Karti is an infant orangutan who moves through the forest with great grace. She exhibits a gentleness that makes her stand out from her peers. Amidst the rush and tumble movements of the orphaned orangutans crashing through the forest foliage, Karti exudes calm. She moves with deliberate purpose, slowly moving and taking in everything that she sees with her big chocolate brown eyes. Other infants will tumble out of the trees and noisily announce their arrival. In contrast, Karti will appear out of the low hanging foliage in the forest silently, before blending back into the forest again.
When something catches Karti’s eye during her daily forest play time, she will stop, sit, and ponder. Tilting her head toward the sky, she will gaze at something at the top of the canopy in the distance. Suddenly, as though satisfied she has discovered the answer she was looking for, Karti will roll herself into a somersault and move back up into the foliage of the forest. Later, she joins her peers climbing and swinging in the trees.
Karti arrived as an orphaned infant when she was approximately 2 ½ years of age. Now Karti is a charming, vibrant young orangutan. With thick, lush orange hair, Karti stands out when playing in the OFI Nursery Forest. Spending equal time on the ground and in the trees, Karti enjoys foraging in the forest to sample the leaves and fruits she has learned are the tastiest. She follows the lead of the older orphaned orangutans. Karti clearly loves the forest and relishes her time to climb, swing and explore during daily playtime.
During the rainy season in Indonesia, the rains fall heavily each day. The OFI Learning Forest transforms into a squelchy swamp with pools of water forming on the forest floor. After months of little to no rain, the orphaned orangutans relish the opportunity to explore the muddy playground that materializes before their eyes. Karti loves playing in the puddles of water on the forest floor. Each day when she enters the OFI Nursery Forest for her daily playtime, she will make a beeline for the puddles. Gingerly stepping across a small pool of water, she will slowly lift one leg up at a time to test a foot into the surface of the water.
Karti enjoys the company of her peers at the OFI Learning Forest. Playing vigorously with friend Ryan in a puddle of water, they will splash each other and investigate the contents of the puddle. Karti will tread the mud with her feet, and then pick up small branches to “fish” for items in the water. Covered in mud and water from playing in the puddle, she might spot her friend Leona passing by and join her climbing in a nearby tree.
Still an infant, Karti has many years before she will be mature and skilled enough to be released back into the wild. Until that day, Karti will continue to be loved and supported by her caregivers. OFI is working hard to return Karti to the life she might daydream about, a life free in the forest. By protecting the forests of Kalimantan, we hope to ensure that there are forests for orangutans like graceful Karti to explore.