Photos: Orangutans and tigers become playmates
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
February 28, 2007











Dema, a Sumatran tiger licks Nia a baby orangutan in a nursery room at the Taman Safari zoo Wednesday Feb. 28, 2007, in Bogor, Indonesia. The tiger and orangutan baby, which would never be together in the wild, have become inseparable playmates after they were abandoned by their mothers. Caption and photo courtesy of the AP. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)


Sri an animal keeper gives milk to Manis, a Sumatran tiger cub with two baby orangutans in a nursery room at the Taman Safari zoo Wednesday Feb. 28, 2007, in Bogor, Indonesia. Caption and photo courtesy of the AP. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

A pair of month-old Sumatran tiger twins have befriended a pair of young orangutans reports the Associated Press (AP).

The animals share a room in the nursery at Taman Safari zoo in Sumatra. The AP reports that the animals, which were orphaned, "cuddle" and play together.

"This is unusual and would never happen in the wild," zoo keeper Sri Suwarni is quoted as saying by the AP. "Like human babies, they only want to play."

The friendship will be short-lived since orangutans fall prey to tigers in the wild.

"When the time comes, they will have to be separated. It's sad, but we can't change their natural behavior," she said. "Tigers start eating meat when they are three months old."

Both the orangutan and the Sumatran tiger are highly endangered in Indonesia due to habitat loss and poaching. Conservationists estimate that fewer than 700 Sumatran tigers remain in the wild, while orangutans are believed to number less than 50,000. Orangutan populations are fast-declining on the island of Borneo due to forest fires, land-clearing for oil palm plantations, illegal logging, and poaching for the pet trade.

Related articles

Tsunami-orphaned hippo adopted by 100-year old tortoise
A baby hippopotamus that survived the tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast has formed a strong bond with a giant male century-old tortoise, in an animal facility in the port city of Mombassa, officials said.

Saving Orangutans in Borneo
The air is warm and heavy with the morning humidity typical of the Borneo rain forest as our kelotok, a traditional boat, motors up a river so black in color it could be mistaken for ink. The raucous calls of a pair of hornbills can be heard over the rumble of the engine as they fly overhead with their gaudy and over-sized beak adornments.

98% of orangutan habitat in Borneo, Sumatra gone by 2022
A report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today warns that illegal logging is rapidly destroying the last remaining habitat for orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra. The report says that up to 98 percent may be destroyed by 2022 without urgent action.


Comments?



News options



CITATION:
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com (February 28, 2007).

Photos: Orangutans and tigers become playmates.

http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0228-playmates1.html







Copyright mongabay1999-2013


Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated from mongabay.com operations (server, data transfer, travel) are mitigated through an association with Anthrotect,
an organization working with Afro-indigenous and Embera communities to protect forests in Colombia's Darien region.
Anthrotect is protecting the habitat of mongabay's mascot: the scale-crested pygmy tyrant.