World Health:It s a day of reckoning for big boy Beniwith the annual weighin at Jungle School.The nursery infants get to exploretheir new forest classroomsa rescue mission r...
Apr 24,2020 | Andrea
It's a day of reckoning for big boy Beniwith the annual weighin at Jungle School.The nursery infants get to exploretheir new forest classroomsa rescue mission requires a dramaticjourney through a devastated landscapeto collect a new orphanAnd an unusual lesson has Cinta andher classmates running for their lives.At the Borneo Orangutan Survival'sNyaru Menteng Jungle Schoolit's well past the usualstart time for lessons,but all the sleeping cages are still full.It's weigh in day!Everyone has to climb on thescales before classes commence.This could be a day ofreckoning for big boy Beni.He was just 4.3 kilogramswhen he was rescued as atwo year old a year and a half ago.Recently his growing girthhas been causing concern,putting even Valentino'spot belly in the shade.And his weight is makinghim clumsy in the forest.
Today will give the veterinarianteam the hard factthey need to decide his dietary future.The caregivers begin withthe youngsters of Group one.Sociable Meryl is first on the scales.And clocks in at a healthyweight for a three-year-oldorangutan of nearly 17 kilograms.Angkasa is less keen.Regular weight checks areimportant for monitoringthe health of all these growing youngsters.Many are malnourished andunderweight when they're rescued.Excellent nutrition helps transform allthese orphans during the time they're here.
This little guy has more thandoubled his weight since his arrival.It's been an easy start withthe Group one youngsters...but 18 cooped up pre-teensin Groups four and fivecould pose more of a challenge!On the fringe of the compound,one orangutan won't be takingpart in today's weigh in.Alba, the albino, is back in isolation.A routine health checkrevealed she has typhoid,one of the many human diseasesthat can be deadly for orangutans.Because Alba has regular blood teststhe vet team caught thebacterial infection early...she only has a mild fever and isbeing treated with antibiotics.Alba needs to be isolated to protectPujon and her other three friends.
But all this five-year-old knowsis that her playtime is over.The vet team here issuper-vigilant with quarantine,as this unusual school features moreorangutans socializing togetherthan anywhere on the planet.For now, Alba has to entertain herself.With the snow-white queen out of the way,Pujon is back as leader of the pack.But for how long?The Group Four and Fivestudents would usuallybe letting off steam in the forest by now,and everyone's keen to know what's going on.Little Erik kicks off for Group Four -he's one of the smallest for his age.At 8 years old he barelybreaks fourteen kilos.Just like humans, orangutanscome in all shapes and sizes.Surprisingly it's a smooth operationuntil it's Cinta's turn.This contrary 5-year-old alwayslikes to do things her own way.But these guys are the real rebels,who usually shun group activities.
And if they won't come to her,intrepid Yunitie will go to them!Everyone must get weighed!And these skilled baby sitters justabout always get their own way.Group Two is next.Bent's moment of truth is fast approaching.Three kilometers west ofthe main compound...the nursery infants wake up to the firstmorning in their brand new home,complete with an indoor playroom.The Biggies and Littlies groups are aboutto visit their new forest classroomsfor the very first time.It can be a bit overwhelmingfor these little orphansbut they have each other for comfort.The newly built boardwalktakes the one-to-Mo-year-old studentsin the Biggies group to a new playground,where the forest growth is muchdenser than their old classroom.
No-one seems in a hurryto be first to explore.Talakan pulls Jelapat back towardsthe safety of the wheelbarrow!As any parent knows, a bit ofbribery can work wonders......and a few fruit treatssoon get this party going.Adventurous Noni is first to explore.She loves to climb, and can't be botheredwaiting for her diaper to be removed.The rest can come off,now everyone's outside.The less-than-one-year-old Littlies arealso setting out on their own big adventure.Their new classroom is just50 metres into the forest.The babysitters know that "milk time"is the best strategy to help these toddlersfeel at home in unfamiliar surroundings.Mema would usually chase that bottle...but this new forest is scary!She spies another solution,sneaking in to steal Jahri's bottle.When she's caught, she throws a tantrum...tries to ignore everyone...but she just wants a bottle of her own!Finally, all's right with the world.Most of the Littlies begin to explore,even tiny Jahri who, like babies everywhere,tries out anything new in his mouth.
Now she's had her milk, Mema's expressionshows she approves of the new equipment.As usual, timid Wine wants constantcomfort from her caregiver.Wine won't let go of Vet Lia.She needs to find her confidenceif she's going to be able to progressin forest school.50 metres further into the forest,the Biggies are getting into theswing of their new playground.Kalanis gets a tickle sessionfrom Babysitter Sri......which he loves as much as a human kid...although his laughter is silent dueto different shaped vocal cords.Star climber Noni still diapered upis the only preschooler brave enoughto really explore the new forest.This little adventurerloves the taller trees,while everyone else sticksclose to the caregivers.As these students settle intotheir new jungle classroom......back at base, there's an emergency.A call has alerted the rescue teamthat a baby orangutan is being heldin a village in a remote mining area.The team has little informationother than the location.They've several hours drive ahead of them.
