13 January 2012

New Years update from our baby school

Norwegian vet Silje provides an update on the babies at our emergency centre in Ketapang

Baby orangutans with ice block2012 is starting off hot in Ketapang, and the babies are cooling off with some ice blocks filled with fruit and syrup. Lasmi has finally finished her quarantine period and was introduced to the juveniles in their play area a few weeks ago. She was immediately checked out by the gang, Melky of course leading the “attack”, and was soon accepted in the group. Lasmi is still quite cautious, but has fitted in well with the rest.

Also out testing new ground is little Gunung, who is now regularly allowed a sneak peak at his future play-comrades in the baby school. Under close supervision he is being brought to the outside play area and introduced to the other babies. He is certainly a little unsure in the new environment, but is comforted gently by among others Lady and Rahayu.

Orangutans Gunung and RayayuOur latest arrival, Butan, is also showing slow, but steady improvement from her severe malnourishment and malaria infection. She is still under 24 hours a day care by the medical team, receiving medication and physiotherapy. Because of her traumas in the past, she was very depressed and had almost no muscle mass. But her appetite has increased and she is more agile, now she spends most of her time in the trees in the quarantine area – clearing them for ants! Still she has a long way to go for a full recovery, but she has a strong and wonderful personality and thankfully she is getting a little better every day.

In the clinic we are now able to add ultrasound examination to our diagnostic aids, thanks to Jan F Andersen AS, a Norwegian veterinary equipment company. One of the first candidates to test the new machine was Bandut, a 4 year old male who has a long history of diarrhoea and anaemia. This will be a great tool for us in the diagnostic work here, and as long as we make sure to bribe the orangutans with some tasty fruits, they are quite cooperative!

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