The delivery arrives at 9 a.m. with the daily ration of fresh fruits and vegetables for the orangutans who live in the rescue and care station. 250 kg of fresh food is piled up in sacks, boxes, and bundles in front of the ward kitchen. Over the next two hours they are distributed in portions into buckets and for the younger animals they are also chopped up and cut into bite-sized pieces. There is a feeding plan for each animal, which is adjusted daily. Carbohydrates and vitamins are carefully balanced and supplemented with green forage such as leaves and tender branches. In addition, all orangutans receive a portion of soy milk twice a week and an egg weekly. Of course, there is a separate feeding plan for the babies. In the wild, they are nursed almost like human children for 8 to 9 months. That’s why they receive milk every day in the ward from milk powder enriched with honey and lemon in their first year of life.
Feeding is four times a day, making sure that the food is not on the ground but is hung, placed or skewered high up in the enclosures to get the orangutans used to having to find their food in the treetops. Even the very little ones reach for the sweet fruits they love to eat. Only then do they take cowpeas or eggplants and, last but not least, they pick leaves from the branches, which are given to them in bunches.
Suppliers are local small farmers
Some of the fruits come from the Orangutan Haven, where they are grown in the ecofarming center for our own use. However, most of this enormous amount of fresh food is grown by local farmers. We have contracts with 9 households to routinely provide food stocks for the Orangutans. In addition, there are 8 households that sell their overproduced vegetables and fruits at the regular market price only when they harvest. All farmers benefit from this direct sale and we are pleased that with this collaboration we can significantly improve the household budget of small farmers and that the local population can also benefit from our program.