Davi is nearly seven years old and a student at Samboja Lestari’s Forest School, where she continues to learn the skills required to survive in the wild. Davi practices daily how to find food, build nests, and recognise dangers in the forest.
Every morning, on her way to Forest School, Davi takes time to pick up seeds from the forest floor or will pluck shoots of grass still wet with morning dew to chew on. For young orangutans like Davi, these are good habits that help develop the ability to recognise natural foods in the wild.
The feeding platform is one of Davi's favourite places in Forest School. As soon as Davi arrives at Forest School, she heads straight to the platform to enjoy the fruit breakfast that the surrogate mothers have prepared.
Once the food has run out, Davi will climb up a tree and go in search of wild fruit and leaves to eat. With a diet made up of 90% fruit, orangutans are important seed dispersal agents that contribute greatly to forest regeneration and plant species diversity. The seeds of many forest fruits will germinate and grow after passing through the digestive systems of animals, including orangutans.
Davi's survival skills have improved significantly thanks to her highly curious nature. Once, a technician observed Davi licking a dry leaf that had holes in it, covered in bugs. She is never afraid to try different foods that she thinks can be consumed. Davi also pays close attention to what her friends eat and is often interested in tasting what they are snacking on.
Davi's keen interest in food was recently a cause for concern, as she suddenly gained 1 kg, bringing her Body Condition Score (BCS) to 3.5, meaning she is slightly overweight. However, considering Davi's young age and high level of activity in Forest School, her BCS is still within a normal range.
We are delighted to witness Davi's development and see her daring to try new foods. We hope that Davi's foraging and other survival skills continue to improve so that she can one day be released to the forest to live as a true, wild orangutan.