Losing Nias, our Sumantran orangutan matriarch, was a difficult thing for her keepers, fans and especially her 3-year-old daughter, Cerah. But sometimes out of tragedy comes something truly beautiful. In the wild, male orangutans play no part in the rearing of offspring. None, not at all. So, to see Berani step up to the plate and become Mr. Mom to his daughter has truly filled my heart with love and comfort.
Berani thinks of Cerah’s every need. We often see him snuggling with Cerah when she is napping or sleeping. He lets Cerah use his finger, cheek pad or throat sac as a pacifier. If she cries or throws a tantrum, he drops everything to soothe her. It is so moving to see much a large male comfort this teeny tiny baby.
Cerah’s 11-year-old sister, Hesty, is also pitching in to help—giving her lots of attention and keeping her occupied with playtime. Seeing Nias’ family come through such a difficult time with so much love and caring is a true comfort to us all.