The Perth Zoo family has cause for double celebrations, it’s Dinar’s 35th birthday and Cece, an orphaned rehabilitated orangutan, has been sighted thriving in the wild!
While Dinar went ape over his treats at his Perth Zoo primate party, the celebrations continued in Sumatra with successful news from our field partners about a little five-year-old female orangutan, Cece.
Cece, who likely watched her Mum be killed before she was trafficked into the illegal wildlife trade, has been cared for at the Open Orangutan Sanctuary in Sumatra, attending jungle school in the hope she could be given a second shot at wild life.
She graduated and was released into the Bukit Tigapulugh ecosystem in October 2021, and just recently has been sighted by the orangutan trackers thriving in the natural jungle! She’s in very good health and condition (yay) and learning how to be a proper wild orangutan (exactly what we aim for)!
The youngster has been observed foraging for food – enjoying the fruits of the forest like malabai, liana and belimbing – but is still being supported with additional food thanks to the orangutan trackers who are monitoring her wild progress.
Cece has also learned to stay up high away from predators (humans and tigers) and has learnt how to build a nest and sleep on it. She’s come such a long way. Previously she would ‘sleep rough’ resting on a tree bough or using someone else’s old nest, but now, she’s learnt how to make her own bed!
As orangutans are critically endangered and facing the heart-breaking reality of extinction within our lifetime, each individual success story makes our hearts sing.
Perth Zoo is proud to partner with the Frankfurt Zoological Society to help protect wild orangutans in the Bukit Tigapuluh ecosystem in Sumatra, Indonesia. This includes rehabilitating and reintroducing ex-pet and illegally trafficked orangutans back into the jungle, as well as funding Wildlife Protection Units, conducting habitat and wildlife monitoring and running community education programs.
Sumatran Orangutans have an average lifespan of up to 45 years old, but sadly many in the wild do not get the chance to grow so old. In the wild, the great ape species faces the harsh reality of poaching and habitat loss, leaving them to compete for the limited resources needed to survive.
Dinar and the group of seven other orangutans who call Perth Zoo home act as important ambassadors, helping to raise awareness about the plight of orangutans like Cece.
But there is always more to be done when it comes to fighting extinction. So, if you’d like to give Dinar a birthday present, please donate today and help us return more little orphaned orangutans, like Cece, back to the jungle.