Kobe’s keepers will proudly proclaim Kobe is the fastest orangutan in all of the Care Centre (out of 300 if the wounded wild orangutans being treated for their injuries are included). They enjoy seeing her weave effortlessly through the trees. Her usual routine involves getting out into the forest as quickly as possible and as far out as she can. She then works her way steadily back inwards towards where her caregivers await her. But their calls normally fall on deaf ears. Kobe is a creature of the forest, her natural habitat, and hears only the call of the wild. Kobe has no need of the jungle gym/playground as the actual jungle is her gym. She makes her way up vines like a gymnast on a climbing rope. She traverses two parallel vines with the skill of tightrope artist. She can keep herself entertained in the forest for hours.
She climbs so high you have to crane your neck and squint through the sunlight to make out her silhouette. Up here Kobe is busy making a mental catalogue of all the different types of fruit trees she encounters. There are so many for her to remember. Kobe takes stock, spreading all four limbs between the trees. If Kobe’s caregivers need to get her attention, they know how to do so. If sunflower seeds or nuts are on offer, Kobe will come down. After she accepts and eats these treats, a trail of shells will mark where she has been.
As Kobe disappears into the greenery, the rustling and shaking of the ferns betray her path which leads her hurtling directly towards her caregivers. She emerges with woodchips on her nose and bark sprinkled throughout her hair. She showers in a natural pool which only adds to the disarray. Kobe doesn’t care about her appearance. A punk rocker at heart her philosophy is: this is who I am, take it or leave it. We will take it, gladly!