Thursday 8 December 2016

Cold snap no sweat for orang-utan

Published 07/12/2010 | 16:21

An 11-month-old Sumatran orang-utan, travelling by ferry from Spain to his new home in the creche at Monkey World in Dorset
An 11-month-old Sumatran orang-utan, travelling by ferry from Spain to his new home in the creche at Monkey World in Dorset

It's nothing like jungle weather outside but despite the cold a baby orang-utan is quickly becoming king in his new home.

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Monkey World - Ape Rescue Centre, near Wareham in Dorset, has been celebrating the arrival of 11-month-old Silvestre.

He arrived during the cold snap from Spain where his mother abandoned him after giving birth at Santillana Zoo.

Monkey World keepers say it's time to grow up for the "confident chap" as he learns about being an orang-utan and not just living with human beings.

He has been meeting his new family in Europe's only orang-utan creche and is getting on well with his two adoptive sisters, Dinda and Lingga.

Director of Monkey World Alison Cronin said: "When the weather is cold they can exercise and play inside and have fun as much as they want.

"At the moment we're keeping Silvestre wrapped up warm inside where it's a lovely 22 degrees, so he's doing really well."

Orang-utans have the longest childhood of the great apes and Silvestre is a typical youngster, shy at first but quickly marking his territory - and his food.

"Silvestre is very happy in himself and very confident so when he first met his new adoptive sisters he just walked right in, walked up and put his hand right out to them, as to say, 'Hi, I'm Silvestre and welcome', and they've been really good with him.

"We're so pleased he's settling in as he's such a tiny little chap," Dr Cronin said.

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