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Catching up with Riplee…

The other day it dawned on me that it’s been quite a while since I checked up on Riplee. You remember him, the baby orangutan who was born last November 15th, so he is nearly a year old. I think that each time I’ve been back to ZooTampa I’ve hoped to see him displaying his own baby-orangutan self, but up until yesterday each visit had him still in his mother’s arms. The infancy lasts longer than I might have thought. But this visit, I hoped, would be different. And it was.

We arrived early enough to catch the orangutans enjoying heads of romaine, and slim branches covered in tasty leaves. As evidenced by the enthusiasm they displayed.
At first glance Riplee seemed to be coming in second to the head of romaine his mother, DeeDee, held. You can probably guess that I took pictures almost constantly once Dee Dee turned around and I could see the baby, but it was hard to get one that showed his face at that point.

After taking many, many pictures we decided to walk through the rest of the zoo to see what we could see, but when we returned we found that Dee Dee and her mother were sitting side by side up on a large post with their backs to us. Riplee was between them, holding onto two ropes and appearing to be wishing to climb them. Now this was the sort of photo I’d been hoping for the last few times I’d been to the zoo.

It was so exciting to see him on his own, so to speak. The only thing was that once I looked at my pictures in the computer I realized that Riplee’s poses were not modest, not a bit. I wasn’t sure which photos to use on social media in that circumstance, but lucky for me I had so many that I was able to find some that were cute and also preserved his dignity.
He not only wanted to climb the ropes, he also seemed to be willing to taste them too.
He climbed ever higher, while his mother, by all indications, paid no attention. It shouldn’t have been surprising since n their native Borneo their name means’ tree people’, because they live most of their lives in the tree canopy above them.
Somehow he found things to taste as he climbed.
Eventually he reached the tippy-top, and suddenly there was mom, who took charge and got him down.

This little guy will be so much fun to continue to visit. If orangutans hadn’t already been a favorite of mine they certainly would be now.

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