The mission takes themthrough rural villages......which then give way to ashocking lunar landscapedenuded by small scale gold mining.It's a stark reminder of the habitat lossthat's putting wild orangutansin danger of extinction.The reduced ground cover alsoincreases the risk of floodingin the surrounding country.Less than halfway through the journey,the rescue mission hits a road block.Borneds tropical rain can quickly turnhastily constructed roads into a mud bath.There's no way round, but fortunatelyhelp is at hand to clear the way.Now it's the team's turn totry and make it through.They're back on the road,but they've got time to make up if they'veany hope of getting back to base today.At Nyaru Menteng,the scales have reached Group Two's dorm.Beni is blissfully unaware thathis future is in the balance....as he watches his classmates go first.As usual, class clown Valentino triesto turn everything into a game.He may not look it today,but Yutris will grow up to be twicethe weight of his female classmates.
At this age, though, there's no sizedifference between males and females.Now for the grand finale.Beni finally waddles towards the scales.Orangutans are championsat conserving energy,an adaptation evolved to cope withseasons of food scarcity in the forest .But Beni has taken sloth to extremes,and the result is even worsethan the team feared.At nearly 30 kilograms,Beni weighs twice as much as his classmates,and his health is on the line.His banana intake hasalready been restricted,but now the team will have toconsider more drastic action.And Beni isn't going to like it.In the forest,the Group One youngstersenjoy their mid-morning snack.It's a social time for most of the group,but tiny Malika still keeps to herself.She had a very close bondwith her human foster motherand doesn't know how torespond to other orangutans.
When her classmates take to thetrees, Malika sticks to ground level.She's the worst climber in the group,so it's sensible that theclumsy two-year-old practiceswhere she doesn't have far to fall.She gets marks for persistence...if not for technique.Stilt walking proves to be a step too far.Poor Malika seems defeated.Being an orangutan is just too hard.Her antics attract Mumut's attention.It's as though he's concernedwhen she doesn't get up,and he seems to be encouraging her.Malika tries to ignore him,but Mumut is persistentand she responds.It looks like Malika hasmade her first friend.This could be a turning pointfor Group one's little loner.Supervising teknisi Mulyonois a man on a mission.....as he heads to GroupFour's forest classroom.He has a very special lesson plannedfor these unsuspecting youngsters...prompted by an uninvitedvisitor to jungle school.Borneo is home to around onehundred and sixty species of snake,many of them venomous.Including this keeled pit viperthat strayed into the compoundfrom the surrounding forest.
The staff quickly captured the intruderand Mulyono has decided it's time forGroup fours' lesson in snake awareness.Mulyono doesn't usuallyattend forest school classes,so as soon as they spot him,the students can tell thisis no ordinary lesson.Although they don't know what's in the sack,Mulyono's demeanour showsit's something to take seriously.Jumbo and Yoko try to scare him off!Six year old Jati is braver......she cautiously uses a stick firstbefore she risks touching the sack.It's too much for Jumbo -and he does just what he would in thewild if he was soared or confused -he takes refuge with his surrogatemum, babysitter Ruseni.Liti and Lanting comfort each otherin the face of this mysterious threat.The“ Cm appears.As ever, this curious tomboywants to be in on the action.She joins Liti and Lanting.No-one knows quite how the group will reactas Mulyono prepares to revealthe contents of the sack.
As the regular afternoonshower cools everything down,11-year-old Clara enjoys some quiet timewith her baby at the main compound.Clarita was less than 2 weeks oldwhen she was kidnapped for 3 daysby a male orangutanon one of the pre-release islands.Just seven weeks after the motherand baby's emotional reunion,little Clarita is transformed.Her painful rash caused by oilsecreted by the Rengas treeis almost completely healed.Mum and baby have been in isolation asthey recovered and renewed their bond.Now the vet team thinks they are readyto prepare for rejoining the community...a necessary step to get back on trackfor eventual release into the wild.The scales are back in action asthis pair get a medical check.These two haven't let go of eachother since they were reunited,and a joint weight is good enough for now.
The patient mum shows hertrust in this caring team,but gently makes her point whenshe thinks her baby's had enough.Both get another application of the ointmentthat has helped clearup the blistering rash.Clara is still wary of other orangutansafter the traumaof having Clarita snatched away.So while the school groupsare in their forest classrooms,the team allows the littlefamily some outside time.But the protective momkeeps an anxious watchand won't relax herguard to enjoy her picnic.For now, her private enclosureprovides the security she needs.But Clara will soon have to brave encounterswith other orangutansif this family is ever goingto have a chance to live wild.
