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In the last couple of months, Monkey World in Wareham has welcomed three new arrivals, following a winter baby boom.

One of the latest additions to the ape rescue centre is four-month-old Bulu Mata, who is a male orang-utan weighing just three and a half kilograms. He was orphaned just a week after his birth and is so tiny that he currently wears nappies designed for premature babies. Arriving just after Christmas, he encountered a long journey from Budapest Zoo in order to receive specialised care from those at the rescue centre.

It is hoped that Bulu Mata will be adopted by one of the orang-utans living at the centre who has previously fed another orphaned baby. Keepers at Monkey World have already been introducing Bulu Mata to the mother and her adopted three-year-old daughter a couple of times a week, and have witnessed signs of her showing interest in caring for the orphan.

Looking after the new arrivals

For the time being, the team at the centre are having to care for Bulu Mata throughout the day and night as he needs feeding every four to five hours. In order for him not to become too attached to one keeper in particular, the staff take it in turns to care for the baby orang-utan, and they wear special coats that imitate the fur of adults in order to help him feel more comforted.

Asides from Bulu Mata, the sanctuary has also welcomed two baby woolly monkeys, who arrived at a similar time. These can be spotted by those visiting the park while staying in nearby Wareham in Dorset holiday cottages, and can usually be seen clinging around the mid-section of their mother. Woolly monkeys are currently the only species that Monkey World is actively breeding, due to efforts by the centre to keep the population of these captive primates growing.