She was the focal point of my practicum. My priority at the center was feeding, rehabilitating, and generally never taking my eyes away from her for a second. Watching her is more than a full-time job. From the first two pictures, you can see her curious and sometimes unruly behavior. She is constantly grabbing, climbing, and touching everything she sees. Aside from those behaviors, she also loves running (quadrupedally knuckle walking, I mean) away from me. It amazed me how much Gus acted so similar to a young human child. The only major difference is she doesn't understand commands like "stop that" or "come here" like a child would. So basically it was like watching a young child that had no idea what you were saying so that there was nothing you could do.
After about an hour or two in the young orangutan area, I let her outside the fence and took her to the bigger trees that abutted the center. These trees were over 75 feet high and most of the time she climbed all the way to the top. This part of her rehabilitation is extremely important because orangutans spend more than 80% of their everyday lives in trees. If orangutans don't learn to climb and get used to the trees, they are not going to survive in the wild.
The walk to the platform in the jungle took about an hour and a half with Gus holding tightly to my hand. She would have her afternoon feeding on the platform. Walking her to the platform lets her know exactly where the platform is and how to get there. This is an important step for her to know for when she is released in the future.
After spending time at the platform, I walked her back to the Center and put her in the young orangutan area. This finally gave me a chance to sit down and just observe her playing and climbing. At 5:00 p.m., she had her final feeding in the area and then I would put her in her night time enclosure.
Almost every time I put her in the enclosure, she screamed. It was always hard to let her go when she was screaming, but she never continued for very long.