On a visit to the Monkey World

Orangutan girl Rieke was born on 12 January 2015 and instantly made an impact throughout the city. The world in Berlin Zoo suddenly turned on its head: Her red frizzy fur, brown beady eyes and then this gaze…

Orangutan Baby Rieke gets three dads


Mother Djasinga was simply overburdened with her cute orangutan baby. Rieke was the first child for the eleven year old monkey and despite intensive outreach efforts, she simply wouldn't accept her baby. So it was down to animal keepers Ruben Gralki, Christian Aust and vet Dr. André Schüle to move quickly into the role of father and rear the little one using the bottle.

Orangutan girl Rieke moves to England


Since human foster care is no replacement for true care from your own species, Rieke said goodbye to Berlin and headed for Monkey World in Dorset, England six months ago. Rieke was finally able to be at large with his own orangutans! And this is is particularly splendid for playmate Bulu Mata.

Orangutan Rieke gets a visit from back home


We shouldn't think that Rieke has already forgotten her homeland. In the past week, B.Z. reporter Florian Schmidt traveled to Dorset to see Berlin girl Rieke. Equipped with a delicious banana, he headed straight for the monkey play-room. Rieke's first visit! She curiously tugged at the shirt of her B.Z. godfather, took the banana from his hand and polished it off with relish. With a teasing grin, Rieke shows off her six milk teeth before she turns back into the climbing garden.

Orangutan baby Rieke is ticklish!


Her tubby belly is particularly striking – Rieke seems to be a good eater. In addition to bananas, she very much enjoys nibbling on grapes: "Her porky belly shows that she is doing well", explains zoo director Alison Cronin (48), "She is a great eater." Her belly is also very ticklish, as Florian Schmidt mentions with a smile. When her belly is rubbed, the orangutan infant shows off her joyful milkteeth-smile with a chuckle. By now the small Rieke has captured the heart of the reporter.

By the way, it looks like Rieke is already doing much better than her male playmate. This is, however, normal with monkey infants. Girls develop faster mentally than boys.

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