Kukur: Fall 2021
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A lot has happened in Kukur's life since our last update. First, he moved from the 'little boys' island (Strum island) to the 'bigger boys' one (Monkey island). When Kukur first arrived at the rehabilitation center, he was very quiet and reserved, and would rarely socialize with other orangutans. This reaction is quite common among orangutans who are innocent victims of the pet trade. It may be attributed to losing their essential bond with their mothers during the critical learning period of their childhood, or some other form of trauma. As the vast majority of traded orangutans fall victim to intentional cruelty and abuse, or sometimes even unintentional cruelty such as was the case with Kukur — it takes time for them to readapt to a new environment. Thankfully, after this period of adaptation, Kukur is doing much better! He loves to hang out with his island buddies exploring the forest on Monkey island. He is beginning to enjoy his adolescence.
Kukur, like so many other captive ‘pet’ orangutans, was fed an inappropriate human-based diet while being held in horrid living conditions. As a result, he is still on a supplemental diet which is prepared especially for him to ensure a well balance diet aiding his growth. Although he was living in horrid conditions, his owner used to spoil him resulting in Kukur's ‘picky’ behavior with food. He also sometimes has temper tantrums, which are usually brought on by being left alone by the animal keepers or babysitters. With time, we expect him to get over this separation anxiety.
Fortunately, Kukur has shown great progress. He is now eating a much more diverse diet and enjoying the companionship of his forest school classmates... What he is most lacking is nest-building abilities! The caregiving team will continue to monitor his progress in this activity and we'll let you know how he's doing next time!
Keep up the great work, Kukur! You're in a good, safe place now... 🙂