Natalee has continued to build upon her forest skills during Jungle School. She usually ventured out to Jungle School with her good friends Ung Aing or Marike. Natalee’s behaviour in the forest was dominated by moving and exploring the area. She also spent over 30% of her time feeding on forest food items. Natalee mostly ate liana fruits however she also ate other important food sources for wild orangutans including bark, flowers, stem, leaves and termites.
Natalee spent most of her time about 5-10 metres high in the canopy. In February, she was encountered building good quality nests 10 metres above the ground. This is an excellent development for Natalee. Orangutans learn how to build nests from their mothers, and it is a skill that can take years to perfect. In Jungle School, young orangutans often learn how to make nests from observing more experienced orangutans and trial and error. Nest building is a skill that orangutans need to have developed before being released. It is vital that orangutans can build a strong and comfortable nest to sleep in overnight high in the canopy, so they are safe from Sumatran tigers.
When the orangutans don’t attend Jungle School, they receive food five times a day in their enclosures. Their diet includes high carbohydrates (corn, sweet potatoes, and bananas), high fibre (fruits and vegetables), and protein (milk, tempeh, boiled eggs). Natalie loves all the fruits that are given out especially sweet fruits like pineapple, sawo and guava. She also enjoys using all the different enrichment items including puzzle feeders, leaves with honey, leaf parcels and fishing for food pieces with long sticks.
We are thrilled that Natalee is building on her forest skills in the jungle of Bukit Tigapuluh. Well done Natalee!
(Program run by Ministry of Environment and Forestry and FZS)