Mali & Tatau join Tiga at Rajang’s Forest

We are pleased to announce the long-awaited arrival of Bornean orangutans Mali and Tatau at Colchester Zoo! 25-year-old Mali is mum to 8-year-old daughter Tatau, both of whom joined us from Paignton Zoo in Devon.

Their safe arrival has been one we had been looking forward to for some time and we were finally able to welcome the pair at the start of February 2021. Due to the Zoo’s temporary closure and having to keep indoor areas closed since reopening, we are so pleased to finally be able to share this exciting news with you all!

We have enjoyed watching mum and daughter settle in and get to know the Animal Care Team over the last few months. Mali is a devoted mum who enjoys one-on-one time with the care team, and loves a fruit tea! Young Tatau has been nick named ‘Tatti’ and is often very playful, swinging and interacting with the care team through the mesh!

Mali and Tatau have also been introduced to our male Orangutan, Tiga! Tiga is 19 years old and had been living on his own since we sadly lost our beloved Rajang the Orangutan in December 2018. Orangutans are solitary in the wild therefore this hasn’t affected Tiga, however, we are pleased to see him with not one, but two new companions.

Find out more about our new arrivals from the Animal Care Team!

Tiga has a gentle and inquisitive nature and has accepted his new companions very quickly. 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, such as our group, eat over 300 types of fruit and vegetation, bark, insects, and eggs. They enjoy making nests to sleep in, which our male, Tiga, is particularly skilled at, and can live for around 50 years. Sadly, this species is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, which is mainly due to the destruction of the orangutans’ habitat.

Our Animal Care Team will continue to monitor the pair closely, as they become accustomed to seeing the faces of our visitors in their new home at Rajang’s Forest, and will continue to work with mum and daughter, gaining their trust and creating strong relationships to ensure they are happy in their new home.

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