Cece had been progressing well in jungle school in the Bukit Tigapuluh jungle up until April 2020. She was traveling further and foraging in different trees. She had even started to explore the art of building a nest in the canopy. Unfortunately, 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 currently not taking place. All orangutans have had to remain in the pre-release enclosures for the last few months in an effort to protect them as much as possible from COVID-19.
It is vital during this challenging time, that both the mental and physical health of orangutans at care centres is of the highest priority. Orangutans that can no longer attend Forest School are receiving extra enrichment to keep them busy in their enclosures. Sourcing natural forest food items is especially important so the orangutans can continue to become exposed and accustomed to a variety of food sources they can access in the forest. These include various fruits, leaves, stem, flowers, cambium, and termites.
Cece has bonded with a young male orangutan named Dennis and so they have been kept in the same enclosure over the last few months. Denis will often follow Cece around and hug her tightly. They enjoy playing together and don’t seek out as much attention from the orangutan keepers now that they have each other. Cece and Dennis are developing their skills at working out different enrichment puzzles and feeders. They need to learn more about natural forest food items, nesting and climbing skills. The keepers bring the orangutans as much natural forest food as possible including termite nests so Cece and the other orangutans can improve their technique with eating this protein rich food source. Cece and Dennis greatly enjoy foraging for termites!
Little Cece has coped well with the current situation and it is very much hoped that she can soon put her jungle skills back to use.