"My name is Barito...
and I've been through one of the most important moment of my life. I met the 3 females with whom I am gonna share my daily life. We all belong to the Pongo pygmaeus species (Bornean orangutan), except Molly who also has genes of our Sumatran cousin, Pongo abelii, making her an hybrid. I love teasing her and pulling her hairs but she doesn't seem to really like it. Despite her sometimes dazed look, she also likes to provoke me.
I am 14 years old. I am not fully mature yet but soon I will be a handsome flanged male.
I was born in Köln, Germany, where I lived until the age of 8 years old. Then I was transferred to Krefeld with my half-brother, before I moved to La Palmyre last summer.
It seems that I am their new breeding male and that these kind of movements are decided by the orangutan European Breeding Programme. I am here to replace the previous male, Sandaï, who's gone to Chile. Lucky him!
I was first introduced to my new partners through the mesh of our night cages. This protected contact allowed the keepers to closely observe our reactions and left us time to get used to each other. Speed-dating is much too stressful! Our first contact went well but I was really looking forward to being able to approach the females closer.
The "D" day finally arrived. We went out to the indoor enclosure (introductions are always carried out into buildings so that we can be quickly separated if needed). In our case everything went perfectly well although Katja, who seems to be the shyest one, didn't came close to me at first. Yet through the mesh she was much more friendly! Go figure...
We spent a very peaceful first day all together, even if Molly and I turned around each other for a long time.
The very next day I went outside for the first time. A real surprise for me as I had never been on a enclosure surrounded by water. It's so exciting! There's plenty to look around, you can hide behind tall grasses and there're even huge carps in the water moat! Everything went well and now we are all living together. Our keepers are happy and I must say that I am too: in Köln I had lived separated from the group for almost 2 years because I couldn't get along well with the dominant male anymore. Fortunately, Köln staff was taking good care of me and kept me very busy. Today I am happy to have new mates and I am sure I will enjoy living here."