Content and mellow When he is taken out for daily forest release, Roy contentedly hitches a ride on a caregiver’s back and doesn’t get off until he has identified just the right tree to start the day’s journey.

 There is one distinctive tree that seems to be Roy’s favorite. It is a tall tree with white bark and huge roots that stick up above the ground to prop the tree into the air. Roy loves maneuvering through these impressive roots. From here, he wanders into the undergrowth or up vines into the highest trees.

But he particularly likes exploring in the big swampy puddles that form on the forest floor after heavy rains. When he comes across something he finds interesting, like a rotting, waterlogged branch, he examines it intently and is very patient and manipulative while searching for tasty insects. When he is not foraging, Roy spends time examining his own skin and nails. He likes to be groomed by his caregivers, and uses the opportunity to sneakily snoop in their pockets or bags. He still spends a lot of time near his caregivers and tends to follow along with the group rather than venture out by himself. After a few hours, Roy sometimes decides he’s had enough of the forest, and will start walking by himself back to his sleeping enclosure.

He certainly enjoys his comforts and has not yet fully embraced his place in the forest. If he were a wild orangutan, it would be normal for Roy to still be living at his mother’s side. So for now his lack of independence is not of too much concern, but we will continue to encourage him to step out of his comfort zone in the following years.

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