Cece has had a very exciting few months! Recently, she moved from the baby house to the small socialisation group, along with her good friends Kemala and Bobina.
Cece was very nervous for the first few days whilst meeting other orangutans, new keepers and having less human contact. However, she settled in quickly, and is now happy and active in her new group. The social group allows Cece to continue to learn more natural orangutan behaviors through socialisation, making her much less dependent on her human caregivers. She is also further developing the skills necessary for returning to the wild.
There has been a significant change in Cece’s behaviour since her move. While she was one of the most attention-seeking orangutans in the baby house group, her days are now fully occupied by the other orangutans and enrichment in the small social group. She now hardly ever comes down from the top of the cage when humans are near. Cece is watching the older orangutans “fish” for food using sticks, a skill that, once developed, will be useful for getting tree sap and insects in the wild. She is also starting to carry branches to the nesting baskets at night.
Each week, Cece still goes outside to forest school, and once she is in the trees, she no longer wants to come down! She has even begun kiss-squeaking and throwing branches at the humans below, behaviours that are normal of wild orangutans. We are extremely proud of Cece’s development in these recent months, especially as we were previously worried that she was too human-oriented and would have a difficult rehabilitation. Cece’s skill development gives us hope that in the coming years, she will be a good candidate for release back into her natural habitat, helping to form a new wild population of Sumatran orangutans. Well done Cece!