Orangutan Eska was rescued along with 2-years older Amalia from a private zoo, which authorities shut down in 2017. He was roughly 4 years old at the time, and Amalia 6. One of the first residents of the ORANGUTAN FOREST SCHOOL, Eska arrived under-weight and very intimidated by everything. He did not seek out human contact to feel safe, instead opting to embrace himself for comfort.
Eska‘s and Amalia’s relationship has grown stronger over the years. In the beginning, Amalia was quite domineering and not maternal, but as they grew older and lived together in our Forest School, Amalia even permitted Eska to sleep in the night nests she constructed.
Together with Amalia and Cantik, Eska attended the ORANGUTAN FOREST SCHOOL since 2018. Cantik was the first new orangutan Eska met and she became his best friend for the next 2 years. Eska has learned so much in the past few years and behaves much like a wild orangutan: he knows where to find food in the forest and enjoys sleeping up in the trees each night.
Eska is demonstrably more confident now, and often explores the forest by himself. Despite his independence, he still enjoys accompanying Amalia in the canopy – searching for food, hanging out. Occasionally he also meets the younger orangutans, Tegar, Gonda, Kartini, and they inevitably have long vigorous play-fighting sessions.
Update February 2023
Together with Amalia, Eska will be rehomed to the release site this year. To facilitate the transition, they will first be in the Jungle Academy, where they will become familiar with this new area and its other wild animals, which probably include predators such as clouded leopards and crocodiles. Getting to know the release site during the Jungle Academy is the last step before Eska reaches maturity and can live fully independent from human care, released back into the wild!