Fostering appropriate behavior in rehabilitant orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus)

  • Published source details Descovich K.A., Galdikas B.M., Tribe A., Lisle A. & Phillips C.J. (2011) Fostering appropriate behavior in rehabilitant orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus). International Journal of Primatology, 32, 616-633.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Fostering appropriate behaviour to facilitate rehabilitation

Action Link
Primate Conservation
  1. Fostering appropriate behaviour to facilitate rehabilitation

    A study in the wet season in 2009 in two rainforest patches in the Orangutan Care and Quarantine Centre, Indonesia found that captive orphaned juvenile Bornean orangutans Pongo pygmaeus that were fostered to facilitate reintroduction fed on fewer species and spent less time building nests than wild orangutans. Orphans fed on 72 different wild food species, mainly leaves (18%), fruit (15%), bark (7%), and invertebrates (7%), whereas wild orangutans fed on more than 300 different foods, mainly fruit (70%), bark (20%) and leaves (15%). Orphans spent 3% of their time building nests, which corresponded to half of the time spent by wild orangutans. In addition, orphans most commonly travelled by quadrupedal arboreal locomotion, a form of locomotion similar to that used by wild orangutans in Sumatra. Over a 5-month period, a random sample of 40 male and female juvenile orangutans of varying health was observed during three 5-hour excursions to each one of two nearby forest patches. Individuals were provided a midday feed of rice or fruit.

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