Six hours drive to the north,the rescue team arrives atthe tiny mining village...where the community is expecting them.Shopkeeper Listi has beencaring for this little orangutansince he was found 15 days ago.Listi and her family have already formeda strong attachment to the trusting infant,who they named Josh.Although they would love tokeep the baby orangutan,the family knows it's illegalbut more importantly,it wouldn't be right for Josh.The B05 Foundation's Jungle Schooloffers the little orphan his only chanceof returning to the wild one day.Vet Arga introduces himself to Josh...with a milk treat to gain his trust.The infant will have a thoroughmedical exam back at base,but he seems to have been well cared for,and Arga prepares him for the journey.The team needs to leave soonif they're to get through the worstof the roads before they lose daylight.All captive orangutans are documented,and the Indonesian Nature ConservationAgency records the handover.Little Josh has won this family's hearts,and letting go is hard,but everyone wants what'sbest for the little orphan.
A new phase is about to begin for Josh...as the team sets out on thelong journey back to base.At Group Four's classroom,supervisor Mulyono steps up thepressure at "snake school".Liti, Lanting and Cinta are the bravest...and then little Erik joinsCinta for a closer look.This snake is rubber,but it looks real enoughto the orangutans.This response is justwhat Mulyono hoped for!Jumbo tries to take refuge...but the babysitters know these studentslearn by watching and copying,so they all play their part.Ruseni takes the Oscar!Liti holds onto Lanting for dear life.Terrorizing these youngsters may look meanbut one day this lessoncould save their lives...once they realize that cuddlingwhile running is not very practical.Cinta is full of bravado,but Mulyono calls her bluff.She's furious with that snake.She and Jati get top marks forclimbing as far away as they can.Their shaking branches are meantto chase the "snake" away.
It's been a scary afternoon,but the orphanshave learned an important lesson......and the snake has done its job!Three kilometres across the forest,the Biggies group settlesinto its new classroom.It looks like this jungle gymgets a seal of approval.Milk time gets everyone togetherbefore the ride home.Spiky haired Rona volunteersto assist with the milk mix...and scores an extra drinkout of Moci's bottle.Over at the Littlies,needy Wine still can't bepersuaded to leave vet Lia.Well if she won't go to them,the rest of the groupwill have to go to her.Mema encourages Wine to play.....but she's still needy.But then, as Mema grabs a snack,Wine finally leaves Lia's lapand hesitantly, she starts to climb.
And discovers it can be fun!Each new orphan has their own timetablefor finding their place in the group...sometimes its incremental...sometimes instant.Wine is transformed.She even tries to play with Jengyos.This could be a real breakthrough.When it's time for the Biggiesto board the wheelbarrow bus...as always it's Jelapat and Talakenwho don't want to leave.Come on, everyone. Time to go home.Back at the main compound,it's chill out time at theend of the schoolday.It's been a stressful afternoonfor drama-queen Cintalearning about the dangers of the forest.So what better way for everyoneto forget the cares of the daythan a special game that includestasty honey water.This is designed to promote dexterityand reflexes...and comes with challenges...Fathia is beside herselfwhile Cinta bags hertreat via her hairy arms.
Yutris smartly avoids the barrel scrum...and practices stick foraging......a skill Beni also enjoys ...possiblyas it requires minimum effort.The end of the day gives vet Agusthe chance to do his roundsin the relaxed atmosphere of the lawn.He can give simple treatmentswithout a visit to the clinic.Moza gets an anti-bacterialspray for a mouth infection.Agus plans to see Beni next.But this vet is very popularwith his patients,which can make it trickyto get through his rounds.Beni is reluctantly draggedaway from his honey.Agus needs to advise on diet changessince the disastrous weigh in.And Bent's been showingsigns of a minor gum infection.But when Agus gets close, there'sclearly something else going on.Bent's breath stinks!This could be a sign ofsomething more serious,and the big boy is booked for anurgent appointment with the dentist.While the staff are occupied,9-year-old female Rintohas escaped behind the security fence.She's managed to priseopen a section of the fence...leaving it wide open for other rebels.
One by one the naughty kids escape...but they've been busted!This breakout has a silver lining.The fugitives are showing an initiativethat they'll need in the wild...and they're foraging for themselves.But it's a headache for thebabysitters as bedtime approaches.No-one's interested in milk,so babysitter Sri tries a coconut.It entices some rebels to ground level......and one by one the escapees return home.All except ringleader Rinto.At 9 years old, she's a flight risk,and the team is anxious to get her back.As she perches on the fence,a classic strategy is brought into play.Babysitter Haniati studiouslyignores Rintoas she shares out treats.It doesn't take long!It's straight off to the dorm for Rinto,and her report card is marked!Despite the trouble she's caused,today's escapade gives Rinto a gold starfor her potential wild future!It's midnight when the rescueteam finally makes it back to base.Little Josh is wide awake ashe arrives at his new home.He's already bonded with vetArga, and doesn't want to let go.His world has been turned upsidedown for the second time.But the team does its best to makethe little orphan feel secure.A strange lump on Josh's wristrings alarm bells for the vets.It could indicate a broken bone.It's too late to do anything tonight,and Josh doesn't seem to be in pain,so for now the lump is cleaned, and anx-ray will be organized for the morning.Until then, there's no knowingwhat impact this injury could haveon the little orangutan's future.
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