When Cilik met Mita


The young released orangutan Cilik left his mother and baby brother in order to find his own territory and explore the forest of Bukit Batikap - but when he met the young female Mita it did not seem that important to be alone any longer.

In August, the orangutan Cilik ventured far away in the release forest Bukit

Cilik and Mita

Batikap and left his mother and baby brother behind. Cilik, who had been released in November 2013 has gained many new experiences during his explorations and based on the observation by the Monitoring Team, he is healthy and growing increasingly independent. He has often been observed producing a kiss-squeak sound; a sign that he is becoming increasingly wild and dislikes human presence.

Meeting Mita

When we found Cilik, he started following us and he stayed with us up till the


bank of Joloi River, 1700 m from where we had found him. However, he abruptly stopped following us upon spotting Mita, an adult female orangutan who was released in August 2013 and he approached Mita with friendly gestures.

It seems that they decided to have a party together! They played together in the trees, shared their food, and sat observing things which caught their attention. Cilik and Mita squatted facing each other by the river. Cilik was holding something, a twig, stone, or food, we could not be certain. However, it held their interest for a long time and they inspected it seriously for quite a while.

Playing and exploring

When they got close to the Joloi river, Mita stepped into the water and started

Playing by the Joloi river

playing in it. Initially Cilik merely observed her as if studying her at play. He joined her after a while however Mita immediately walked out of the river and left him alone. Cilik too stop playing and followed her.

Seeing these two friends together is always a joyful moment for the Monitoring Team. It is great to see Cilik grow into an active and independent orangutan, just like Mita. They are now able to share new experiences and explore the forest and we look forward to observing them again.

Text: Ike N.Nayasilana
Photo: Vet Maryos V. Tandang