Tag Archives: orangutan

Orangutan making nest

orangutan climbing tree

Someone read my article “Jackie, orangutan who owns a house” and asks, “does orangutan really live in house?” Definitely not! Orangutan spends its night by sleeping on the tree. As this great ape weight about 50 to 100 Kg, it needs something to support its body, so it builds a nest.

orangutan nest on tree
Pic: orangutan nest on the tree

If you walk in Borneo rainforest, you would see huge nest high on the tree. It can be the “bed” of the orangutan. To estimate the number of orangutan population, researchers will count the number of orangutan nests. Other great apes such as gorilla and chimpanzee also build nest. In fact, orangutan is the largest arboreal animal in the world.

orangutan at Kinabatangan
Last month I was on a river cruise at Kinabatangan River nearby Abai Village around 5PM. Suddenly my tour guide exclaimed, “Look! That’s a orangutan!” It was so far away that it took me some effort to spot this adult orangutan on top of a tree at river bank.

adult orang-utan
I had seen semi-wild orangutan in Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, but I only saw wild orangutan a few times.

orang-utan climbing tree
Our boat approached the tree of this orangutan slowly and quietly for closer look. Then it started to climb. “Oh no! It must have seen us and want to flee..” I thought I would lose sight of it very soon.

orangutan on tree branch
Wait… It stopped on a big branch and started bending branches.

orangutan making nest
“It’s making a nest,” my guide said, “orangutan builds a new nest every evening for its bedtime.”

orangutan bending branch
Laran (species: Neolamarckia cadamba) is the favorite tree of orangutan for making sleeping nest, so the villagers start to plant more Laran near their places, to promote conservation and nature tourism.

orangutan making nest on a tree
Not every tourist is lucky to see this. I was so excited! It was my day.

orangutan making bed
Orangutan is a tree dweller. It spends most of its time on tree, from foraging, feeding to sleeping. To avoid predators such as Clouded Leopard and Sun Bear, orangutan seldom comes to the ground. That’s why forest is an important habitat for orangutan, and that’s why they become endangered species, after people cut most of the rainforest. Tree is a Home to orangutan.

orang-utan preparing for bedtime
It was folding bigger branches to form a nest scaffold for its bed, then bending down and weaving small branches to form dense leaf covers on top and bottom.

orangutan going to sleep
Its skill was so sophisticated that a tree bed was constructed within 15 minutes. At last it laid down and made itself comfortable.

bedtime of orangutan
According to a research by scientists at the University of Manchester, orangutans show engineering skills when building nests.

tree bed of orang-utan
Such finding is based on a few observations:

  1. Orangutan chooses tree with good structural support for its nest. This is an intelligent decision rather than a random selection.
  2. It knows how to use strong branches as base and thinner branches for a springy mattress.
  3. To take advantage of the flexible branches for making of a tent-like nest, orangutan bends, but does not break the branches and twigs, to keep them attached around.

dusk at Kinabatangan
Again, orangutan impresses me… Good Night orangutan!

Photos taken in Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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Jackie, orangutan who owns a house

Jackie the orangutan of Poring

Jackie is a superstar of Poring. Everyone in Poring knows her. She is the most “human-like” orangutan that I’ve ever seen.

house of orangutan
The “house” of Jackie really makes me laugh. There is a hammock for her and Jackie sleeps in this house after 7pm every day. She is not locked inside a cage so she is free to leave anytime, but she has called Poring Hot Springs her home for over 2 decade (I wonder if she had tried the hot sulphur bath, haha).

tourists looking at Jackie
A friendly staff told me that I can see Jackie between 2pm to 4pm around Orchid Garden. I saw her the 1st time near Tropical Garden and she was drinking a big bottle of something like milk coffee. According to the tour guide, she was moody that day so every tourist kept a distance from her.

orang utan of Poring
Jackie didn’t finish the drink in one go. She just lazed there and enjoyed sipping her drink slowly. She didn’t show any sign of stress when we walked closer to her. Obviously, she is very used to human. In fact, she grows up with human.

Jackie drinking milk coffee
According to the staff, Jackie was found injured on her head in a nearby village 24 years ago. Her mother was missing so Jackie became an orphan orangutan. The villager sent her to Poring so Sabah Parks could take care of her. Normally, we send orphan orangutan to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center, where orphan orangutan is kept and trained. Probably the facility was not ready that time, so Jackie ends up staying with human until today.

orang utan Jackie and her home
Jackie is free to move around. Sometimes she goes into the forest nearby. She always come back home in the afternoon. She looks fat but still quite agile in her movement.

Jackie the orangutan

orang utan drinking fruit juice
Next day I saw her again in Orchid Garden. This time she was drinking fruit juice. Jackie takes fruit as well as rice. The staffs say she always tries to imitate human behavior, so they try to avoid smoking in front of her, LOL.

Jackie of Poring
97% of orangutan gene is similar to human. Jackie looks like a gentle old lady. When she is moody, she would grab your hand and don’t let go, then the staff has to force her to free you. But she never causes any major problem in the park. Anyway, I would advise you to keep a distance with this babe which is 3 times stronger than human.

Jackie eating betel nut
Above: Jackie eating betel nut

You may watch the following 1-min-20-sec video of Jackie:

Click Here for bigger video

Update (21 Mar 2013): Jackie has been transferred to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park for rehabilitation. She is healthy but severely obese, so she is on strict (healthy) diet and under the care of Sabah Wildlife Department. If she is fit and ready, she will be sent back to the wild (though she really loves to stay close with human).

More Photos

You may check out my photo album for more pictures:
Photo gallery of Jackie

Other articles about Poring Hot Springs Park:

  1. Poring Hot Springs bath
  2. Poring Canopy Walkway
  3. Gardens of Poring
  4. The Most Expensive Orchid in the world
  5. Accommodation at Poring
  6. Waterfalls of Poring
  7. Night walk in Poring rainforest

Photos taken in Poring, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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