Sam and Sule (aka Cupcake) are both in a healthy condition and have been traveling further away from the release station area, so it is becoming more difficult for the trackers to follow them. They are still being monitored intensively and still receive supplement food when needed.
Recently, Sam has spent 53% of her active time foraging for food. 60% of her total feeding time has been spent eating various forest fruits which is excellent since fruits provide orangutans with the most calories and energy. Her favourite forest fruits include jirak and kelampaian. Sam was observed co-feeding and traveling with orangutans Evan, Tobi, Violet, Raja Tori, and Aprilia Rambo. However, Sam was afraid of Tobi, so she tried to avoid him.
Sule continues to grow in confidence and is quite independent, spending up to 85% of his time away from Sam. He has good survival skills including foraging, climbing and nest building. He spent 58% of his active time foraging for forest foods which is excellent, and he mainly ate jirak, liana and ficus fruits. He spent about 15% of his activity budget having some cuddles and suckling time with mum Sam.
These wonderful videos show Sam being pestered by her boisterous son when she just seems to want a moment's peace. The other video shows young Sule munching away on stem. Orangutans need to be able to recognise and access hundreds of different foods in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra. These include fruits, leaves, flowers, stem, cambium, bark, and insects. Fruits can be very scarce at times so orangutans need to be able to rely on other food sources to survive. It's excellent that Sule eats a wide variety of food and he seems to think that stem is pretty tasty!
We are delighted that our favourite mother and son continue to do well in the forest after Sam has overcome so much in her life.
(Program run by Ministry of Forestry and FZS)