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Monkey World News

Orphaned Sumatran Orang-utan gets a New Adopted Family at Monkey World

Tuesday 7th December 2010


At the end of last week, Silvestre, an 11-month-old Sumatran orang-utan (Pongo abelii), was moved from Santillana Zoo in Spain to Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre, UK. Captive born at the zoo, his mother abandoned her baby so zoo staff stepped in and cared for the endangered infant. Orang-utans have the longest “childhood” of the great apes with infants staying with their mothers for up to 7 years. During this time the young learn all the skills they need to survive in the wild and to get on with others of their own kind. For this reason it was critical that Silvestre be found a home where he could grow up with other orang-utans.


Monkey World is home to the European crèche for orphaned orang-utans and as such provides a home for any infants or youngsters that are not cared for by their mothers. Silvestre’s move to Monkey World was specially organized for the welfare of the precious infant. Special permission was given from the British Authorities for the young orang-utan to be carried on board a Brittany Ferry from Santander to Portsmouth. Silvestre had his own cabin on board the cross-channel ferry and was accompanied by his carers from Santillana Zoo and Monkey World – truly a first class passenger!

Silvestre had special travel arrangments to move to Monkey World


 Silvestre had a private cabin on board the Brittany Ferry Silvestre enjoyed his journey on Brittany Ferries


Now at Monkey World, Silvestre is meeting his new adopted family of orang-utans that includes other orphans from UK, France, the Russian Federation, and South Africa. So far little Silvestre has met two adoptive sisters, Dinda and Lingga and the introductions are going well. Silvestre’s new family are all Bornean orang-utans (Pongo pygmaeus), a different species to him, but their behaviour is very similar. Silvestre will grow up with his adopted family at Monkey World learning all the skills and behaviour that he will need to mature into a well adjusted adult male Sumatran orang-utan.


 At Monkey World, Silvestre met two of his adopted sisters; Silvestre with Lingga  Silvestre seems to like his two new sisters, Lingga and Dinda



The specially designed nursery building has a gymnasium-sized playroom fitted out with a climbing frame, hammocks, and ropes to encourage natural, arboreal orang-utan behaviour. Monkey World’s Director, Dr Alison Cronin, said “We are all over the moon to welcome Silvestre to our orang-utan crèche. At a year old it is the perfect time for him to move in full-time with other orang-utans where he can develop physically and mentally with others of his own kind. Santillana Zoo has done a wonderful job caring for him and we are pleased to be able to offer him a place in our nursery group so that this critically endangered species has as good a start in life as possible…and what a great Christmas present, being able to give little Silvestre a family of his own.”


Andrea González of Santillana Zoo said, “Santillana Zoo Foundation is involved in the conservation of Sumatran orang-utans and our first goal is the welfare of all our animals, especially Silvestre. He spent his firsts 11 months of life being cared for by our staff and seeing his two sisters, Victoria and Juliana, from time to time. From now on he will live with his new family at Monkey World, which will help him to develop a natural behaviour and a social life as an orang-utan.”


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