Wow look how Gokong has grown and matured! He has reached that awkward adolescent stage and is developing his beard. Although Gokong is dominant in his group he is not aggressive towards other orangutans in the group. He prefers to play alone rather than join other orangutans. He also does not take food from any other orangutans. Gokong is more aggressive to the staff, especially female staff members, than to orangutans. He will sometimes use the branches and leaves given to the orangutans from the keepers to try and poke the staff or throw the sticks at them! He will also sometimes try and pull on their clothes. Gokong is more interested in human activities around the centre compared to what the other orangutans are up to.
COVID-19 has meant lots of changes for both orangutans and staff at the orangutan rescue and rehabilitation centres throughout Indonesia. Staff are having limited contact with orangutans and forest school is not taking place. Staff are working extra hard to provide more enrichment for the orangutans in enclosures to keep them mentally and physically healthy. Gokong is in good physical health and is an active orangutan with a good appetite.
Unfortunately, Gokong just missed out on being able to travel to the Jantho release site earlier this year due to the COVID-19 restrictions. As part of SOCP’s precautionary measures, they have closed all stations to outside persons temporarily, and all transfers of orangutans to the release sites have been paused, in order to minimise the risk of virus transmission to the wild population. As soon as they are able, SOCP will restart orangutan transfers. Once transferred, Gokong will continue to learn survival skills in forest school in the actual Sumatran rainforest.
It is exciting that Gokong is so close to taking his last steps before forest freedom and we will keep you updated on his progress.