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Baimah, an orphaned orangutan from Kongbeng District, East Kutai, arrived at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in September 2022. At 15 kg, she was severely overweight for an orangutan of her age and was immediately placed on a diet to get her back to a healthy weight. 

Baimah did not move around much when she first arrived, even when playing in Forest School or in the playground outside the Baby House. In fact, this young female frequently fell asleep from exhaustion in the tops of the trees in Forest School. She quickly became friends with two other young orangutans in her group, Galaxy and Feruza. A rather independent individual, Baimah will happily travel alone to and from Forest School daily, refusing to be carried by a surrogate mother.

(Photo Credit: Isna)

Baimah enjoys the fruits given to her by her surrogate mother while on the diet. She is more frequently fed fruits that are high in water content, such as dragon fruit, watermelon, and pineapple. Furthermore, she is provided enrichment to help train her in the skills she will need to find and obtain her own food. Each young orangutan in her group usually receives 300 mL of supplementary milk, however, Baimah’s ration of milk was adjusted to be about two-thirds the portion of her peers. The diet is ultimately working, as Baimah has gradually lost weight and is now down to 13.8 kg.

Due to her excessive weight, Baimah was unable to breathe regularly when she first arrived at Samboja Lestari. It was the result of Baimah being fed a diet of strawberry-flavoured milk, which is incredibly high in sugar, during her time in captivity prior to rescue. To took time, but Baimah eventually became accustomed to drinking healthy milk formula after being encouraged by her dedicated surrogate mother.

It’s now only a matter of waiting to see how this lovely female will develop as her weight is returning to a healthy range for an orangutan her age. We’re with you every step of the way, Baimah!

Text by: Communications Team at Samboja Lestari, East Kalimantan

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