Volunteer Carolynn from Seattle updates us on the orangutans’ antics at our centre in Ketapang.
Every now and again we put wood chips in rubber barrels as a type of sensory enrichment for the baby school orangutans. Food based enrichment is the easiest to make since it isn’t a challenge to interest an orangutan in a novel object with a tasty treat hidden inside, but we want to encourage them to explore and learn about new objects even if they aren’t full of yummy foods.
Last week, Monti and Sindi put on quite a show wrestling and hurling handfuls of wood chips all over the place.
Melky particularly made me laugh because he kept leaning his head back and dropping handfuls all over himself. What a delightful mess indeed! All of the orangutans had at least a few chips stuck on them by the time everyone took a rest in one of the elevated mesh nests. Good times.
Emergency Orangutan Centre
We also provided some resourceful enrichment last week at the emergency centre where the adult orangutans live.
After a long afternoon of moving animals between enclosures so that staff could go inside to rearrange their hammocks and swinging ropes, everyone (orangutan and human alike) earned a coconut.
Orangutan John was so excited he hardly knew what to do with himself, running and jumping about. After John had finished eating most of his coconut, I caught him wearing a piece of the shell as a hat. He is such a character.
JoJo opened up a coconut and held it above his head to drink some of the milk, but two streams of milk came rushing out. Jingo hurried over to drink from the other stream, and the two boys enjoyed their refreshing snack together!