A low rumble of thunder may be your only warning. If you’re quick, you might catch the deep gray voluminous clouds glide across the sky like a curtain being drawn across a window. Perhaps you notice the strong wind that suddenly whips through the forest canopy, pulling at leaves and branches as it passes.

wet leaves

In a moment the oppressive heat from the mid-day Borneo sun vanishes and you find yourself shuddering from the temperature drop. … These changes can only mean one thing- rainy season in Kalimantan!

2CareCenterRain-09-2015-KAB

 

3Ulexa-04-2015-KAB One or two minutes is all it takes for rain clouds to darken a spotless, sunny day in Pasir Panjang. If you blink, you’ll miss it (and be stuck running for cover in a tropical downpour). After Central Kalimantan experienced a particularly damaging dry season, it felt like the fires would never stop. OFI assistants worked tirelessly to put out fires that destroyed much habitable orangutan forest. When the rain finally did arrive in early December, it felt as if the land breathed a sigh of relief! Almost overnight, the forest transformed back into a lush green landscape, a change that did not go unnoticed by the Center’s orangutans!

Generally, Orangutan reactions to rain are similar to human reactions, in that they prefer to stay dry! You can often spot adult orangutans using large leaves as make-shift umbrellas while they wait for the rain to pass. However, for the Care Center’s younger orangutans, rainy season is the best season! They just can’t resist splashing around in the flooded forest floor.

3CareCenterRain-09-2015-KAB

Tommy is notorious for his puddle play-times. When he is on release in the forest just after a rain, everyone knows to steer clear of this muddy boy if you want to stay dry.

Turbo-03-2015-KAB

A common sighting during rainy season is the “full-body mud bath”. Turbo is a big fan of this natural Borneo spa service!

4Ulexa-05-2015-KAB

Ulexa ( above left) and Charlie are also big fans of the full-body mud bath. Ulexa will go for several splashing frolics through the biggest puddles she can find, while Charlie prefers to sit for a relaxing soak.

Kobe-10-2015-KAB

In the height of rainy season, the fires from the last dry season seem a distant memory. Rain in Central Borneo brings countless benefits to the forest that both human and animal alike can enjoy. However, dry season will begin again and OFI staff will continue to adapt and prepare for Borneo’s ever changing weather!

6 Comments

  • 2015-03-11 at 11:54 pm

    Too cute I want to splash around too

  • Ash
    2015-03-12 at 12:54 am

    So cute! Here in Hawaii, we had a much drier than usual rainy season too… Glad it’s finally started raining! We should all be conserving water and catching rainwater… And just giving thanks for life-giving rain :)

  • JessieD
    2015-03-24 at 5:24 am

    Some of their little faces look so sad! Glad they are being cared for so well!

  • Dawn Lawler
    2015-04-06 at 7:46 am

    It’s good to see them safe for a change and in the hands of careing people

  • 2015-04-07 at 11:35 pm

    I have frequently observed that orangutans place somethings on their heads.
    It can be leaves or other man made materials. It could be heritable culture which
    are worried about pouring water. Perhaps this needs to be studied in detail

  • MarJij65
    2015-06-29 at 1:27 pm

    Love these beautiful orangutans!! They are amazing! I’m glad they are being taken care of. I went to a zoo last summer, I saw the orangutans and there eyes looked so sad!! I really wanted to take them out and send them to indonesia!! They belong in the wild. It makes me sick when people take the babies, after killing Mom, they keep them for a bit, but then when they get bigger they don’t want them, so people have destroyed 2 lives!!! Thank God we have people that can take care of them properly and get them back where they belong!!!!!!

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