Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Last Orangutan, but Not Least ... Rosie

Rosie Quietly Watching Her Visitors

As with all my blogging, please note that what I have written below comes from my observations and public articles I've read or viewed, and not from the LA Zoo itself. My blogs are not affiliated with the Los Angeles Zoo. I am not an expert, only a quiet observer, and reader on great apes. LA Zoo is near my residence and has been a convenient and wonderful place for me to observe these wonderful creatures. I began observing them when I started walking at the LA Zoo for my health. (The zoo's beauty and life kept me motivated to keep walking.) The great apes grabbed my attention, and so I began researching outside articles and videos as I continued to observe these incredible animals. Thus, my blogs.

I've stalled a bit in putting up Rosie's blog page because I just don't have the pictures to do her justice, yet. It's not that she isn't beautiful ... she is. But, I've often not had the opportunity to take her pictures, and my hard drive with my zoo pics is currently struggling. So, my new Rosie pics are taking some time. Yet, I didn't want to wait any longer. For, Rosie is a sweetheart of an Orangutan that I wish everyone could meet.

Rosie is the daughter of Eloise, and the year older half-sister of Kalim. She is also very intelligent and active. Minyak is very fond of her these days. She was born in March 1981, and was hand-raised, as well as her younger sister Kalim. Though she is very clever like her sister, she seemed to get the sweeter temperment (not that I don't like Kalim ... because she's incredible, too, in her own way). Like her sister, Rosie warms up to certain people, and will often be seen coming over to the netting to quietly watch a particular person she is fond of. When she does so, she will bat her long, long eyelashes, and will often look as sweet or even as pitiful as she can in order to get the most attention. She doesn't stay long, though. Then, she'll go find Minyak or some branch or vines just out of reach that she can use a stick with which to fetch. Rosie is very patient and smart when it comes to her projects. And, when she is working on a project, she is fascinating to watch ... because she really thinks them through. If something she is doing isn't working, she'll scratch her head (literally) and come up with something else.

On days it looks like it may rain, you'll usually find Rosie under a tarp or blanket. As many primates, orangutans especially like to cover up with something. In the wild, they'll use large leaves like a tarp covering.

If I haven't mentioned it before, orangutans are often referred to as "daydreamers." When I'm at the zoo, so many visitors walk by an animal, especially the orangutans and say things like "they look bored." But, if they studied the animals in the wild, and watched the zoo animals long enough, the visitors would realize the zoo animals are usually very content and relaxed, rather than bored. In the wild, orangutans sit for hours while they daydream, study, and observe ... doing nothing, except internally gathering info and putting it together. Then, when they do something, it is done with great intelligence and creativity. People see films of animals, like orangutans, doing interesting things, and think that any of the laying around or thinking the animals are normally doing is abnormal. It's not ... it's very normal. Nonetheless, Rosie, Kalim, and Berani stay pretty busy for orangutans ... they sit and think some, but are very often found by visitors working on their own creative projects.

Rosie is a great, fun aunt for young Berani, and a caring daughter to Eloise. She is also quite a flirt with the boys ... especially Minyak these days. She will often teasingly pull his hair and run from him, and then come back to sweetly groom him.

Rosie above the visitors:
Rosie

Rosie giving her best pouty face to one of her keepers in order to gain attention:
Rosie Giving Her Best Pouty Face

Rosie carrying her tarp along:
Rosie with Her Tarp

Rosie preparing for a storm:
Rosie Prepares for the Storm

Rosie cuddling with Minyak:
Lovebirds

Rosie eating a snack she gathered herself:
Rosie Peers Out at Me

Rosie watching her man (Minyak) above her:
Rosie Watches Her Man

Rosie:
Rosie

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bruno, the Gentle Giant

Bruno, the Gentle Giant

As with all my blogging, please note that what I have written below comes from my observations and public articles I've read or viewed, and not from the LA Zoo itself. My blogs are not affiliated with the Los Angeles Zoo. I am not an expert, only a quiet observer, and reader on great apes. LA Zoo is near my residence and has been a convenient and wonderful place for me to observe these wonderful creatures. I began observing them when I started walking at the LA Zoo for my health. (The zoo's beauty and life kept me motivated to keep walking.) The great apes grabbed my attention, and so I began researching outside articles and videos as I continued to observe these incredible animals. Thus, my blogs.

