The Little Rock Zoo

.The Little Rock Zoo needs to step up and care for the animals better! Please read the several artciles here with deaths, sickness and a bald chimp!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dodo, the Orangutan is doing better at the Samboja Lestari Forest School

Little Dodo is not so little anymore… but he's still as naughty as before-- and still somewhat slower than most of the other orangutans his age.

Just before Christmas I joined Togu Manurung, the CEO of BOS Indonesia, and we visited the new Forest School. Dodo was far away from the other 17 orangutans playing in the trees of Samboja Lestari, but when he saw me he instantly recognized me and came straight into my arms, holding me tightly and looking deep into my eyes. After only a minute we were both up to date on things again! Yep, things are still the same, you are still the boss, and Dodo is still the belligerent little bully moving in rather haphazardly way through the trees. And then he felt it necessary to check out Togu close up! Here we see a little series of pictures of not how Togu is figuring out Dodo, but rather the other way around!

It started all rather innocent, Dodo using his innocent looking eyes to approach Togu and eventually being content to be held by the CEO of BOS. I was very happy to see how open Togu was to the experience. Even a little bite test did not make him feel uneasy!

So Dodo had established the fact these people seemed all to be part of the club and would follow the "general rules". With that fact established he now had to find out how far he could go in trying to establish dominance over the boss from Bogor.

Using a liana Dodo swung out repeatedly towards Togu, to see how he would react, pretending to grab him with some teeth bared. He obviously enjoyed his little game a lot and some other orangutans like Marlene joined in the harassment. Later Marlene would be held by Togu and when Togu wanted to let her go he did not understand that she wanted him to carry her out of the forest to the forest school cages, because she had had enough exercise for that day. So Marlene made sure Togu would know for the next time-- and grabbed his legs with her very strong arms. I decided to take her and brought her back as she wanted.

Dodo is still very much a hyperactive orangutan and he clearly has some problems with his attention span as well. He makes all kinds of aerial capers that are not always without real danger. Too often he just lets himself fall from the branches and lands with a big thud on the forest floor. His back had a lot of scratches indicating that this was a very frequent habit of his. What boundless energy this little fellow from East Kalimantan has! And how reckless he dares to move through the trees-- often only hanging from and swinging with one arm instead of the safe form of arm-to-arm orangutan movement known as brachiating.
Dodo, who weighted only 3.5 kilograms when I first held him, now weighs around 11 kilograms and has little cheekpads, which is indicative of a very high degree of machismo and activity. His underlip tends to hang somewhat open, something we often see with Down Syndrome orangutans.

Physically, Dodo is doing well. His weight development has progressed normally, his hair is rather short and sparse, but this is because of the high activity level that results in the breaking of many hairs when he rolls around his sleeping cage or on the forest floor.

Dodo's biggest problem is his immaturity and risky behavior. With only smaller fellow orangutans around, he is not warned, as his mother would have done in the wild when he is behaving wrongly. Dodo still has a way to go-- but I am happy to report that he is improving significantly.

Story Credit and wonderful photos here

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for re-posting our update on Dodo, Judie. I invite you and your readers to explore the Orangutan Outreach website and join us on Facebook.

    Keep up the great work in 2011!

    Rich   {:(|}