E y e s   o n   t h e   F o r e s t 
N O V E M B E R   2 0 1 5 

eyes in the forest

Feature Story

Rodrigo collecting leaves and twigs to be used in enrichment activities for the orangutans at OFI's Care Center.

I have only been active three months as an enrichment volunteer at  Orangutan Foundation International's (OFI)  Orangutan  Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ) in Central Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan Tengah) and my experience so far could hardly have been more enriching! This is true not only becuse I have learned much about Indonesian culture, language, food, and customs but also because I have been able to spend time with more than 300 orangutans.

Learning about Indonesia first-hand has been an incredible experience for me. Aside from Mexico, the land of my birth, and the United States, I had never before visited any other country.

Before coming to the OCCQ in Borneo, I had worked as a volunteer at the Mexico City Zoo. I had expected each of the hundreds of different species housed there to react very differently to me. Before I came to Borneo, despite how obvious it may seem, I had never imagined the diversity of personalities that I would find in just one species, the Bornean orangutan. One of the reasons why I was initially interested in animal enrichment was because it gave me an opportunity to closely observe animal behavior, to know individual personalities, and to get a good idea of what various animals are like. Ultimately, with luck and perseverance, I wanted to establish a connection with them. Many people believe that connections established with animals when they are given enrichment are merely due to, or a reflection of, a positive stimulus. I did not believe that before I came to Borneo and now, I am convinced that people who hold that view are wrong.

Every day I give enrichment to different orangutans at the Care Center. I am astonished at the differences I observe among the various orangutan individuals. And to think that, at some point, we once thought that humans were the only animals with personalities! Every time I sit down to observe how each of the orangutans reacts to the enrichment, I witness the variety of responses that are the result of different individual life histories, personalities, and skills.

Enrichment parcels made up of leaves and twigs with peanuts and chewable multi-vitamins hidden inside for the orangutans to find.

Rodrigo Lobato is an enrichment volunteer in OFI's Long-Term Volunteer Program. The program places qualified individuals in the field for a minimum of six-month commitments after an intensive interview process. 

For more info about OFI's volunteer programs visit our website.

News from the Field 

Watch OFI's new video to see for yourself the devastation caused by the fires OFI has been fighting. This video shows footage from the front lines of OFI's fire-fighting efforts in Tanjung Puting National Park and the Orangutan Legacy Forest.

Watch the video on OFI's YouTube channel!

Fighting the fires non-stop has been a demoralizing and challenging process. OFI has expended enormous resources as well as the strength and energy of our local staff fighting fires day in, day out, for the last four months. You can donate to our Emergency Fire Appeal to join the fight!

In this Issue

Feature Story
From Mexico to Borneo: Reflections of an Enrichment Volunteer 

Orangutan of the Month
The Adventures of Albin

News from the Field
Borneo Burns: Fires in Kalimantan

News from the Field
Orangutan Awareness Week: Kalimantan Outreach

Jungle Corner
Greater Crimson Glider

Orangutan of the Month


On Friday November 6, OFI representatives shared "Orangutan Awareness Week" with local village Junior High and High schools. 

Although OFI engages in continuous outreach and education efforts, this visit was especially significant as it is the first time that our visit to the schools purposely coincided with "Orangutan Awareness Week." 

Let OFI help with your Holiday Shopping...

Foster an orangutan for your friend or loved one and give a gift that keeps on giving.

We also have plenty of other great gift ideas like orangutan toys and stories, in addition to palm oil free soaps, lotions and candles.

Place your orders by December 9th for orders within the US to ensure delivery in time for Christmas. To ensure the email delivery of digital Foster Kits, place your orders by December 21st.

For those on your list who already have it all, why not make a donation in their honor?
Give back while you shop this holiday season!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate to Orangutan Foundation International. Support us every time you shop.

Jungle Corner

Greater Crimson Glider
(Urothemis signata)

Local Names:
Capung (Indonesian language)
Sensibur (Dayak language)

Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Arthropoda
Class - Insecta
Order - Odonata
Family - Libellulidae
Genus - Urothemis
Species - Urothemis signata

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Distribution: Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia (Kalimantan, Papua, Sumatera), Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak), Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Province of China, Thailand, Viet Nam

Ecology: The greater crimson glider is widespread in Southeast Asia. It is a common dragonfly that lives near ponds and rivers where they also breed. Like other dragonflies, they feed on insects.

Habitat: Found in marshes, weedy ponds, paddy fields and lakes. I spotted this one on the shore of the Arut river, in the interior of Indonesian Borneo.

Morphology: Body measurements range from 42 to 45 mm and with a wingspan of 35 mm. The species is recognizable from its distinctive golden brown stains at the base of the hind wings. It also has two spots at the base of its abdomen. Another characteristic of the greater crimson glider is the colour of the veins in the wings. The top veins are black with pink tips.

Interesting Facts: The specimen on the picture is a male, recognizable from its deep magenta colour. The female Urothemis signata is more of a yellowish brown.

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