Orangutan Jungle School
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Playful Cinta loves to engage with her peers and babysitters, and will always find ways to surprise them; like throwing twigs in their direction from behind bushes, or suddenly crouching down in the path of an approaching babysitter. Nothing seems to deter her from her fun antics, and she is too quick for anyone to stop! She also has a special hiding place, away from the babysitters: up high in the trees. Cinta relies on her extraordinary climbing skills to quickly shoot up the trees and brachiate through the canopy, leaving her babysitters rushing to keep up. She certainly keeps the team on their toes!
Cinta's Background Story
Cinta was rescued on February 14, 2015, in Tumbang Jalemu village. She was around 5 months old at the time and weighed 2 kgs. Special guest and former president of Indonesia, Megawati Soekarnoputri, was visiting Nyaru Menteng at the time and gave her the name Cinta, which means ‘love’ in Indonesian. We certainly have a huge amount of love to give Cinta, the girl who was rescued on Valentines Day.
Jumbo is full of energy and loves nothing more than to play. Cinta, who arrived at the same time as Jumbo, absolutely adores him and will often approach him for a cuddle or play. He grudgingly puts up with this attention – although we all think he secretly enjoys it! Besides learning to climb trees, Jumbo is also learning how to build sturdy nests. He also passed on some important skills to other orangutans, including tips on how to forage for natural foods. He was often seen pointing out new foods to his juniors, who would then follow suit. What a great teacher!
Jumbo was sadly separated from his mother after hunting dogs scared her away in the forest. The trauma of losing his mother at such a young age is still evident, and Jumbo oftens wraps his arms around his body and hugs himself when he is surprised or scared.
Sweet Meryl is a great role model for the juniors in her group: She has been known to take Jelapat and others into the forest to explore and demonstrate how to forage and build nests. Her peers are happy to engage in the process and enthusiastically follow suit. But she didn’t want to venture deep into the forest. It was only after she was encouraged by her friends that she bravely started to explore her surroundings.
Meryl was rescued from captivity in early 2015, when she was just 8 months old. She was cared for by our vet, Meryl Yemima, whom she was later named after. After a period of quarantine and a complete health assessment, Meryl entered Baby School. She is now a member of Forest School Group 1.
Jelapat is an active 3-year-old male orangutan who likes to climb trees and play with his best friend, Talaken, in Forest School Group 1. Whenever Talaken is worried or in danger, Jelapat will come to the rescue and give her a protective hug. She also does the same for him. Jelapat is a playful character who loves to wrestle babysitters to indicate that he wants to play. He always approaches new faces and seeks their attention. As restless as he may be, he is still well liked by his peers!
Jelapat was being kept as a pet illegally by a local villager in Central Kalimantan. The local resident, who had named him Jelapat, claimed to have found him wandering alone and weak in a gold-mining area. Forest fires had devastated the area around that time, destroying all the trees and blanketing the region in a thick haze: Sadly, his mother undoubtedly perished in the fires or was killed intentionally.
Brave little Topan is now a member of our youngest group in the Forest School’s Nursery. Initially, she was uncomfortable around humans and other orangutans and avoided socializing. However, she has slowly grown to become a friendly nursery student and a brave little climber, who shows little hesitation when ascending tall trees or dangling from high branches. Topan is comparatively smaller than her peers, yet hugely courageous!
Topan was rescued on October 13, 2017, and arrived at Nyaru Menteng in a very weak state after being found by local villagers near a river. She was severely dehydrated, malnourished, and dangerously underweight at only 1.5 kg. After spending a few days in our intensive care unit, Topan’s condition improved, and she was able to join other babies in the quarantined section of the Baby House. Thanks to the dedication and loving care of our Nyaru Menteng team, Topan is slowly regaining her health and confidence.