Orangutans have distinctive personalities and unique physical characteristics. These make it easy for those who work with them to tell individuals apart. A few indicators our technicians use to identify orangutans are body size, facial features, personalities – and hair!
Kikan is a 17-year-old female orangutan who has been living on Island #5 for two years. Previously, Kikan had been inhabiting Juq Kehje Swen Island. However, due to her illness, the BOS staff had to return her to the Samboja Lestari Rehabilitation Centre for treatment.
At first, Kikan acted quite aloof on Island #5; she seemed to enjoy sitting alone on the feeding platform, just watching the world – and our team – go by.
Kikan shares the sanctuary island with a male orangutan named Romeo and another female named Fani. In the past year, she has slowly become more sociable and started spending more time with Fani. The two females now often eat together on the feeding platform, with Kikan always following wherever Fani goes. When Romeo approaches, the two quickly stick together to keep Romeo at bay.
The growing relationship between Kikan and Fani has positively impacted Kikan. Whenever she plays with Fani, she hardly ever descends to the forest floor, preferring to dangle from the tire ropes installed across the forested island.
Also, a change in the health of Kikan’s hair is very noticeable compared to how it was when she first moved here. Her hair now looks straighter, shinier, and as beautiful as Fani’s lovely locks, albeit not as long. It almost appears as if Fani, who is well known for her stunning hair, has passed on her beauty secrets to Kikan.
What a wonderful influence Fani has had on Kikan! Her hair looks positively gorgeous now, after spending more time in the trees and branches that work like a comb. Well done, Fani, for providing a great example for Kikan to follow. We can’t wait to see Kikan’s hair grow as long as her mentor’s!
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