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Up until the beginning of this year, Dilla was still enjoying adventures with Dius, a male orangutan from Badak Besar Island that our team temporarily placed on Badak Kecil Sanctuary Island, after he had managed to cross off the island several times. Dilla and Dius were often seen together on the island, especially when technicians came to deliver food to the feeding platform. 

Dilla and Dius were mostly seen at feeding platforms 5 and 6. Dius was the only male there, alongside females Dilla, Jeliva, and Mawas. Dilla is the smaller and weaker of the females who always gives in when there is competition over food at the feeding platform. She prefers to avoid clashing with other females and will only approach the platform after the others have taken their share of food. Dius appeared to assist Dilla at times, by positioning himself in front of her while she was eating, so that other females would not disturb her. What a gentleman! 

After finishing the food delivered by technicians, Dilla and Dius would often disappear deeper into the island. This meant our observation team was unable to further monitor their relationship. However, every now and then, our team would get lucky in the afternoons, when Dilla and Dius would move to the riverbanks to build their night nests. Several times, Dilla was observed repairing old nests made by other orangutans near the feeding platform, while Dius built new nests for himself nearby.

Sadly, Dilla and Dius parted ways at the end of January, as Dius was taken from Badak Kecil Sanctuary Island after being chosen as a release candidate. Dius was taken to the Nyaru Menteng complex to undergo a series of medical tests prior to being released to the wild. This might mean that the two will never meet again, since Dilla is currently classified as 'unreleasable'. 
Since the departure of Dius, Dilla has rarely stays long at the feeding platform. She now seeks safe places in the trees that jut out a little over the river, around the feeding platform. Dilla seems to have taken this position around the feeding platform to quickly grab food during distribution time, without having to compete with dominant peers Mawas and Jeliva. Technicians understand Dilla’s situation, and will usually throw fruit, tubers, and vegetables directly at her.

Being brave enough to fight over food with other orangutans is a good survival skill to have on the island - but adopting strategies to avoid confrontation is also a very smart move. That's Dilla, the smart one!

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