Mary has now been at the Bornean Orangutan Rescue Alliance (BORA) rescue centre in East Kalimantan since February 2019. She had been developing her skills well at forest school however COVID-19 has meant lots of changes for both orangutans and staff at the orangutan rescue and rehabilitation centres throughout Indonesia. Staff are having limited contact with orangutans and forest school is not taking place. However, recently some of the orangutans, including Mary, at the BORA centre have been able to have some time in the outdoor orangutan playground which is fabulous. Mary has greatly enjoyed this extra freedom and opportunity to climb and explore on the playground equipment.
Since the day Mary was rescued it was obvious that she had already learnt a lot from her mother including some basic nest building skills. She keeps her distance from the orangutan keepers and will even give them a nip if they get too close. Mary also often prefers to spend time by herself rather than playing with the other young orangutans. Her independence will serve her well for her future release into the forest.
The weather at the BORA rescue centre in recent months has been dominated by rain. If it rains all night, Mary usually gets a cold and can have difficulty breathing. At times, the veterinarian has used a nebulizer with Mary to assist with her breathing and this has helped considerably. When Mary does have a cold, she will eat quite slowly. Bonti, one of her enclosure companions will sometimes then try and snatch food from Mary so the keepers need to ensure that she receives enough food.
Mary is a skilled nest builder for her age and is always keen to build comfortable nests with the branches and leaves given to her by the orangutan keepers at the BORA centre. She often builds a nest high up in one of the hammocks and enjoys resting here by herself whereas some of the other young orangutans prefer to share a hammock.
Mary is not a fussy eater and she will eat all the different fruits and vegetables that are offered. She also loves milk, and this will be used as an incentive to come back to the enclosure after time in the playground. Mary also enjoys the various enrichment that is given to the orangutans to keep them busy including wild fruits, bamboo stuffed with pieces of fruit and whole coconuts. It is wonderful that Mary has been able to continue to develop her survival skills even during the COVID-19 restrictions. Well done Mary!