When the orangutans are about two years old, they move up to Forest Kindergarten. In the nursery they were used to having to play with maximum 20 friends, but they must now get to know 100 orangutans in the kindergarten.
Divided into groups
The pupils of Forest Kindergarten sleep together in cages at night, and when the cages are opened in the morning, there’s already plenty going on. The orangutans go with their babysitters to Forest Kindergarten. The route goes over boardwalks through the swamp. The smallest orangutans are carried in baskets; the bigger ones walk on their own.
Breakfast as bait
Out in the area of Forest Kindergarten, the orangutans get their first real meal of the day. The babysitters must sometimes use breakfast as bait to get the youngest orangutans to come. The orangutans get freshly cut fruit and milk.
Teaching in high trees
In the nursery the trees were adapted to the small orangutans, but in Forest Kindergarten the trees are allowed to grow wild. It is overwhelming for the new pupils. The babysitters encourage them to climb. It is important that they learn to stay as much as possible in the treetops as that is how they can survive in the wild.
In nature the orangutans would learn to survive by watching their mother for up to eight years. In Forest Kindergarten the orangutans have babysitters, but they also have each other. The small orangutans follow the bigger orangutans’ doings and are good copycats.
Nests and natural enemies
In Forest Kindergarten the orangutans must learn to identify natural enemies, and little by little they begin to build nests. Forest Kindergarten constitutes a smooth transition to the actual Forest School.
Laundry baskets as nests
In nature young orangutans sleep with their mother in a nest in the treetops. In Baby House the orang-utans are put in laundry baskets with blankets and pillows. The babysitters sleep with them, and the little ones get milk every few hours just like human babies.
Do you remember BBC's Orangutan Diary?
Here you will find some of the most popular scenes from the forest school of Nyaru Menteng.