Monyo is a 4-year-old young orangutan still enjoying his days in Forest School. His social skills have greatly improved; he is not only close with Niniek but is also friendly with Jeni, Ramangai, Aiko, and Alexander. Together with his friends, Monyo has been actively roaming the Forest School area. He doesn’t wander off very far, but will now bravely climb tall trees.
The surrogate mothers have noticed that Monyo is the most curious one in the group, especially when tasting newly discovered food sources. One day, the orangutans from Forest School were inspecting a piece of rotten wood; Monyo didn’t immediately know how to forage for termites or bark like some of the others, but something caught his attention.
While the other orangutans enthusiastically licked the termites off the weathered log, Monyo edged his way forward and plucked a white-hooded mushroom from the log’s surface. Luckily, this type of mushroom is edible. The skill of foraging for mushrooms must have emerged purely from Monyo’s curiosity, as the surrogate mothers have not introduced this particular type of food to the group.
On another day, a surrogate mother offered Monyo a small white flower growing from the vines in Forest School. He plucked a single petal from the flower, gave it taste, and discarded it. However, not long after this, Monyo found the same flower on his own and gave it another taste test: this time he seemed to like it! Monyo’s diet has since become more varied.
While orangutans are known as frugivores, or fruit eaters, in the wild they also consume a variety of other food sources, including leaves, flowers, tree bark, piths, honey, insects, and mushrooms, like the one Monyo recently discovered. A study has revealed that orangutans are able to eat 2,000 different types of foods.
The ability to recognise different food sources is a vital skill for orangutans. If little Monyo maintains his highly curious nature, he will no doubt have an infinite selection of forest foods to feast on!
You can also support and follow Monyo and his friend’s rehabilitation stage by adopting them!
Text by: Communication Team BOS Headquarters, Bogor, West Java
Will you help us rescue, rehabilitate and release orangutans back to freedom? Thank you!