26 January 2011

Meet Patrick the prankster

Our volunteer Carolynn sends us the latest news from our orangutan rescue centre in Ketapang.

Patrick joined our group in Ketapang late last year, and luckily has been in good health and spirits since day one. He was kept as a pet by a Buddhist Monk in Pontianak for about a year, but luckily the conditions were miles better than those of most pet orangutans.

Patrick the orangutanAt the age of four, Patrick is very much a prankster and absolutely loves attention. The other day I was sitting in front of orangutan Peni's enclosure to try and get a good photo of her, and Patrick was super jealous that he wasn't the one getting stared and gawked at.

Patrick found a branch in his enclosure that was just long enough to reach me, and he batted at me several times with it. I tried to swipe it from him, but he was too fast and retreated as though he had grown tired of the game. As soon as I had my camera set up and had forgotten about Patrick, I felt something poking me in the side. I turned my head and saw Patrick with both his arms fully extended and his signature mouth open play-face, gleefully manipulating the stick. "Patrick!!!" I yelled, as I leaned to grab the stick. That time I was faster than Patrick, and the stick was mine.

Before too long, I felt the familiar jab in my side again while trying to take a picture, and of course it was Patrick again with another branch. In the future I'll be sure to spend some time playing with Patrick before taking photos of the others, at least when I'm within branch-poking-range.

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