19 Jun, 2023
LESAN’S NEW FAMILY DYNAMIC
Lesan gave birth to her second-born in the forest about five months ago, and we are happy to report that both mother and baby are doing well! Lesan’s baby, whom we can now confirm is male, is becoming more active under the watchful eye of his mother and big sister, Ayu. Lesan has been spotted breastfeeding her baby boy and showering him with affection.
Baby orangutans stay by their mother’s side for 6-8 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 a mostly solitary life and need to 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 first-born, 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, it seems Ayu is not ready to move and be on her own just yet. After all, there is no greater love than the love for family.
Text by: PRM Team at Camp Lesik, Kehje Sewen Forest, East Kalimantan