago when she was reserved and preferred being on her own, not even coming close to the care takers.

All enclosures are to be cleaned on a daily basis to ensure the health and safety of the orangutans. Some of the cheeky ones like to disturb the caretakers trying to do their job, such as Victoria who kept on pulling the hose the caretaker was trying to clean the enclosure with. He tried to spray her with water, but she just thought this was a great game and started clapping her hands! She continued to do this and would open her mouth to drink water in between the clapping. So there was no other possibility than just playing with her...