Zidane, a hairier and healthier orangutan

On Sunday we were back at Camp Buluh, one of our orangutan release camps in the Lamandau Wildlife Reserve, where we caught up with the orangutan Zidane. He is still very thin but his hair is coming back and, most importantly, he was bright-eyed and very active. Zidane - male Bornean orangutan

Zidane - a healthier looking orangutan.

He watched me wash my hands and then sidled over for a drink. A more boisterous orangutan (like Barita who was watching from a distance) would have tried to snatch the bucket himself but not Zidane, he waited for the water to be scooped out and poured into his mouth.

Stephen Brend with Zidane

Zidane (orangutan) and Stephen.

Barita - Male Bornean Orangutan

Barita - the more bositerous orangutan.

Zidane - male Bornean orangutan

Sheryl asked what was involved in a “weight-gain” diet. Because Zidane readily drinks milk, Dr. Fikri has bought a supply of high-protein/high-carbohydrate formula. On top of that, the staff are making sure he eats whenever he wants to and so carry extra rations just for him. The trick is in balancing the amount of nutritious formula he receives against giving him too much, which will end up acting as an appetite suppressant. It is important that he keeps on eating.

If you can help us purchase digital cameras for Mr Tigor (Orangutan Reintroduction Programme Manager) and Dr Fikri (new Lamandau vet) we would be most grateful. I simply can not get into Lamandau often enough to monitor Zidane and the other orangutans' progress but, like I am sure you do to, I am keen to see how they are getting on.

Many thanks,


Zidane watching as we leave. All photos by Astri Siregar

Zidane - male Bornean orangutan