The Sepilok Blog - Baby Alagu moves up to Forest School and other news

The latest orangutan orphan to be moved up to the outdoor nursery at Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre is called Alagu (pictured below). She was found alone on a plantation at just 8 months old and has been under Sepilok's care for 4 years. Until now she has been looked after along with the youngest orphans at the indoor nursery but it was recently decided that she was ready for the next stage of her rehabilitation.

Alagu 2

Alagu is very excited to be at the Outdoor Nursery and is enjoying making new friends. She has taken a particular liking to Beryl and Chikita who have been showing her how to climb, swing and forage. At Sepilok there is a successful buddy scheme. This is where the older orphans buddy up with the younger ones and transfer their skills to them. It is great to see this in action with little Alagu and the older orphans. She is fearless and carefree and confidently follows the older orphans to the furthest trees. She also has lots of fun hurtling round and performing somersaults!

There was a recent visit to the centre from Yokmal, one of the large, cheek padded males who lives in the reserve. He is a magnificent orangutan and many of the youngsters are quite scared of him. Little Alagu, on the other hand, was seen happily swinging above him, she was completely unfazed by this dominant male!

Enrichment Bundle

OAUK staff member, Pamik, who is a member of the care team at Sepiok, helps to provide the youngsters with enrichment activities. Recently, he made some bundles with treats inside for them to find and unwrap. They contained bananas, boiled eggs and peanut butter which were wrapped in leaves and vines. These bundles can help the youngsters to practice vital foraging skills as well as providing them with a nice treat. They certainly went down well.

One day recently, older orangutans Kacey and Kolapis were seen teaching youngster, Goman, how to climb in the forest and really swing from one tree to the next by bending and swaying until they could reach the next branch. It is always interesting to watch and see how the younger orangutans learn their life skills from the older and more competent ‘jungle wise’ orangutans.

Awantang Climbing

Clenan and her youngster Awantang (pictured left) have been at the centre quite a lot recently. Awantang is progressing amazingly well for her age. One day she was taken by the hand by Goman at the Outdoor Nursery and went with the other youngsters into the forest without her Mum for a while. The rangers all came out to watch. This was a big step towards independence for little Awantang. Her other favourite thing to do at the moment is to practice making leaf umbrellas, even when it isn't raining!


There have been quite a few sunny days at Sepilok recently and adult male, Ceria (pictured right), was spotted making the most of it. He was seen lying in a patch of sunshine grinning and revealing all his teeth and gums. He had white dust on his face which he appeared to have rubbed on himself as a kind of sun protection! He often likes to get up to mischief but on this occasion he looked very relaxed!