A little about Alma
Alma came as one of four orangutans from West Kalimantan on the 21st of May 2002. She was approx 4-4.5 years old. She was a sad sight. Skinny, thin frizzy hair, her body bent over, her legs unable to stretch. She weighed 10 kg. She has a rather large forehead and a large mouth which almost gives her the looks of a retarded child. The owner kept her under his house where she could not stand up. Somehow Alma had managed to get a hold of a small bottle of mercury, used for gold-mining, and she had drunk most of it. She is a wonderful, smart, little creature who has won over our hearts with her gentle ways and her sad face. She spends almost 50% of her day sleeping or resting in a basket. The rest of the time climbing around in small trees close to the ground or walking around trying to find ‘human’ things she can pull apart. She does this very deliberately, piece by piece and often tries to put things back together again. She has a few favorite people whom she always seek when she wants a tickle and a bit of fun. She stands up on a piece of wood, then throws herself at her selected person and expects to get tickled. When tickled she squirms and grunt like a pig… but she never ‘tickles’ back… she takes all the pleasure herself. She mostly seems to be tired and unwell and it is therefore important we take this time to play with her. She will stay in Baby school for now. We will have to find a way to get the mercury out of her body, to get her well again. Though she still looks skinny and unkept she has put on weight since her arrival, and in august she now weighs 11.2 kg.