Berman is a beautiful orangutan with plentiful bright orange hair. A tiara of darker orange hair frames the front crest of her head. While manoeuvring through the matrix of branches and trees, Berman is followed by a shadow of orange as her hair flows behind her.
Her symmetrical facial features are accented with light soft hairs that gently grow around her mouth, and large captivating oval eyes. On sunny days in the forest, Berman’s dark brown eyes transform into light honey shades and sometimes even an intriguing hue of blue-grey.
During daily release to the Learning Forest, Berman commences her stay by spending time on the forest floor below the canopy. Once she has warmed up to the idea of climbing, she attains height fast. She moves in stretched sweeps and seems to always choose the long route to reach her destination. It is as if she is interested in the journey as much as its eventual goal.
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She frequently seeks out a particular tree with an arched trunk curved like a wooden bow. It is the perfect shape to clasp in her hands and spin around on before leaning away to survey her surroundings. While her peers rush to consume succulent leaves or to climb larger trees, Berman pauses to examine the many organic objects that she passes by in her arboreal journey. Through a sustained gaze, happily perched from afar, she observes the forest activity around her.
She is a keen investigator of ground dwelling items such as bark, fallen leaves, and twigs. Fascinated by ground activity, she climbs a tree only to descend again to see, feel, and smell what lies below. Her quiet motions are consistent from high in the trees down to the canopy floor. It is here that she appears to carefully and premeditatively choose her arboreal passage. This is a characteristic at times unique among her peers who prefer to travel with great momentum and speed from one place to another.
With such focused attention on discovery, Berman has grown to understand a great deal about the forest. Her forest smarts include skills like utilizing a thick section of wood to chip off a protruding branch acting as an obstacle between herself and a desired spot. Her multi-layered understanding of the forest is inspired by innate behaviour, a love for exploration, and an attention to detail that accompanies her wherever she goes.
With the persistent land alteration and forest degradation caused by logging and palm oil plantations seemingly accelerating every day, OFI continues to work toward protecting the very environment, tropical rain forest, that fuels the fascination of orangutans such as Berman towards it. After all, it is this rich biodiversity which enables the forest, and the orangutans within, to persist and flourish.