Marsha is a very independent orangutan and an intrepid explorer. When out in the Care Center’s rehabilitation forest for the day, she explores every patch and corner of the forested area, right up to the edges of the clearings.
Unlike the other orangutans in her age group, who take more frequent breaks to rest, play, or nap, Marsha is always on the move. It can be difficult for her caregivers to keep up with her because she travels so fast and goes so far. She can be coaxed back to the main group and, if one of the other orangutans entices her, she will happily play but she is rarely the one to start the games.
Marsha enjoys searching for termite and ant nests in the soil. She follows her caregiver’s lead and catches on quickly. She starts with a stick but tosses it away, preferring to dig with her hands, throwing patches of dirt over her shoulder as she digs. When she comes across something unexpected – like a millipede – she’s cautious, not touching it directly but instead poking the ground with swift, precise movements, and then running away up a tree. She soon forgets having been scared and resumes her favorite activity – exploring the tree canopy.
Marsha is now making sleeping nests in the canopy. This is one of the crucial steps for young orangutans learning the skills they need to survive in the wild. However her favourite activities are still exploring and playing. As Marsha’s forest skills continue to improve, it brings her release into the wild ever closer.