Yokmal - The largest orangutan in the reserve pays a visit to Sepilok!

Yokmal, a very large male orangutan who usually lives deep in the Kabili Reserve has recently paid a visit to Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre. He is not seen at Sepilok very often but when he does visit he tends to cause quite a stir! 


This large male has fully developed cheek pads, also known as flanges. Only some male orangutans will ever grow flanges and this signifies that they are dominant. Males such as Yokmal grow much larger and heavier than non-dominant males and also develop throat sacks so that they can make deep and far reaching calls across the forest. There are a handful of other dominant males in the Kabili reserve but Yokmal is the largest to have been seen and he is quite a sight to behold! He is very powerful and the younger orangutans are cautious when he is around. Even when he is high up in the trees Yokmal is a very imposing figure. He is also rather beautiful and has a two-tone coat of hair which is a dark chocolate colour underneath with flashes of bright orange on top. 

The wooden posts and ropes at the centre which the rehabilitant orangutans happily swing about on everyday were shaking violently under his weight and he batted away macaques without a second glance! Some of the females were happy to be approached by Yokmal during his visit but all of the other males scarpered quickly! His visit was only brief, he stayed for an hour or so before retreating back into the forest. He really is an impressive orangutan.

Yokmal was a rehabilitated orangutan himself and was released about 12 years ago. He is now very wary of humans which is a good sign that he is living a successful life in the wild.  

Yokmal Swinging