ZOOKEEPERS are overjoyed to announce the long-awaited arrival of Bornean orangutans Mali and Tatau at Colchester Zoo.

Mali, who is the 25-year-old mum to eight-year-old daughter Tatau have joined the Maldon Road attraction from Paignton Zoo in Devon.

Their safe arrival has been one keepers had been looking forward to for some time, and the mum and daughter orangutans were welcome to the zoo in February.

Due to the zoo's temporary closure and having to keep indoor areas closed since reopening, the public has not known about the new arrivals.

A spokesman for the zoo said: "We have enjoyed watching mum and daughter settle in and get to know the animal care team over the last few months.

"Mali is a devoted mum who enjoys one-on-one time with the care team, and loves a fruit tea.

"Young Tatau has been nick named ‘Tatti’ and is often very playful, swinging and interacting with the care team through the mesh.


Welcome - Tiga with his sign 

"Mali and Tatau have also been introduced to our male Orangutan, Tiga."

Tiga is 19 years old and had been living on his own since the attraction sadly lost its beloved Rajang the Orangutan in December 2018.

Orangutans are solitary in the wild therefore this has not affected Tiga, however, keepers are pleased to see him with not one, but two new companions.

Read more >>> Remembering former Colchester Zoo resident Rajang the orangutan

She added: "Tiga has a gentle and inquisitive nature and has accepted his new companions very quickly. Older female, Mali, can often be seen foraging for food and enjoying enrichment with him.


Joy - Mali and her daughter settling in 

"As a more mature Orangutan, Mali also knows that Tiga is the dominant male and happily gives him space when he needs it.

"Young Tatau enjoys watching Tiga and pays particular attention to how he deals with puzzles and enrichment that the Animal Care Team provides and often copies him."

Bornean orangutans eat more than 300 types of fruit and vegetation, bark, insects, and eggs.

They enjoy making nests to sleep in, which Tiga, is particularly skilled at, and can live for about 50 years.


Comfy - Tatau getting cosy in her enclosure 

Sadly, this species is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, which is mainly due to the destruction of the orangutans’ habitat.

The zoo's animal care team will continue to monitor the pair closely, as they become accustomed to seeing the faces of visitors in their new home at Rajang’s Forest, and will continue to work with mum and daughter, gaining their trust and creating strong relationships.

To find out more visit colchester-zoo.com/2021/05/mali-tatau-join-tiga-at-rajangs-forest.