Monkey Word has welcomed a new orang-utan recently, 4-year-old Bornean orang-utan Kayan, and introduced her to a new adopted family. Born at Twycross Zoo, Kayan was sadly orphaned when her mother died last year.
Orang-utan youngsters need and want to be with their mothers, as they would normally stay close to Mum for up to seven years. They have the longest childhood of all primates, next to humans. It was vital that Kayan had the chance to be with others of her own kind, and so the search was on to find her a home.
Monkey World is home of the British & European Crèche for Orphaned Orang-utans, with a dedicated nursery specially designed to develop strength, social skills and climbing confidence. Here infants can grow-up with other orang-utans, supervised by expert Primate Care Staff and an orang-utan matriarch. By growing up with others of their own kind, the Monkey World crèche aims to break the cycle of abandonment that happens when orphaned orang-utans mature and give birth to their own offspring. To date Monkey World has provided a home to 22 orphan orang-utans from 9 different countries.
Monkey World Director, Dr Alison Cronin travelled to Twycross to meet the youngster and move her back to Dorset safely. She said “Kayan is a very confident youngster despite being an orphan and travelled very well. The relationship between mother and child is incredibly close, long, and important to the development of many aspects of orang-utan behaviour so we were very happy to work with Twycross Zoo to give Kayan what she needs which is a family of her own kind. Kayan will be joining an international crowd of orphan orang-utans here at the park.”
Bornean orang-utans are critically endangered in the wild, and at risk of extinction due to deforestation and hunting from the wild for the illegal pet trade and tourist industry. Many of the orang-utans at Monkey World were rescued from the black-market trade, having been stolen from the wild as youngsters after their mothers were hunted and killed. Monkey World provides a home to the refugees of this illegal and barbaric trade, rehabilitating them and providing a specialist environment where youngsters mature, learning and developing the skills of adults.
In just one week Kayan has now met her new international family, including her adopted mum Oshine (from the pet trade in South Africa), her older brother Bulu Mata (an orphan from Budapest Zoo), and her two sisters Rieke and Mimi (orphans from Berlin & Moscow Zoos). She is now living with her adopted family 24/7 and seems to have been working on international relations between the UK and Russia, as she has found a close comrade in Mimi, from Moscow zoo! The pair have been playing long games of tag, using blankets to blindly chase one another!
Monkey World is pleased to be able to offer a home to Kayan and allow her to have a family of her own again.