Beware of Caterpillars!!!

Meet with other animals such as bugs etc in the forests is something commonly happened for orangutans. It can be dangerous, fun, playful, or it can be very yummy.

One day in forest school, when Oscar joined with Joy exploring the woods, he then stopped to take a rest for a while. Not for long, Oscar then collected some branches full of leaves with the purpose to make a rest nest. While collecting branches of leaves, suddenly Oscar looked at a big hairy caterpillars on a leave he got. Oscar then started to observe the caterpillars for a moment by looking and trying to grab it. But he then make up his mind and decided not to catch the caterpillars because maybe he already knew if he get stung by caterpilars fur, he could get a very itchy skin. Eventually Oscar decided to leave it alone and moved over to another tree and forgot about making a nest. Knowing kinds of dangerous animals/bugs also one of the skills that orangutans need to have. In the wild, they could easily meet some real predators animals or poisonous animals and bugs, such as snake, bee, milipede, etc. By knowing the venomed caterpillars, hopefully Oscar got improved his skills to eschew from venomous animals.


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.


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.


Invitation refused...

Enrichment time,

During orangutans time in the rescue center, everyday caretakers give them different enrichments to stimulate their skills to solve problems to get foods. For some orangutans, it is just a piece of cake to do it but for some it gives them challenges and takes more time to solve.

One day when the caretakers give all the orangutans food in the bottle enrichment, Aming slowly got food bit by bit. He looked put all of his attention to accomplish his job. Knowing Aming was still busy with his enrichment, Mona who finished with the enrichment, came to him to invite him toplay. This time, Aming didn’t receive Mona’s invitation. Mona who still wanted to play with Amingsuddently grabbed Aming. Naughty Mona, after took Aming’s bottle, she then hit Aming once who didn’t respond her playing invitation and left Aming and his bottle alone.

Probably Mona just wanted to help Aming to solve his enrichment problem at that time but Aming seemed just want to solve on his own.


Yummy shoots

In the wild, orangutans need to have great dieatry skills to survive and grow. They have learned to know and search edible food since they are babies from their mother till they are capable to get it on their own. Of course it takes a very long time to master all of these skills. In SOC, we provide the orangutans the forest school to them so they can learn all the forestry skills needed till they are good enough and ready to be released.

One day when Mamat was exploring the forest floor alone, he then found a young rattan tree. He decided to stop and sat down near that thorny tree. After a short observation, he then started to

bite the stem of the rattan in order to pull out getting the tuber because by biting the stem, he will not get wounded by the thorns. After he got the stem, he then peeled the stem carefully to get the shoot of the rattan and eat it.

It is important to orangutans to know how to get the tuber of rattan without getting any injuries by the thorns and Mamat knows how to deal with that thorny rattan.

®Text and pictures: Sintang Orang Utan Center