Popi - Our Adopted Orangutan

Over a number of years i have sponsored orphaned orangutan, who have gone on to become healthy, happy adults and now it is Popis turn for our love.  Each time you purchase from us, just know that a small amount of that purchase amount will be going out monthly to help this beautiful wee girl, Popi. Adoption helps her to find her jungle freedom by supporting jungle school training, food and medical costs and intensive post-release monitoring to ensure that they are both safe and thriving in their true jungle home, which ideally is the end goal.

Anyway, i thought i would include you all in on Popi's journey and will post here any updates on her progress.  Below is our adoption certificate along with Popi's journey so far.  I want to thank you all for being a part of this and if you would like to adopt an orangutan you can do so at https://www.orangutan.org.nz there are many more that need our help xxx

OCTOBER 2017 Popi’s main baby-sitter, Wety Rupiana has been a constant in Popi’s life and has helped her develop more independence. She spent a lot of time playing with Popi in the baby house, encouraging her to climb and build her strength. If Popi became afraid and cried then Wety would cuddle her until she calmed down. Infant orangutans are always with their mother who provide them with constant affection and security. Wety became this for Popi and after some time she began to cry less and become more confident.

Popi began attending forest school and has been many times in the last few months. She used to sleep or cry a lot during forest school. Rather than climb, she preferred to spend forest school time being held and chewing on the bark of trees. Over time Popi began to climb a few metres at a time. Recently she has climbed to the tops of trees up to 30m tall!

Popi now sleeps in the enclosure next to the clinic and has not yet transitioned to the socialisation enclosure with the other young orangutans. Popi still needs to learn how to make a nest from branches and leaves however she is still very young and has ample time to learn.

The COP Borneo orangutan keepers often make enrichment for the orangutans at the rehabilitation centre and Popi is no exception. An example of this are hollow pieces of bamboo stuffed with pieces of fruit and leaves and drizzled with honey. The orangutans need to use their fingers and sticks to poke the treats out of the bamboo. Enrichment like this encourages foraging behaviour and problem- solving skills. It also ensures the orangutans are kept busy and do not become bored.  Normally Popi would have her mum to show her how to obtain tricky forest food items so she often isn’t sure how to use the enrichment. Of course her caring keepers help Popi to figure these things out.

Popi is certainly developing quickly. Her strength is beginning to show, her grip is no longer weak and her bites are no longer playful! Popi is well on her way to learning more skills that will help her return to the forest one day.

APRIL 2018 Little Popi at COP Borneo is increasingly showing her stubborn side. Popi often doesn’t want to climb at forest school and if this is the case she will sometimes roll around on the forest floor or hide behind trees and bite on the bark. Even if her keeper encourage her to climb she often wont.

However, when Popi chooses to climb she is certainly a brave little orangutan and even makes her keepers worry. Sometimes she climbs very thin trees that will begin to bend because of her weight and her keepers worry she will fall. So far Popi has managed to avoid a fall and she even tries to grab other trees when her small tree is bending. This is really fabulous since this is often how orangutans transfer to another tree in the forest. Popi is very agile in the canopy. She can also be quite fierce with other orangutans if they annoy or disturb her and will bite. Despite her small size she has stood up to larger and older orangutan youngsters at COP Borneo.

Popi is still very young so she still has many things to learn at forest school over the years. However we are sure her determined nature will put her in a strong position to return to the forest when she is ready.

OCTOBER 2018 Little Popi has now been at the COP Borneo centre for two years after arriving as a tiny baby. Dedicated staff cared for Popi 24/7 to ensure her survival. She has made great progress including building up her strength to climb and crying less.

Compared to other orangutans, Popi is still very spoiled. She is the youngest orangutan at COP Borneo and is very comfortable with people since she was hand-raised. Popi still loves hugs from her carers which is normal and understandable considering her young age. 

Popi has further developed her skills at forest school. She has started to enjoy climbing trees and being active in the canopy. Her desire and ability to explore in the forest has greatly increased over the last few months which is very positive. Popi still needs to develop her coordination in the canopy. Luckily there are numerous dangling liana roots in the COP Borneo forest school area which greatly help little orangutans like Popi move around more easily. Popi has been observed biting tree bark which can actually be a good food source for orangutans in the dry season and can have insects hiding in there to eat too.

Popi often spends time on the ground first when taken out to forest school. She likes to play alone on the forest floor and also enjoyed her rest times with her carers in the hammocks. Popi appears to be bothered by Annie, a new orangutan who has recently joined forest school. Even though Popi is smaller than Annie, she is not afraid to start a fight and she is a biter! Popi certainly is a tenacious little orangutan and has really made excellent progress considering she is still so young. Well done Popi.

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