February 2019

Victoria’s Milestone!

This year is a great year for Victoria. She learned many things during her rehabilitation at SOC. Even though she is a naughty little girl, or maybe because of that, Victoria is very active and smarter than other orangutans her age. She can already make simple nests and has good problem solving capabilities when playing with the enrichments. Even other orangutans watch and imitate her skills to get food hidden in various enrichments.

The Jerora forest school has officially started to operate a few months ago and SOC relocated the first group of orangutans there. One of these lucky ones is Victoria. This is the first time she goes to forest school since SOC rescued her.

This is a great opportunity for her to develop her survival skills in the forest. When the door to the tunnel leading towards the primary forest of the forest school opened, she immediately and enthusiastically explored the forest canopy, looking for forest food and trying many different kinds of food.

Even though she already had developed good enough nest-building skills by using the daily leaves at the overnight enclosure, she still needs to learn a lot about nesting skills in the canopy. What trees do not have ants? Which branches and leaves are the best to use? During her first month in the virgin forest she slept high up the trees but did not make any nests, she just held on to the branches close to the trunk of a tree. We hope that soon she will try to make the proper nests high up in the tree canopy.

We are monitoring Victoria, and all her friends, every day to see the progress she is making. It is not easy to make movies of Victoria up there in the trees, but we will try to send our supporters at Victoria Shanghai Academy some clips after we get a better video camera with a tele-lens. ®text and picture provided by Masarang.hk and Sintang Orangutan Center

Don’t leave leaves behind!

Another day with another enrichment. One moment when the caretakers gave the orangutans grassbol enrichment. This is a kind of food-based enrichments that we hide pieces of fruit inside the ball form of grass and leaves. After the orangutans got their fruit, they let many leaves and grass scattered on the enclosure floor. Some of them just played with the leaves but Victoria collected it and brought it up to a hammock.

After got enough leaves, she made a simple rest nest and took a rest for a while. So don’t leaveleaves behind!

Not only a very active orangutan, Victoria is also the smartest among the other babies. When caretakers gave babies the hanging fruit enrichment, Victoria became the first who could got the fruit. She is also the first baby who use stick to take fruit while the others just see her problem solving to get food. She also became ‘a teacher’ to babies who learned and imitated her way to get fruit by using wooden stick. Excellent!

Victoria in a hammock made out of old fire hose
Victoria in a hammock made out of old fire hose


Green with envy

All babies orangutan get their milk twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon. When one of the caretakers gave all babies a bottle of milk, Jacq sat down besides the caretaker while drinking his milk. The caretaker gently stroked his head. Victoria saw this happening, came closer to thecaretaker, pulled the caretaker’s hand and put the hand on her head, means she also wanted to get padded by the caretakers.

In the wild, baby orangutans get nurtured by their mother till they are around 6 to 8 years old. Because all the baby orangutans in SOC are orphans, the caretakers have an important role to fulfil as their surrogate mothers which is not only about feeding and teaching but also giving them the love and care a real mother would have given them if they were still here.