This is Bruno, the gentle giant. I can't help but love this guy. He has sweet eyes, and loves to observe the visitors, gorillas, and peacocks. And, he'll often give small visitors or visitors sitting in the window area a chance to look him right in the eye as he comes by the window looking into eyes at his level. Bruno treats the disabled Eloise with such sweetness ... often helping her up steep slopes, helping her roll along, or giving her a push on a fire hose in order to swing somewhere. As well, he grooms her often. Even though males have nothing to do with their offspring in the wild, and Bruno is not even related to little Berani, he is very patient with her and often plays with her.

Bruno is or is the almost the biggest of the bunch. He is both Sumatran and Bornean, so he is contracepted. He is gorgeous to look at, though ... very large. Bruno once got out of his outer enclosure when he put a hole in the netting. He only got to the back area in order to visit the gorillas he is so curious about, though, and not in the guest area. For, he had watched the construction of the gorilla exhibit with much curiosity. Then, when the gorillas came back, and there were so many keepers in and out, he became much more intrigued.

Bruno loves his keepers. In the middle of the day, he can often be heard as he bangs on the door and loudly vocalizes. He isn't upset. Since orangutans live solitary lives, in order to call a female or get attention, they must vocalize and make noise. So, if he hears a keeper or it is time for a lunch, he'll go down to the door and make himself known. To some he may sound angry, but he isn't ... it's actually usually just a sweet call to his keepers. Of course, if it is raining or there are riveling females, he may go down to say "Hey! Let me in!"

Bruno posing for a picture:
Beautiful Bruno

A happy Bruno:
"Who, me?! I'm Being a Good Boy!"

Bruno peering into visitors' eyes at the window:
Bruno Peers In

Bruno, a sweet boy:
The Gentle Giant

Bruno watching his visitors:
Bruno's Back!

Bruno quietly observing the vistors:
Bruno Watches Quietly

Bruno watching events unfold:
Bruno Watches the Events

Bruno picking his teeth (he loves to do that):
Bruno Picks His Teeth

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Minyak's Story of Survival

Minyak Watches

As with all my blogging, please note that what I have written below comes from my observations and public articles I've read or viewed, and not from the LA Zoo itself. My blogs are not affiliated with the Los Angeles Zoo. I am not an expert, only a quiet observer, and reader on great apes. LA Zoo is near my residence and has been a convenient and wonderful place for me to observe these wonderful creatures. I began observing them when I started walking at the LA Zoo for my health. (The zoo's beauty and life kept me motivated to keep walking.) The great apes grabbed my attention, and so I began researching outside articles and videos as I continued to observe these incredible animals. Thus, my blogs.

Minyak has been quite the fighter ... coming back from near death a few times. He was born March 19, 1981 at a research facility where he stayed for 20 years before arriving at the Los Angeles Zoo in 2001. According to his bio at the Los Angeles Zoo,
When he arrived here, he was very sick with a chronic lung infection. Thanks to the efforts of the vetrinary and animal care staff, he made a remarkable recovery, though he still requires daily medical care. His subsequent success in fathering Berani is a major milestone in the zoo's efforts to preserve the Bornean Orangutan gene pool.
The efforts to keep him alive included the eventual removal of his air sack, an air purification system in his back quarters, and daily nebulizer treatments. He has not only overcome the illness and depression he had when he arrived, but is thriving and happy.

Nowadays, since females only breed about every 9 years, Minyak has been cuddling with Rosie, Kalim's half-sister. (Kalim is Berani's mother). And, when they're not cuddling, he is usually keeping himself where he can see Rosie and pine over her.

