Mum and daughter orangutans become Colchester Zoo's newest arrivals
- Credit: Colchester Zoo
Bornean orangutans Mali and Tatau are the newest arrivals settling into life at Colchester Zoo.
Zookepers at the enclosure have announced the long-awaited arrival of the mum and daughter duo, both of whom came from Paignton Zoo in Devon.
Mali, 25, is mum to eight-year-old daughter Tatau, and the pair have been getting to know the Animal Care Team over the last few months.
Zookeepers said Mali is a "devoted mum" who enjoys one-on-one time with the care team and loves a fruit tea.
Young Tatau has been nicknamed ‘Tatti’ and zookeepers say she is often very playful, swinging and interacting with the care team through the mesh.
The pair have been introduced to the zoo's male Orangutan, Tiga, who is 19 years old and had been living on his own since the death of beloved Rajang in December 2018.
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Keepers bid a fond farewell to the popular animal, who died after reaching the “grand old” age of 50.
Born in Chester Zoo on June 14, 1968, Rajang was hand-reared after the death of his mother and moved to Colchester in 1980.
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The loveable animal was described by the zoo as being “one of a kind”.
Orangutans are solitary in the wild, therefore being alone has not affected Tiga, however, zookeepers said they are pleased to see him with not one, but two new companions.
They said Tiga has a gentle and inquisitive nature and has accepted his new companions very quickly.
A zoo spokesman said: "Older female, Mali, can often be seen foraging for food and enjoying enrichment with him. As a more mature Orangutan, Mali also knows that Tiga is the dominant male and happily gives him space when he needs it.
"Young Tatau enjoys watching Tiga and pays particular attention to how he deals with puzzles and enrichment that the Animal Care Team provides and often copies him!"
Bornean orangutans eat more than 300 types of fruit and vegetation, bark, insects, and eggs. They enjoy making nests to sleep in and can live for around 50 years.
Sadly, this species is listed as Critically Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, which is mainly due to the destruction of the orangutans’ habitat.