Tommy is still small compared to his peers, but he is rapidly growing and a full set of hair adorns his head and arms. Tommy’s primary caregiver, Pak Denni, thinks of Tommy as his “step son” and makes sure he is well looked after.
Tommy is currently housed in his own sleeping enclosure, to ensure he gets enough food to eat, and does not need to compete with any of the bigger orangutans. He enjoys “semua buah” or “all types of fruit” including rambutans and bananas, and receives a little extra milk with some added syrup as a special treat.
Tommy seems to enjoy his independence, happily entertaining himself with enrichment when he doesn’t go to the forest. During forest school, Tommy is very sociable. When there are three orangutans hanging from a branch, Tommy is usually the one in the middle! He loves to play-fight with his peers and flings himself, literally, into the fray. He watches his playmates closely, observing and copying any activities he might also like to partake in. This mimicry has helped him develop his forest skills, including building tree nests. Once he starts constructing a nest, he has little patience for interruptions. Once, while Tommy selected leaves to put on his nest, his friend Ryan tried to playfully grab at them. After some playful back and forth, Tommy decided he had had enough, and grabbed a new handful of leaves to continue his nest, ignoring Ryan. These days nest-building is a serious business!
The coming months should be particularly interesting as Tommy builds on the newly acquired skills he will use one day to survive in the wild!