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June 09, 2017
Caring for orangutans is a huge responsibility and our Babysitters play a critical role in the overall rehabilitation process for orangutans at our centres in Nyaru Menteng and Samboja Lestari.
The majority of orangutans arriving into our care are stillvery young, and have been separated from their mothers; almost always forcefully. Theirdistressing experiences leave them traumatised and robbed of the opportunity to learn the life skills they need from their mothers. As orphans, these orangutansare deprived of the love and care their mothers would have provided, which is vital in building confidence in these young babies.
This is where our heroic babysitters step in.
Assuming the role of surrogate mother, a babysitter will take an incoming baby orangutan under her wing right from the very first day of quarantine. Each babysitter developspersonal relationships with the babies under their care; they feed them, provide comfort, nurse them when they are sick, ease their fears, and help build self-confidence. They are these infants 24/7 lifeline.
After a period of compulsory quarantine, it is time for baby orangutans to mix in the Nursery Group. Here, the babies start to socialise with other orangutans of the same age. The same routine continues when baby orangutans reach Forest School, where babysitters still supervise and are on handto assist. In Forest School, babysitters teach young orangutans how to climb trees, build nests, identify natural foods and forage, and identify predators. Our babysitters carry out their important task armed with a huge amount of love and patience.
Wecurrently care of more than 600 orangutans in both our Samboja Lestari and Nyaru Menteng rehabilitation centres. Babysitters play a vital role in building an orangutan’s character and skills in the first six years of rehabilitation, right before technicians take over. The strong foundation that our babysitters lay isa key factor in an orangutan’s ability to survive and thrive upon release to a natural forest.
Today is Sanctuary Caregiver Day, and BOS Foundation is celebrating the dedication and efforts of our babysitters! Thanks to the love and guidance provided by our team ofbabysitters, orangutans undergoing rehabilitationat our centres have the best chance of surviving later in the wild. Without our babysitters, we simply would not be able to help save orangutans. Thank you all for your love and unwavering dedication!
Text by: BOSF Communication Team HQ
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