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It was another happy day at Nyaru Menteng’s Forest School, with the Group 4 students located near the wooden bridge used to access the area on foot.

In the space beneath the bridge, where thick vegetation covers the forest floor, curious Bumi found a space to lie down and hide! Ibu Sri, one of the surrogate mothers in Forest School at the time, was taking a head count to make sure that all the students were present. She hadn’t seen Bumi slip under the ground cover and soon realised he was not with the group.

Immediately, Ibu Sri called out to him multiple times, but he was nowhere to be seen. Worried about the little male, Ibu Sri started walking around Forest School searching for Bumi until she eventually passed over the wooden bridge, calling: “Bumiii…Bumiii…Bumiii”.

Suddenly, a hand reached out from beneath the wooden bridge and grabbed Ibu Sri’s foot. She screamed in shock, not knowing what was grasping her foot. When she looked down, she saw a small hand with orange-brown fur. A little face then peeked out from below the bridge. Ibu Sri was relieved to learn that it wasn’t something dangerous holding her foot, but rather the student she had been looking for all this time – Bumi!

Bumi looked quite pleased with himself that he had succeeded in scaring Ibu Sri. Let’s hope he doesn’t scare more unsuspecting surrogate mothers with this cheeky trick!

Text by: Dr Nadine Adrianna Sugianto, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, working on the Orangutan Enclosure Design Tool (EDT) Project in collaboration with BOSF – Nyaru Menteng, Central Kalimantan.

Did you know that you can adopt Bumi and become a crucial part of his journey to freedom?

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