About five months ago, Lesan, one of the first orangutans released in the Kehje Sewen forest in 2012, gave birth to her second wild-born baby. How are they both doing? The Post Release Monitoring team at Camp Lesik has an exciting update about Lesan’s new family dynamic. Spoiler: Mother and baby are doing great!

It’s a boy! Lesan’s baby, who we can now confirm is male, is becoming more active under the watchful eye of his mother and big sister, Ayu. The Post Release Monitoring team recently spotted Lesan breastfeeding the baby boy and showering him with affection.


Lesan is showering her baby boy with affection.

Baby orangutans stay by their mother’s side for six to eight years. During this time, they will learn from their mothers how to recognise natural foods, build nests, move through the trees, and avoid predators in the forest. Mastering these skills is crucial, as adult orangutans live primarily solitary lives and must fend for themselves in the wild. Therefore, the role of orangutan mothers is essential for the growth and survival of the species.

Ayu, Lesan’s firstborn, can still be seen approaching Lesan and initiating physical contact. However, with a new infant to care for, Lesan has been observed trying to keep her distance. Ayu is visibly upset when this happens – perhaps a little jealous of her new sibling.

At seven years old, Ayu would likely still be close by her mother’s side if not for the new baby. Despite the potential for this new dynamic to cause some drama for Lesan’s small family, Ayu seems not ready to move and be on her own just yet.

After all, there is no greater love than the love for family.

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