Buddy systems frequently develop among the young orphaned orangutans at the Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ).
Craving the comfort they would have received from their mothers for six to as many as ten years, the orangutans make friends, often in pairs.
Friendships come in handy to the orphans during daily visits to the OFI Learning Forest.
While some young orangutans are confident in their independence, others prefer company to dig, climb, and sometimes even to sleep.
Buddy systems help the orangutans to learn important skills from one another through sharing and imitation.
We cannot forget the infrangible bond between young orangutan and mother that these orphans once knew in the wild. The illegal pet industry as well as habitat destruction from logging and land modification for palm oil plantations have induced an overwhelming orphan phenomenon. As young orangutans work together and flourish as pairs at the OCCQ, we must also work together as a species to protect their habitat and save them from extinction.