I can't believe its over. I'm so totally gutted to have finished, I can honestly say the last 2 months have been the most amazing 2 months of my life! For the past 9 days I have been working at the clinic with the infant and juvenile Orangutans and it has been fantastic. I really felt that I was actually helping. The daily tasks we had to carry out were preparing milk, electrolyte and food for the Orangutans in the clinic and in quarantine. We also had to clean alot (Orangutans might be the only animals that can be sick all over themselves and sometimes you and still be cute!)
By far the most enjoyable task of the day was taking the Orangutans out to play and bathing the babies. We would take out 3 at a time - the juveniles (mostly aged between 3 and 4 years) in the morning and the babies (all under 3) in the afternoon. Unfortunately it rained a couple of days so we couldn't take out the babies, but having nothing to do gave uis a good oppurtunity to provide some enrichment for some of the Orangutans in quarantine. Rosalinda was a favourite of mine, she had fallen from a tree and broken her leg and so was confined to a small cage while it healed. She was very affectionate and got very frustrated as you can imagine and would cry out and try to grab me as I cleaned under her cage. I decided to give her food cut into small pieces inside a kung (dog toy) and she really seemed to prefer to work for her food, it also gave her something to do. We also gave Mui-Mui (a tiny new baby that Jen went to collect when she was confiscated from her owner) some baby toys to keep her amused. The other residents of the clinic include Rosa who was allowed out to play in the indoor nursery but suffers from an eating disorder so is very thin, although it was easy enough to tempt her with a honey sandwich! Boy was another sad inhabitant of the clinic - he was playing on powerlines and burned his arm which had to be amputated, Elen who was the Orangutan that was captured from the rainforest discovery centre in our first week is still there awaiting test results and it is hoped that she will be rteleased together with Boy. Oscar is in and out of quarantine quite frequently as he is usually hanging around the clinic causing trouble, unfortunately because of this habit it is likely that he may have to be moved to a zoo in KK. Tompong was moved from the ICU to quarantine in the middle of the week, she is very thin and was suffering from severe diarrhoea but its hoped that she is on the mend now.
There are 10 juvenile Orangutans that we took out to play in the trees and on the ropes for an hour in the morning, Sogo-Sogo was a particular favourite of mine (she is my adopted Orangutan), like Ganang she is very quiet and suffers from stress (she bites her bottom lip alot which I am informed is a sign of stress) she loves to climb and is very good at it, but she seemed a little out of sorts in the last few days, moving very slowly and often coming back down to sit with us. Some VIP guests came round on thursday and we were worried she'd show us up, but it was actually Rubin (the fatty of the group) who came down and put on a show! Fortunately he had recovered from eating leaves that stung his mouth the previous day (he was clearly very uncomforatble and was salivating and holding his mouth open, so I took him in and gave him milk, electrolyte and bananas!). Ampal is another interesting character, he suffers from a protein deficiency and is very skinny with quite thin hair. He was Selinas absolute favourite and loved it when we blew into his mouth! Nonong was another favourite, she has malaria and after a particularly bad bout lost the feeling in her left side and she is yet to start using it, despite this shes an excellent climber, shimmying herself along with 1 arm and 1 leg, unfortunately she won't be able to join climbing sessions with the older Orangutans until she starts to use her left arm and leg. Eniro is a character - he loves to pull your hair when hes in his night cage, and so we were dreading taking him out, but he was a sweetheart and liked nothing better than coming and sitting on each of our laps in turn! One day when Annabel was lying down (a little hungover!) he leapt onto her stomach for a hug! Poogel is a bit of a wimp (he looks alot like Rubin but not so fat!) a few times he freed himself as we got him out and it took 3 of us to get hold of him, although I felt that we reached an understanding by the end of the week though! We also took out Rosa, Gamai, Ungkoyon, Atama (who was always covered in sick!) and Tambi (always had a face on and looked like he was about to have a tantrum!).
The babies are all lovely, I don't think they are quite as charismatic as the older Orangutans yet, but they are so damn cute! Yee Siong is the littlest and some say the cutest - he looks a bit like a troll doll with his spiky hair! Afiq was my favourite, I loved how he held onto me and sucked my thumb through the bars of his cage! Cinta - the only baby girl apart from Mui-Mui is beautiful and very affectionate! Gembira and Ceria both look pretty similar (I had a much harder time in general learning who was who in the clinic!) and are both very sweet! And then there is Jaya, who can be lovely - we were forewarned that he was a devil when you bathed him, but he was fine with us, until we didn't take him out one day and he launched an attack on my arm - the bruise is horrendous, no one would have thought that such a tiiny sweet little baby Orangutan could make such a mark!
I've loved the clinic so much and I am so sad to be saying goodbye - it really was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do!
This week hasn't been all worj though, we had Wellsons leaving bbq and also Kirstens birthday night out - we went to the fun fair which was fantastic (and way cheaper than back home!) I particularly loved the ride that spun us round and had a guy dancing in the middle! Fantastic! Then we went onto karaoke at melody (Katie and I did our rendition of complicated... and bring me to life... and follow me....!) then to Tropical where we literally danced the night away - another fantastic night out!
I have to dash now, late for our leaving party! Will update again from KK!