Update from our orang-utan partners in Borneo

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Our partners in Borneo, HUTAN – KOCP, have a dedicated orang-utan research team composed of 10 research officers working in a research site that is home to around 20 wild orang-utans.  HUTAN-KOCP have been studying these orang-utans for the past 15 years.  We're really proud to support the great work that HUTAN-KOCP do and were thrilled to receive this news recently about one of the orang-utans called Jenny.


 15 years!!!!    

Growing up wild in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah, Malaysia

Jenny (below left) is the first wild orang-utan habituated by KOCP in 1998 – She has been followed regularly for the past 15 years.  The orang-utan research team has watched her son Etin, grow up and leave his mother and now observes Jenny raising her daughter Malatus (below right).

Malatus is unusual as she was born while her mother was under observation just over 7 years ago. This past October 3rd was a proud but also bittersweet day for the research team as Malatus spent the night in her own nest away from her mother for the first time.

This is a milestone in orang-utan development indicating the offspring is now full weaned. On the morning of October 4th Jenny came to meet Malatus, so it is likely she knew generally where Malatus was on her first night alone. 

The following night Jenny made her nest and settled in. Malatus was still feeding and then she too started to build her own nest about 10 m away in the next tree. The team then witnessed Jenny peek up over the edge of her nest to take a quick look at her daughter’s nest building skills while Malatus wasn’t watching!

Though Malatus now ranges out of sight from her mother at times she mostly still sleeps very nearby. While males are expected to gradually leave their natal (birth) area female orang-utans tend to settle in adjoining home ranges.

(c) Hussain

(c) Felicity
 © HUTAN/Mohd. Daisah Bin Kapar © Felicity Oram


See the resemblance? Like mother like daughter! (Except daughter doesn’t have the beauty spot!) What a difference 7 years makes!

(c) Mincho

Malatus 1 day old - © HUTAN/Mohd Suhaile Bin Kahar

Below Jenny demonstrating nest building to son Etin when he was about 5-6 years old.

Jenny demonstrating nest building


Malatus and Jenny movement

© Map made by HUTAN/Eddie Ahmad

The map above shows ranging of mother Jenny (green) and daughter, Malatus

(purple) on 3 October 2012 . This was the first day they were observed to range independently since Malatus’s birth 18 June 2005 and the first night Malatus stayed in her own nest (Respective nest locations indicated in red.).

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