Blog: Kecil Orangutan

Playtime with Kecil

Playtime with KecilKecil loves to play! Sometimes he plays with Maggie, and sometimes he plays all by himself. While he has toys and blankets just like toddlers, he also does things that are more specific to orangutan kids - swinging on ropes and climbing up high.

Something that may seem familiar are his blankets. When Kecil first came to Brookfield Zoo, he always had one of his blankets with him, sleeping with them and carrying them around. He liked them so much, that when Maggie wanted to play, she would wave one at him to get his attention. As Kecil gets more comfortable around Maggie, we’re noticing that he doesn’t rely on his blankets as much as he used to. We’ve slowly started to wean him off of them, in the hope that he will turn to Maggie when he needs comforting. So far this has been working well, and Kecil seems to be spending more time with Maggie and less time with his blankets.

Kecil’s other favorite toys are the ropes that hang down in the area that he shares with Maggie. He uses them to swing on, play peek-a-boo with Maggie, and to help him get from one place to another. We are very happy to see that he uses these ropes so much, since swinging is an important, natural behavior for orangutans.

When Kecil arrived at Brookfield Zoo, he only knew how to climb up, but he couldn’t climb back down. Maggie would come to his rescue by sitting under Kecil and letting him grab onto her head to slowly lower him back down to the floor. This happened for several weeks, until one day, Kecil slowly climbed down all by himself. Now he goes up and down throughout the day! Climbing is an important skill for orangutans to master. In the wild, orangutans spend over 90% of their time up in the trees. It’s where they eat, sleep, and play.

- Tropic World Asia Keepers

KLOG Entry - July 3, 2014: Kecil was seen using Maggie to climb off the front of the enclosure several times today. Maggie chose to sit by Kecil and he seemed to enjoy climbing on her.

KLOG Entry - July 28, 2014: Kecil was seen climbing up to the high shelf. He would not come all the way down for his morning cereal, so he was fed while he clung about 4 ft. off the ground.  

Posted: 8/26/2014 12:26:52 PM by Filed under: baby, Kecil, Maggie, Orangutan, Primates

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Kecil Orangutan

Updates on baby orangutan Kecil who arrived at Brookfield Zoo on June 20, 2014 to be introduced to a surrogate mom, Maggie, the zoo’s 53-year-old Bornean orangutan.


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