Below are some of my pics of Minyak:

Minyak watches me:
Minyak Watches

Minyak watches his gal Rosie:
Minyak Watching Rosie

Minyak poses for a picture:
Minyak Poses for a Picture

Minyak's contentment is evident as he peers at me through the netting:
Minyak Peering at Me Thru the Netting

Unable to see his girlfriend, Minyak climbs higher:
The Need to Go Higher

The lovebirds - Minyak and Rosie:
Lovebirds

A happy Minyak:
A Happy Minyak

ARTICLES & MISC I FOUND ABOUT MINYAK ON THE WEB:

IQAir Article on Minyak:
www.iqair.com/aboutus/specialprojects/minyak/

LA Zoo Conservation Article About Minyak:
www.lazoo.org/conservation/orangutan102306.html

A Timeline on Minyak Before and After Surgery:
www.lpag.org/home/minyak.html

A Zooscape Article on Minyak
www.multiscope.com/hotspot/iqair_zoo.htm

Minyak's Story:
www.czs.org/uploads/CZS/OrangutanConf/Wednesday/Minyaks-S...

Minyak, a Rare Primate, Embraces Fatherhood:
www.breathingbetterlivingwell.com/community/index.php?sho...

Seattle Times Article on Minyak, Kalim, & Berani:
seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002226894_ora...

Life and Times Article on Minyak, Kalim, and Berani:
www.kcet.org/lifeandtimes/archives/200505/20050509.php

The LA Zoo's Orangutans:
www.lazoo.org/animals/mammals/borneanorangutan/

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Berani: The Little One

Little Miss Acrobat

As with all my blogging, please note that what I have written below comes from my observations and public articles I've read or viewed, and not from the LA Zoo itself. My blogs are not affiliated with the Los Angeles Zoo. I am not an expert, only a quiet observer, and reader on great apes. LA Zoo is near my residence and has been a convenient and wonderful place for me to observe these wonderful creatures. I began observing them when I started walking at the LA Zoo for my health. (The zoo's beauty and life kept me motivated to keep walking.) The great apes grabbed my attention, and so I began researching outside articles and videos as I continued to observe these incredible animals. Thus, my blogs.

Bosco Orangina "Berani" is the youngest member of the Los Angeles Zoo's Orangutan family. She was born to Minyak and Kalim at the Los Angeles Zoo on February 22, 2005. She, according to the zoo's site, is one of the "most genetically valuable Bornean orangutan" infants in North America because her father Minyak, born from 2 wild Bornean orangutan's, is very valuable. She is so enjoyable to watch, as she is very intelligent and curious.

Since Berani is usually on the move - swinging, climbing, or playing with one of the other resident orangs, I've had a hard time getting many photos of her. But, she is quite adorable to watch. She, like her mom, is quite mischievous. But, her name, "Berani" means strength and courage and is due to her father's strength and courage through a difficult time of sickness.

Often, Berani will collect "contraband" (large branches, cell phones dropped by visitors, drain caps, etc). Her mother, Kalim, encourages this because Kalim knows that she can get it from her daughter and trade it for a treat.

At the window, Berani can be quite a show off for little visitors. She will play with them at the window, or will swing or even throw herself around to get a laugh.

Though orangutans are very solitary, except for the mothers and their children staying together for 7-8 years, Berani has managed to make friends with all of the other residents with whom she comes in contact. This doesn't include her father, Minyak, because in the wild the fathers have nothing to do with their offspring. She cuddles with or gets into trouble with her mother, and she plays with Aunt Rosie (her mother's half-sister, and daughter of Eloise), Eloise, and even Bruno. Sometimes Bruno will play peek-a-boo with Berani as he sits under a blanket. Eloise and Rosie will tumble with and poke at Berani who teases them.

Berani peering at her young guests at the window:
Berani Purses Her Lips

Berani chewing on her tater sack:
Berani and Her Tater Sack

Berani hanging out with mom, Kalim:
Berani Hangin' Out with Mom, Kalim

Berani giving her mom some loving:
Berani Brings Mama Kalim Some Love

Berani being silly:
Silly Berani

Berani looking at the visitors below:
Isn't She Lovely?