Hope You’re Growing Up Well, Ayu!

Date Posted: May 13, 2022
Text by: BOS Foundation Post Release Monitoring team at Lesik camp, Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan, edited by Orangutan Outreach

Ayu is a female orangutan who was born in the wild forest of Kehje Sewen in the East Kalimantan province of Indonesian Borneo. Ayu’s mother is Lesan, a rehabilitated orangutan who was released back to freedom in the forest ten years ago. Lesan was released together with Hamzah, a male. In the following years, the Post Release Monitoring (PRM) team often observed Lesan and Hamzah together. Four years after their release, Ayu was born! The team believes that handsome Hamzah is Ayu’s father.

Ayu is not quite ready to live independently in the forest. Baby orangutans stay with their mothers for 7-8 years. It takes that long for a youngster to learn all necessary survival skills, such as finding food and avoiding danger. It seems Ayu needs more time together with Lesan to gain knowledge and confidence, and prepare to live alone in the wild forest.

For now, Ayu still stays close to Lesan as much as possible. Ayu will cry if Lesan leaves her for even a moment. Ayu also seeks comfort from Hamzah, who still hangs out nearby Lesan. This is a bit unusual. In the wild, males are solitary and have no involvement in raising a baby. It is unique to see this family together!

We are excited to watch you grow, Ayu! You will soon learn that the forest is not that scary. It is a wonderful, beautiful place that will provide you with food, friends, and family! We will do our part to protect your forest home, and you do your part by growing up well!

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