Gokong has been spending more time at the new forest school area at the SOCP Orangutan Quarantine Centre which is fantastic! He is spending most of his time off the ground in forest school, however he will sometimes come to the ground to play and wrestle with other orangutans. Gokong is able to climb in the trees however he is not yet skilled at transferring between trees.
When trying to move from one tree to another, rather than swinging and reaching out for the next tree whilst still holding onto his branch, he tends to jump. Jumping between trees is not a sensible or natural behavior for orangutans due to their large body size. This greatly increases the chances of an orangutan falling to the forest floor due to breaking or missing branches when they jump. This can result in serious injuries. Therefore, the focus is now for Gokong to have the opportunity to learn how to swing and reach for branches when transferring between trees. Sometimes when the branch of the next tree is too far, Gokong decides to stay in that tree while the other skilled orangutans will climb high so the tree will bend and position their body to move to the next tree. Hopefully, Gokong will soon learn from his counterparts that this is a far safer option for him!
Gokong is in excellent health and now weighs 13.2kg. At the time of the previous update, Gokong had developed the undesirable behaviours of always trying to spray water or urinate on keepers that were passing by his cage. This behavior is only observed when Gokong is in the cage and not when he is at forest school, suggesting he most likely does this when he is bored. Gokong’s welfare has certainly improved since being able to attend regular forest school outings which is very positive. With his growing size and independence, there was some concern that Gokong may soon be too large and strong to ensure he could be safely brought back from his forest school outings. However, Gokong is still easy to manage, which is very fortunate as it means he can continue to develop his forest skills before he eventually makes the journey to the Jantho release site. Thank you to all of Gokong’s adopters for helping him on his journey to freedom.